UPDATE 1-BP capturing 5,000 bpd oil at Gulf leak site

* BP stock higher in down market

* Company says 5,000 bpd estimate is NOAA’s
(Adds detail, additional quotes from BP)

HOUSTON, May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – BP Plc (BP.L: ) said it is now
siphoning 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) per
day of crude oil at the leak site in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

BP had estimated the leak was flowing at a rate of 5,000
barrels per day, but scientists and the government have
questioned that figure.

“It’s now capturing 5,000 barrels per day of oil,” BP
spokesman Mark Salt, said.

Previously, the company said it was capturing 3,000 barrels
(126,000 gallons/573,000 liters) per day.

The estimate of the leak’s flow initially came from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was an
uncertain number, Salt said.

“Whatever the number, people can see we’re trying to
contain the flow and stop the spill,” the spokesman said.

Steve Wereley, associate mechanical engineering professor
at Purdue University, has pegged the spill’s volume at about
70,000 barrels (2.9 million gallons/11 million liters), per
day, based on data gleaned from a segment of video provided by
BP.

“This is not rocket science,” Wereley told a U.S.
congressional panel on Wednesday. “All outside estimates are
considerably higher than BP’s.”

BP has inserted a tube into a riser, or pipe, that is
leaking oil from the sea floor. The company is gathering the
crude oil and siphoning it up to a drill ship for storage.

BP depository receipts traded on the New York Stock
Exchange rose 8 cents to $45.35, outperforming broad declines
in energy shares.

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(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, Editing by Sandra
Maler)

UPDATE 1-BP capturing 5,000 bpd oil at Gulf leak site