The heads of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Thursday told BP plc CEO Tony Hayward his company is not doing enough to disclose information about the company’s leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and its efforts to contain the disaster.

They cited testimony last Monday by BP America President Lamar McKay in which he told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs “that BP was making every effort to keep the public and government officials informed,” according to the letter sent to Hayward by DHS’s Janet Napolitano and EPA’s Lisa P. Jackson.

“Those efforts, to date, have fallen short in both their scope and effectiveness,” the agency heads wrote. “In order to meet BP’s responsibilities and to fulfill this obligation, BP must make publicly available any data and other information related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that you have collected, or that will be collected in the future.

“…[A]t a minimum, all information should be posted on a publicly accessible website. BP must update this data and information daily.”

Information to be disclosed includes sampling/monitoring plans, records, video, reports collected by BP, its contractors, subcontractors, agents or employees, any reports obtained by other means and any reports of internal investigations, the letter said.

“The public and the United States Government are entitled to nothing less than complete transparency in this matter.”

The spill is the result of a well blowout that occurred a month ago and resulted in the sinking of the BP-contracted Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig owned by Transocean Ltd., and the death of 11 crew members. (see Daily GPI, May 18).

The well was thought to be leaking about 5,000 b/d, although some estimates, not accepted by BP or the U.S. Coast Guard, had said the flow was as much as 70,000 b/d. BP recently said a collection tube inserted into the well riser a week ago was collecting 5,000 b/d. Since oil could still be seen flowing into the GOM it was obvious that the leak was flowing more than 5,000 b/d, which BP conceded. The company later said the tube’s oil capture rate had declined to about 2,200 b/d. Pressure from lawmakers, the media and public has mounted on BP to determine and disclose exactly how much oil it thinks has been leaking.

On Friday BP was preparing to initiate a “top kill” on Tuesday to try to stop the well’s flow. The company had previously planned to perform the operation last Sunday. It was hoped that by pumping heavy drilling mud into the well the pressure of the oil and gas flowing out could be overcome and the well could then be sealed. If the top kill doesn’t work, BP said it might attempt its previously discussed “junk shot,” which would entail shooting a variety of materials into the well’s blowout preventer in the hope of stopping the oil flow.

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