Better Information Leads Scientists to Increase Oil Spill Estimate

"This estimate brings together several scientific methodologies and the latest information from the sea floor," said energy chief Steven Chu.

The higher estimate doesn't necessarily mean that the riser pipe strategy has increased the flow (though BP warned it might), only that it's now easier for scientists to see how much is leaking from that single point.

The official estimate of the flow rate from the leaking gulf oil well has surged again, with government officials announcing Tuesday that 35,000 to 60,000 barrels (1.47 million to 2.52 million gallons) of oil a day are now gushing from the reservoir deep beneath the gulf.