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BP Denies Covering Up Extent Of Oil Spill

A boat passes through heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana on May 20.
Oil giant BP has denied concealing the extent of the oil spill from its damaged Gulf of Mexico offshore well, as anger grows against the British energy giant.

After saying for weeks that 5,000 barrels of oil gushed out each day from the undersea pipe that was ruptured when one of its rigs exploded on April 20, a BP spokesman on May 20 acknowledged that the real flow could be much higher.

BP said one day later that the figure "was only ever meant to be a rough estimate."

Although 5,000 barrels are now reportedly being siphoned away from the leak daily by an insertion tube device, a live video feed shows large amounts of oil and gas still spewing into the water.

The U.S. government has slammed BP for its lack of transparency in handling the spill.

A noted scientist and founder of the environmental Blue Ocean Institute who has visited the spill region, Carl Safina, testified to a congressional panel on May 21 that the effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are "not just a regional issue for the wildlife" and are likely to be felt in Europe and the Arctic, according to CNN.

compiled from agency reports