Expert: Oil may be leaking in Gulf at faster rate

MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER (AP) — One expert warns that the amount of oil spewing from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico could be much higher than previously thought.

There also are worries that even more could escape if the crippled drilling equipment erodes further.

Ian D. MacDonald, an oceanography professor at Florida State University, estimates that 8 million to 9 million gallons had spilled by April 28. That's about five times more than the Coast Guard has estimated.

BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, says remote cameras show the flow of oil apparently hasn't changed since the leak was discovered after the rig sank. He says the flow cannot be measured and called estimates imprecise.

Coast Guard Admiral Mary Landry says people should not get "fixated on an estimate of how much is out there."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.