"NEW ORLEANS -- On the day the Deepwater Horizon sank, BP officials warned in an internal memo that if the well was not protected by the blow-out preventer at the drill site, crude oil could burst into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of 3.4 million gallons a day, an amount a million gallons higher than what the government later believed spilled daily from the site."
"The email conversation, which BP agreed to release Friday as part of federal court proceedings, suggests BP managers recognized the potential of the disaster in its early hours, and company officials sought to make sure that the model-developed information wasn't shared with outsiders. The emails also suggest BP was having heated discussions with Coast Guard officials over the potential of the oil spill.
The memo was released as part of the court proceedings to determine the division of responsibility for the nation's worst offshore oil disaster, which began when the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, 2010, killing 11 men about 50 miles southeast of the Louisiana coast. The first phase of the trial is set to start Feb. 27."