(New throughout, adds details from Coast Guard briefing)
HOUSTON, April 28 The U.S. Coast Guard on
Wednesday said it has found a new leak beneath the site of last
week's deadly offshore drilling rig explosion, and said five
times as much oil was leaking as previously estimated.
At a briefing with reporters, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral
Mary Landry said London-based BP Plc (BP.L), owner of the
leaking well and financially responsible for the cleanup, told
U.S. officials of a new leak on a well 5,000 feet (1,525
metres) under the sea off Louisiana.
"BP has just briefed me of a new location of an additional
breach in the riser of the deep underwater well," Landry said.
The leak, which has created a massive oil slick that could
hit the Gulf Coast this weekend, is estimated at 5,000 barrels
per day -- up from the Coast Guard's previous estimate of 1,000
barrels per day.
"We have urged BP to leverage additional assets," Landry
said, adding that President Barack Obama has been briefed on
Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead after the
worst oil rig disaster in almost a decade. Swiss-based
Transocean Ltd's (RIGN.S)(RIG.N) Deepwater Horizon rig sank on
April 22, two days after it exploded and caught fire while
finishing a well for BP about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of the
mouth of the Mississippi River.
(Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Eric Walsh)