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BP shares rally but leak double size of estimates

Shares in BP opened opened around five per cent up – after taking a battering in the fall out from the Gulf of Mexico crisis.

BP shares were up to 384.75p, recovering after plunging by six per cent on Thursday.

The oil giant's share price has almost halved since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill began on 20 April.

It is now thought that the flow rate from the leak may be as high 40,000 barrels (1.68 million gallons/6.36 million litres) per day – twice as much as previously thought.

BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg had been summoned to meet President Obama, who has been fiercely critical of the company, while Prime Minister David Cameron has emphasised the economic importance of the firm.