A Deepwater Horizon rig worker said he identified a leak in the oil rig’s safety equipment weeks before the explosion in April, it has been revealed.

Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Tyrone Benton said the leak was not fixed at the time, but that instead the faulty blowout preventer was shut down. This meant that only one blowout preventer was in operation instead of two.

BP said rig owner Transocean was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the blowout preventer.

Transocean said it had tested the device successfully before the accident, however, on 20 April the blowout preventer failed resulting in the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which killed 11 people.

Meanwhile, BP said it estimates a leak of up to 100,000 barrels (15.9 million litres) of oil per day, higher than its previous estimates.

The British supermajor is still struggling to plug the leak, which has had disastrous environmental and economic consequences along the US Gulf Coast. It is planning to raise $50bn to cover the cost of the spill, The Sunday Times reported.