BP plans to double the amount of oil it is capturing from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well to 20,000 barrels per day.
The figure underlined some scientists' concerns that original government estimates are too low.
President Obama has urged BP to take economic responsibility for the spill and is pushing the company to prepare for the hurricane season.
Containing the spill, already the worst in US history, poses a critical test for Obama's presidency and BP, which now faces a criminal investigation, lawsuits and billions of pounds wiped from its share price.
After meeting with Cabinet officials at the White House, the US president said the economic impact of the spill, which threatens the Gulf Coast's multi-billion dollar fishing industry, will be substantial.
BP has been trying to control the undersea leak through a containment cap over the blown-out wellhead.