Gulf oil leak syphon tube working

2010-05-20 18:04
A boat engine breaks up a thick layer of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which is infiltrating the coast of Louisiana. (Gerald Herbert, AP Photo)

A boat engine breaks up a thick layer of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which is infiltrating the coast of Louisiana. (Gerald Herbert, AP Photo) (Gerald Herbert)

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New Orleans - BP says a 1.6km long tube it inserted into a leak on the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico is capturing nearly 800 000 litres of oil a day, but some is still escaping.

The company has long estimated that 800 000 litres is the total amount that's leaking, but BP spokesperson Mark Proegler said on Thursday the tube is not sucking up all the oil.

He would not estimate how much is not being captured.

Several professors who have watched video of the leak say they believe the amount is much higher than BP's estimate.

The oil has been leaking since the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank off Louisiana a month ago.

Heavy, sticky oil from the spill is starting to clog Louisiana marshes and some has reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida and beyond.

- AP
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