Gallery: Oil Spill Costs Rise to $3 Billion as BP Tests World’s Largest...


Attempting to speed up the oil spill clean up in the Gulf, BP has just tapped the world’s largest oil skimming vessel. This converted Taiwanese cargo ship known as “A Whale” was put through her paces during a trial run this past weekend in a 25 square mile area north of the ruptured well. Capable of skimming roughly 21 million gallons of oil each day, it’s nearly 250 times more efficient than many of the 550 converted fishing boats and other vessels presently being employed as skimmers. The results of this weekend’s tests are expected later today, and if all went according to plan, A Whale will become a central part of BP’s $3 billion cleanup operation.

The skimming technique employed by the A Whale involves a series of vents situated on the vessel’s hull. These vents allow surface water to be taken into the interior of the ship as it cruises. As the oily mixture is taken into the ship, a decanting process begins which collects the oil content found in the water. The remaining seawater is then released back into the gulf and the cycle continues.

The A Whale will hopefully move along the oil recovery process in the Gulf and buy BP a bit of extra time to find a solution to the 76-day-old problem.


+ USA Today


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  1. Kaedn August 22, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Keep these articles ciomng as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

  2. perfectcirclecarpenter July 6, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Unfortunately, because of the depth of the leak, much of the oil gets trapped in between the layers of water which are either saltier or different temperature. And then there’s the unfortunate use of the dispersant which is more toxic than the oil itself. The best option is to funnel the oil up directly from the leak itself. Instead of thousands of miles of boom at the surface, one square mile of tarp would have done better.

  3. pborgne July 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

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