BP tries tube to siphon spewing Gulf oil to tanker

Undersea robots tried to thread a small tube into the jagged pipe that is pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico early Friday in BP’s latest attempt to cut down on the spill from a blown-out well that has pumped out more than 4 million gallons of crude.

The company was trying to move the 6-inch tube into the leaking 21-inch pipe, known as the riser. The smaller tube will be surrounded by a stopper to keep oil from leaking into the sea. BP said it hopes to know by this evening if the tube works and can siphon the oil to a tanker at the surface.

Since an April 20 drilling rig explosion set off the catastrophic spill, BP PLC has tried several ideas to plug the leak that is spewing at least 210,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf a day. The size of the undulating spill was about 3,650 square miles, or the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, said Hans Graber, director of the University of Miami’s Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing.



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