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Skimmer vessel plows Gulf over weekend, test results may be in Monday
(CNN) – Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend spent plowing the seas atop the undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
The converted cargo ship A Whale spent the weekend attempting to separate crude oil from seawater in a 25-square-mile area north of the ruptured BP oil well at the heart of the disaster. If the test is successful, the massive vessel could play a key role in efforts to clean up the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Initial results from tests are expected Monday, Bob Grantham, spokesman for the company that owns the ship, said.
The ship, which swallows water with oil then separates it, can skim about 21 million gallons of oil a day. That's at least 250 times the amount that modified fishing vessels currently conducting skimming operations have been able to contain, according to Taiwanese company TMT shipping, which owns the vessel.
Meanwhile, BP said Monday that the cost of its response to the Gulf oil disaster now totals approximately $3.12 billion. That includes containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs, the oil giant said. Read more
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