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July 5th, 2010
05:51 AM ET

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Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend of plowing the Gulf of Mexico.

Initial results from test runs of a ship billed as the world's largest oil skimming vessel could come back Monday after a weekend of plowing the Gulf of Mexico.

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

Sound off: We want to hear from you this morning. Add your comments to the LIVE Blog below and we'll read some of them on the show.

Filed under: LIVE Blog • Top Stories
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. epernt

    I'm now terrified. I watch your news and cannot independently verify many of your stories, but the Nathan's hot dog story is scary. You report that Kobayashi was arrested after losing the competition, but he did not compete. You report he held the 68 record, but Chesnutt set that last year. You further report Kobayashi was angry about losing the record, but in fact he was probably upset when Chesnutt insulted him from the dias immediately following the competition.

    I wonder if the facts are as off in your other reporting, and you just count on the fact that most of us cannot go behind you and verify.

    Disappointing. Too bad it will likely result in NOTHING

    July 5, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  2. ronvan

    AMAZING! We have an ongoing disaster in the gulf, people begging for help, you name it., so A WHALE, arrives to help and then is told they cannot do anything until WE test it! #1: This is a brand new ship and has never been used, so even the builders are not sure if it will deliver as expected. #2: Can't be used until EPA, others, determine if it is going to remove the oil & how much oil will return to the ocean. This, for me, is just another example of why we have so many unsolved problems in this country. IF A WHALE doesn't work then what is lost? IF it does work, but returns smaller amounts of oil to the gulf then EPA can say NO. This is just so stupid! If A WHALE removes lets say, 90% of the oil and returns 10% is that not an improvement over what is going on now? ANY oil removed will be better than letting it float around.

    July 5, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  3. Scar1

    So put a sign out: All illegals welcome???? or Crime welcome here or we take anybody-just ya'll come???
    Loco!!! Just plain stupid. We have laws, we have protocol, we have procedures so they just say, ignore all that and we are coming anyway-oh please?? Give us a break!! Be glad Scar1 not a Judge on the border. That is what is needed Court on the border. Soon as they cross we ship them to places South of the Border other than Mexico-then it will stop. Do like SC and NY was doind NC: sending all their mental patients and homeless to NC until they got caught. They even furnished bus tickets-Ca. too. We caught ya. So, we will do the same thing here. See if it does not work.

    July 5, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  4. Scar1

    Again, the word is "illegal". Crime!!! hell Blacks were bought here against their will. Haitians drowned trying to get here and turned back by boatloads and Latina, Latino want to let us ignore their coming illegally?? They can come but, how about becoming a natruralized citizen-legally. They ignore the law and laws of this country.

    This is what is wrong with Mexico-no law. So, they come over the wall, under the wall, by trains, boats, planes illegally and we are suppose to let them? Jesus! Get a clue? It is the fact of the word illegal-crime-wrong. Jobs, okay? We need them too but, we are legal and worked hard in this country legally. So just stop the crap!!

    July 5, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  5. Sam

    CNN should present story from both sides of immigration issue. People can't expect biased from CNN. Make journalism simple.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  6. jay d

    Your hispanic guest talks about the need for comprehensive immigaration. Le'ts be honest. He wants hispanic, namely Mexican, amnesty. You would be hard pressed to find Poles, Russians, Chinese, etc. in those pro immigration rallies. It's all about Mexico and no one will admit it. Legal immigration should be what you can bring to America to make it better, not just your need for benefits.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  7. Randall of Texas

    @Dale Herrewig...

    Dale in November there comes a book that will allow the many to do the mighty and have another revolt safe by constitution standards and laws to reclaim America and our country's government..

    July 5, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  8. Dale Herrewig

    Reclaiming jobs by deporting illegal workers would cut unemployment in half; what’s that you say Rep. Lamar Smith, Trade your degree’s in for a tomato picking job training certificate.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  9. Sam

    It seems like CNN has an Agenda to pass the amnesty or immigration reform. You can not ignore " We the People".

    July 5, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  10. Travis

    "Persecution" towards illegals?? Seriously?? They are illegal, people!! "Good 4 the economy?? Have u ever seen the lines on pay day at the money wire places? Wake up a

    July 5, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  11. Randall of Texas

    It is timeto change the way we choose representative government when the Supreme Court gives corporations birth certificates of citizenship called the Articles of Incorporations. Giving corporations the rights of citizens via law is wrong. It is o.k. with the guysthat own the media because it means more political advertisement revenue,

    The media owners care about John Q. Citizen about like BP cares about its little people. The media owners are fat cats too.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  12. MeLoN

    CNN shouldn't allow anti-American people on their air waves spewing their anti-American propoganda garbage to the American people. CNN should be pro-America. Stop trying to influence the news and just REPRT the news.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  13. MeLoN

    You can't solely blame the war in Afghanistan on the Republicans. Every elected Democrat that was in office at the time voted for it – so both parties are equally responsible for it. Get real people.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:39 am |

    They know its a "No Win" Melon. If they dont fight the Taliban in Afghanistan then the Taliban will come to the US again and bomb/destroy something else...maybe the White House this time. Fight them over there or fight them over here. Definitely a No Win situation.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  15. art

    "Skimming operations" is an interesting piece of terminology. Aren't the "Skimming Operations" within the BP corporation, with regard to abandoning safety and prevention measures, for profit, the reason for the catastrophe in the, Gulf? Irony? I think not.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:32 am |

    Melon...long walk...short

    July 5, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  17. Dale Herrewig

    Denise, you ask: What is happening to our middle class?

    They are just creating a new class of people in this country, the “Reduced and the Penniless”

    July 5, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  18. Don Straub-Euclid, Ohio

    I just wanted to comment on the bravery of our soldiers in foreign lands. Many come back badly injured, suffering terrible disabilities. I, myself, am disabled-losing my fingers to frostbite. So I sympathize with the courageous Bob Doles in the military, who lose limbs,etc. due to warfare.
    Thanks and praise are required for the sacrifices these brave souls have given for our nation.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  19. Sylvia Barnhart

    I must have missed something!! Why is this ship just now showing up? Is this part of the international help campaign?

    July 5, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  20. MeLoN

    What I would like to know is – what is the acceptable number of young Americans to be killed in Afghanistan before the US Government finally realizes that's it is a no win situation?

    July 5, 2010 at 8:11 am |
  21. Dale Herrewig

    John you said: “It’s so common to run into people who’ve been unemployed for 6 months or longer”. So, you do see there is a problem; but then you go on to say “but you got that rock and hard place situation in Washington where you can’t keep spending money”. Well the House and Senate receive an automatic pay raise every year. They can rush into bail out banks with $700 billion, They can fund two wars Iraq $732 billion and Afghanistan at a cost of $280 billion, they ask for $56.8 billion for the foreign aid budget; but they can't help out of work Americans. Just where does that rock and hard place start and stop? One side can’t create enough jobs; the other won’t extend unemployment benefits. “We The People" have become a mere annoyance to some. We the People must be the rock and the hard place.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:53 am |
  22. Denise

    Milk toast reporting at best.... solution for long term , retrain and avail yourself of assistance programs?
    No exploration of how wall street has effected a segment of main street. What about questioning just how the unemployment statistics are collected and how grossly underestimated they are.
    What is hard to understand about *there are more unemployed than there are jobs* Where did the jobs go ? . What is the difference between what program doles out the assistance. Why no economist opinions on which program is more beneficial to the economy in general? Why no questions on why this country can send billions for aid and borrow billions for war but feels no need to help those that have contributed to system?. What is happening to our middle class? When are you going to start really covering this important issue and the reasons for the failure of our representatives to do anything about it. What kind of reporting is this?

    I am a CNN news junkie and I am afraid that you are becoming more and more of an entertainment news show and leaving more and more of the news out and choosing the entertainment factor.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:51 am |

    but global warming is just a cycle...yeah....thats it....sure.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:50 am |

    Now we know why BP and other corporations use sub-contractors to do their work for them. When something goes wrong the Corporation gets to say " not our problem...its our sub-contractor's problem" and wash their hands of the responsibility and the liability. I feel for the Phelan family and wish them well. The benefits paid to families for lost workers is a joke. Workers die, families are destroyed, Corporations keep making profits. Politicians get contributions.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  25. MeLoN

    It's just you. We'll file all your comments in the category titled MARION BRADY.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:42 am |

    The same void that allowed a 12yr boy to drown in a Toronto swimming pool that was marked as 3m deep. The poor kid's education was so lacking that he didnt know that m stands for metres. 1m equals, roughly, 3ft. Makes you wonder about a parent that allows a child that cant swim to go to an unsupervised pool.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:42 am |
  27. MeLoN

    Who is Marion Brady?

    July 5, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  28. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Dont B.P. have a labor union if they do it sucks .

    July 5, 2010 at 7:36 am |
  29. art

    "This is America's war." -Sen. Lindsay Graham Rep. S.C.

    Yeah, sure. Pass the buck. Just for the record- I did not authorize this war, Sen. Graham. You and your fellow Republicans in Congress did. If you need to refresh your memory, read The Downing Street Memo.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:20 am |

    Is it just me or are the Republicans calling for civil war? It sure sounds like it.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  31. Ken in NC

    You did a story on the oil spill and the waters at the beaches. I wonder how there could be any people in the United states that did not know of the oil in the waters of the gulf. I listened as you had a couple on vacation that said tey didn't see the signs and no one told them not to go into the water. What kind of a void do those people live in that had no clue about the waters down there?

    July 5, 2010 at 7:10 am |

    With all the health concerns with over-eating and obesity maybe its time to ban these contests or maybe change them a bit. Instead of "how many can you eat in 10 minutes" how about eating a smaller portion faster than the other competitors.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:10 am |
  33. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Is it the beaches or the economy how did California and Virginia beaches do .

    July 5, 2010 at 7:07 am |

    Is Michael Steele on crack??? He reminds me of Marion Brady.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:06 am |
  35. Ken in NC

    Republicans need to back off of Mr. Steele. I'm a Democrat and of the opinion that Mr. Steele is doing a fine job. I'm also of the opinion that there are many Democrats that agree with me.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  36. MeLoN

    The US can't in the "war" in Afghanistan – that's a given... but for Steele to say it's Obamas war is wrong. About the most one can say is that Obama adopted this war.

    July 5, 2010 at 7:05 am |
  37. MeLoN

    Good Morning CNN!

    Hope every American had a safe and happy 4th of July!

    July 5, 2010 at 7:01 am |
  38. Marcus in Greensboro, NC

    I'm replying to the blind comments on unemployment. First, to get off of unemployment you have to have a job that is paying you more than what you are making on unemployment (this is true in NC), so getting a job at McDonald's or Wal-Mart when you were a bank manager before will not get you off of unemployment. Second, there are income limits of social services like Food Stamps or Welfare, here in NC it is around $1200/mth gross, so if you make over that on unemployment you do not qualify for them. Third, Manpower does not even pay people on time, so for them to comment on anyone is beyond me. I have a friend who is working for them now and she is never paid on time and they MoneyGram her paycheck late every week. Things like that put people in financial binds too. Finally, we still do not know the true unemployment rate, because it is reported based on those receiving a check, and not those who do not receive them anymore.

    July 5, 2010 at 6:53 am |
  39. YankeeNovember

    Guard Duty:

    My friends tell me it's probably my military mind overworking itself, or it could be the hot & humid weather has each of us on vacation;, but I can't help but feel uneasy when it's this quiet in such a violent world.

    Pleasantly surprised to see both John and Kiran (and, the rest of the A-team) manning the desk on this CNN am/FIX Monday, July 5, 2010.

    You guys rock!

    July 5, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  40. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    So what if Mr. Steel feels the war is a lost cause maybe he is right theres plenty of Americans that would agree but some how it seems as if the government is attempting to close the doors for a possible black candidate for 2012 .

    July 5, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  41. Melissa

    I will never understand the love this country has on eating contests. It probably is one of the most disgusting events that is televised. I was just having breakfast when you started to show the event and thank God I had the remote next to me.

    July 5, 2010 at 6:16 am |