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New giant oil skimmer tested in the Gulf of Mexico

A new method is being trailed in the Gulf of Mexico to scoop up spilled oil from the surface of the sea. A giant oil tanker fitted with vents on the hull can skim the surface and separate any oil from the sea water and return the uncontaminated water back into the sea.

Smaller spill containment vessels are currently working off the coast of Louisiana, but their containment efforts have been hampered by the rough conditions.

It is hoped that the tanker, when fully operational, will be able to process 21 million gallons of collected oil/water every day. The ship being used is a Taiwanese vessel called “A Whale” and is collecting oil in much the same way as a baleen whale sifts plankton.

There are currently two oil collection vessels above the oil leak, capturing approximately 25,000 barrels of crude oil every day through the rigged up siphoning device fitted to the damaged blowout preventer. It is hoped a third vessel will join them in the coming days.

The giant skimming tanker is still undergoing sea trials, with results expected later today.

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