Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
- May 31, 2007
- Reaction score
AFP: Gulf boats having trouble finding any oil: US official
WASHINGTON Some 750 boats drafted in to scoop up oil from the Gulf of Mexico are having "trouble" finding any crude in the sea, a top US official said Wednesday, almost a week after a busted well was capped.
"We are starting to have trouble finding oil," US pointman Admiral Thad Allen, who is in charge of handling the government's response, told reporters.
The boats, which have been drafted in to skim oil off the surface of the Gulf, are "really having to search for the oil in some cases" around the area of the capped well, he added.
According to official US government figures, more than 270,000 barrels of oil (11.3 million gallons) have been burned in controlled operations since the start of the spill in April.
That is more than all the crude that spilled into the seas off Alaska in the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989.
The US government also said that some 34.6 million gallons of oil water had been recovered from the Gulf since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank in April.
BP finally managed to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf on Thursday, when a new 30-foot (10-meter) giant cap was put in place.
The government has allowed BP to keep the cap shut since then, extending permission in 24-hour stints.
Allen said some of the boats used in the skimming operations were being brought ashore for repairs, as attention turned more towards cleaning up the oil that has already washed ashore along five Gulf coasts.