ON BARATARIA BAY, Louisiana — A device sucking some of the oil from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico offered hope Sunday for a region that has seen its wildlife coated in a lethal oil muck, its fishermen idled and its beaches tarnished by the worst oil spill in US history.
The containment cap placed on the gusher near the sea floor trapped about 441,000 gallons of oil Saturday, BP spokesman Mark Proegler said Sunday, up from around 250,000 gallons of oil Friday. It's not clear how much is still escaping; an estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of crude is believed to be leaking daily.
BP chief executive Tony Hayward told the BBC on Sunday that he believed the cap was likely to capture "the majority, probably the vast majority" of the oil gushing from the well. The gradual increase in the amount being captured is deliberate, in an effort to prevent water from getting inside and forming a frozen slush that foiled a previous containment attempt.