Containment Cap Now Capturing Some Oil From Gulf Leak; Ticker Updated

BY Lea Winerman  June 4, 2010 at 11:52 AM EDT

BP announced Friday morning that it had successfully lowered a containment cap over the leaking oil pipe in the Gulf of Mexico and was capturing some oil and gas. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters that the cap was funneling approximately 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of oil per day to a tanker on the surface.

We’ve updated our oil leak ticker again to reflect that news.

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View ticker with live video feed. Last updated 11:20 a.m. ET on June 4.

One thousand barrels is a small percentage of the total estimated amount of oil leaking. The federal government’s latest estimate put at 12,000 to 19,000 barrels per day and some scientists say could be even higher.

But the amount of oil captured by the system should increase as BP closes four vents on the cap over the course of the day. The vents must be closed slowly and carefully. BP is trying to avoid a repeat of the problem that doomed the previous containment system last month, when ice-like methane hydrates formed around the cap as oil and gas mixed with seawater, causing the cap to try to float away from the leak.

The containment system could eventually capture 90 percent of the escaping oil, Allen said. As we’ve done for the past several weeks, we’ll continue to update our oil leak ticker as news develops. As always, you can follow the latest news on the oil spill here.