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Supplemental Oil And Gas Containment System Is Operational, BP Says

As several of its executives meet with President Obama and senior administration officials at the White House, BP has announced it has a second oil and gas containment system in place to collect oil from the blown-out Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico.

This second system supplements the lower marine riser package (LMRP) cap containment system, which remains in operation. The new system is connected directly to the BOP and carries oil and gas through a manifold and hoses to the Q4000 vessel on the surface. The Q4000 uses a specialised clean-burning system to flare oil and gas captured by this second system.

According to NPR's Richard Harris, when it is up and running, the capture system should have the capacity to draw up and burn about 10,000 barrels of oil a day. Combined with the existing oil collection system, BP should be able to gather about 25,000 barrels daily.

Still, the combined systems may fall short of what's needed. According to a federal estimate, they may be collecting less than half of the spewing oil.

BP says it is working on additional systems, which are designed to capture substantially more oil and gas from the spewing well, but it's likely to be at least a couple of weeks before they can dramatically increases capacity, Harris reports.

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