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BP's Tube Recovers Oil At Less Than Half Earlier Rate

For the 24 hours that ended at midnight Thursday, BP said it recovered less than half of the oil, using its mile-long tube inserted like a straw into the undersea oil gusher than it had in earlier 24-hour periods.

BP told journalists it recovered 2,200 barrels from just after midnight Wednesday to just midnight Thursday. That compared with an earlier rate of 5,000 barrels a day.

An excerpt from a Reuters story:

"The flow changes, it's not constant," BP spokesman John Curry said on Friday.

The company had reported siphoning as much as 5,000 (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) barrels per day from the ruptured well earlier on Thursday.

BP has inserted a tube into a riser, or pipe, that is leaking oil from the sea floor. The company is gathering the crude oil and siphoning it up to a drill ship for storage.

Meanwhile, perhaps as a result of much prodding from Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) who is now arguably BP's loudest Capitol Hill antagonist, BP has placed a live video feed of the gusher a mile down under the Gulf of Mexico's waters on its website.