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.