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BP claims it is catching over half spilt oil

BP is currently capturing just over half of the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico after it successfully placed a containment cap over the damaged blow out preventer.

The embattled oil giant said over the weekend that it was already siphoning 10,500 barrels of oil a day through the new cap to a ship located on the water’s surface, representing a little over a half of the 19,000 barrels of oil leaking out of the well.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward said yesterday: “The containment cap is producing around 10,000 barrels of oil a day to the surface which is being processed on the surface.”

He said that it was difficult to say how much of the leaking oil would be captured by the containment cap but that it is “probably the majority”.

Further developments are expected to be announced by BP later this afternoon.

Hayward said that another containment system would be implemented later this week, probably by the weekend, and if it was successful then the majority of the oil flowing into the Gulf would be captured.

However, uncertainties still remain over this latest method as Admiral Thad Allen, who is heading the US government’s response to the spill, feared that water could rush into the containment cap because the seal is imperfect.

Hayward said: “Everyone at BP is heartbroken by this event, by the loss of life and by the damage to the environment and to the livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast.”

The news comes as Hayward, who reassured shareholders on Friday that BP would payout its year-end dividend, said he would not stand down from the post despite the number of people wanting him to do so.