NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Gulf of Mexico is once again a hub of oil cleanup activity after a brief stand down caused by the effects of a distant Hurricane Alex.
A flotilla of skimmers is back at work along the coast, trying to block oil from reaching land while BP's broken well continues to gush millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf every day.
Cleanup crews may soon have a giant on their side. It's called "A Whale." Its owners describe the converted tanker as the largest oil skimmer in the world. The vessel is undergoing tests near the faulty wellhead this weekend.
The bad weather also delayed the hookup of a vessel called the Helix Producer at the wellhead. The ship can collect up to 25,000 barrels of oil a day, which would nearly double the amount of oil now being captured or burned at the site by two other vessels.
Crews will resume getting the Helix Producer in place over the weekend, with production set to start around July 7.