Published: Jun 12, 2010 8:19 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 12, 2010 5:21 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government has asked BP to "speed up the process" of containing the huge amounts of oil gushing from a ruptured well into the Gulf of Mexico.
     
Coast Guard Rear Adm. James A. Watson sent a letter to BP officials on Friday expressing frustration with the overall pace of the effort. He also ordered the company in the letter released Saturday to identify ways to expedite the process in the next 48 hours.
      
BP has struggled with several efforts to contain the oil. The latest cap installed on the blown-out well is capturing about 650,000 gallons of oil a day, but large quantities are still spilling into the sea.
      
Earlier in the day, BP said a new containment cap with a tighter seal should be complete by mid-July. Company officials say the new design would stand up better to hurricanes and could capture nearly 2.9 million gallons of oil daily when fully built.