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Posted Tue Jul 6 2010: from CNN, via DailyKos:
'Whale' oil barge sucks up whopping 32 gallons per minute
CHERNOFF (voice-over): That so-called product, crude oil floating in the sea, hasn't been concentrated enough according to BP for "A Whale" to skim effectively, even though it appears the ship has been surrounded by pools of oil just a few miles from the gusher. WILCOX: We've got oil coming up from over a mile below the surface. And it doesn't always come up in one spot. CHERNOFF: "A Whale" may still prove itself, but the vessel will have to do so before BP officially hires it to join the cleanup fleet. And if that's to happen, the sea will need to cooperate. HANK GARCIA (BP): When you've got seas, six foot, eight-foot seas, it's not going to lend itself to a good capture of the oil. CHERNOFF: As crude continues gushing into the gulf, skimming has been scant. Only 1,100 barrels of oil were skimmed in a 24-hour period, from Sunday to Monday, less than the amount pouring out of the blown-out well in an hour using the most conservative estimate.
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'Doc Jim says:
The conditions weren't ideal.
Less than a barrel a minute.
42 gallons a barrel.
Gas station pumps are limited to 10 gallons/minute.
So: three SUVs filling their gas tank.

That's how fast it sucks.

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