Siphon Mission Underway in Gulf, Oxygen Loss Growing Concern

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - BP says a mile-long tube has begun siphoning most of the oil gushing from a blown-out well to a tanker ship in
the Gulf of Mexico.

A company spokesman says the contraption is drawing most of the oil away from the leak.

Meanwhile, scientists say they're concerned about three or four large plumes of undersea oil. They stretch from just beneath the surface
of the sea to more than 4,000 feet deep. At least one of the plumes is 10 miles long and a mile wide.

Researchers are also testing whether the subsea oil is depleting oxygen levels in the water. That could harm plankton and other tiny creatures that serve as food for a wide variety of sea critters. One researcher says, in some areas, the oxygen levels are down by 30 percent and it could get worse.

Because of the depth of the ruptured well, scientists say there are many unknowns since the situation hasn't been seen before.

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