The Unified Area Command announced Sunday that the skimmer fleet supporting the Deepwater Horizon Response Operations doubled the volume of oil skimmed near the well site Saturday. The skimming armada capitalized on good weather conditions and surged to the site to confront the anticipated increased oil flow from the current operation to remove the top cap and install the capping stack. The skimmers were able to skim an estimated 25,500 barrels of oily water Saturday, doubling the amount collected the previous day.
"As BP transitions to the new cap, we have massed our best skimming forces at the source of the oil, 40 miles offshore,” said Rear Adm. James Watson, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the Deepwater Hoizon Response. "The skimmers join a total force of 65 vessels that are supporting an effort to kill the well and collect the oil offshore before it hits the beaches and marshes. This represents the world's largest collection of skimmers located in one area. These are a very important few days and we will continue to work around the clock and use everything at our disposal to mitigate the oil's impacts."
Currently 46 skimmers are operating at the well site, where crews continue to work around the clock to place a new capping stack on the blowout preventer to contain the oil. The skimmer force working at the well site is part of the fleet of more than 570 skimmers conducting the largest oil spill response in U.S. history.
Controlled burn task forces operating in a wider band around the source were able to conduct 15 controlled burns Saturday, further assisting the skimmer fleet and the Q4000 containment vessel in mitigating the additional flow from subsea operations.