The latest hope for a large-scale cleanup of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico is riding on the back of “A Whale.”
A 48-hour test of the Taiwanese vessel dubbed “A Whale” is set to conclude today as the giant oil skimming ship plies a 25-square mile area near the blown out BP well. TMT Shipping created what is billed as the world’s largest oil skimmer by converting an oil tanker after the April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf.
Officials are hoping the vessel, which is 10 stories high and as long as 31/2 football fields, can live up to its makers’ promise of being able to process up to 21 million gallons of oil-fouled water a day. The ship works by taking in water through 12 vents, separating the oil and pumping the cleaned seawater back into the Gulf.