NEW ORLEANS, June 6 (UPI) -- The chief executive of BP Sunday said the British oil company's goal is to restore the Gulf of Mexico to its pre-oil spill state.
Tony Hayward said during an interview with the BBC that the latest containment cap placed on the leaking undersea oil well has been capturing a flow of about 10,000 barrels per day and siphoning it to a storage ship 5,000 feet above on the surface.
"We are going to clean up the oil, we're going to remediate any environmental damage and we are going to return the gulf coast to the position it was in prior to this event," Hayward said. "That's an absolute commitment."
The BBC said the Deepwater Horizon disaster had been dumping as much as 19,000 barrels per day into the gulf, threatening the coastlines of four U.S. states.
The threat to the region's famed fisheries has been considered monumental, however that has not stopped New Orleans from holding its first Oyster Festival as scheduled.
Top restaurants hosted shellfish fans in the French Quarter and earmarked a cut of the proceeds to the Save our Coast program, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.
"Obviously we're trying to make a statement that Louisiana seafood, Louisiana cuisine is still alive," said Lucien Gunter, chief operating officer of the Acme Oyster House restaurant, who added, "It's almost that Last Supper mentality."