NEW ORLEANS, June 7 (UPI) -- Oil collection from the latest effort to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is improving, though an assessment is a few days out, BP said Monday.
British petroleum giant BP employed what engineers termed a "lower marine riser package" last Thursday in an effort to siphon oil and gas leaking from a well about 1 mile under the surface.
The company said that by Saturday, it had collected 16,600 barrels of oil and flared more than 32.5 million cubic feet of natural gas from the site.
Oil and natural gas have flowed from the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana since April when the rig caught fire and sank.
BP said it would use in "mid-June" hoses and other material from the "top kill" effort to enhance the containment operation.
A more permanent option that would direct oil and gas to a free-floating riser and then to a containment vessel is expected by early July.
The company added work continues on a series of relief wells. The relief wells are expected to provide a permanent solution to the underwater leak by August.
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen ordered BP to fund the development of barrier islands off the coast of Louisiana. Bobby Jindal, the Republican governor of Louisiana, has pleaded with the federal government for the sand barriers, which could protect hundreds of miles of sensitive marshland.
BP said last week it would fund the construction of barrier islands.