OIL SPILL

Gulf Oil Spill: Obama Urges BP to Speed Up

Two new operations could double the amount of oil BP is capturing every day, and President Obama wants them kicked into gear right away. For more than a week, a recovery ship known as the Helix Producer, which can collect up to 25,000 barrels a day, has been sitting on the sidelines due to bad weather and rough seas caused by Hurricane Alex. And for the same reason, BP has been able to place a new, tighter-fitting cap over the blownout well that would stem the flow—though performing the switch could increase the amount of oil released by 15,000 barrels a day for two to three days. In the meantime, work is advancing on a pair of relief wells and Thad Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is leading the federal response to the spill, is still hoping they can intercept the well by the middle of August.