Giant Oil Skimmer "A Whale" Arrives in Gulf of Mexico for Testing

The latest hopes are riding on a massive new skimmer to clean oil from near the spewing well in the Gulf of Mexico, while a local Louisiana parish's plan to block the slick has been rejected by federal officials.

A 48-hour test of the Taiwanese vessel dubbed "A Whale" began yesterday and was to continue through today as the vessel cruised a 25-square-mile test site just north of the Macondo well.

Today is Day 75 of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Docked now in the Mississippi River, the world’s largest oil skimmer, the “A Whale”, is beginning to undergo EPA testing before it is permitted to assist in the BP oil spill. Under EPA guidelines, any water discharged back into the sea must only contain 15 parts per million of oil. If the “A Whale” does not pass this requirement, the owners may still apply for a waiver.