Energy giant BP said yesterday it was capturing about a fifth of the oil leaking from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well, but the London-based company faced fresh questions about its industry safety record.


BP’s shares initially climbed on news that a “quick fix” — a mile-long siphon tube deployed by undersea robots down to the leaking well — had made some progress in partly reducing the flow of oil and gas.

More efforts to stem the spill were under way, and there is another smaller leak besides the one now being targeted.


The Obama administration greeted the news cautiously, saying the tube insertion was “not a solution to the problem.”


There are fears that as the slick, which is broken into segments, spreads through the action of winds and current, it could run into the so-called “Loop Current” that could take it down to the Florida Keys and even up the U.S. East Coast.


NOAA said that with light winds forecast from the south and the west in coming days, “ocean models indicate that any tar balls leading the southern edge of the plume could begin moving more to the southwest and potentially into the Loop Current.”