National Incident Commander on BP Oil Spill: 'It's an Insidious War'

Adm. Allen says 10,000 barrels collected but oil "attacking" four states.

ByABC News
June 6, 2010, 11:48 AM

June 6, 2010— -- Adm. Thad Allen says that 10,000 barrels of oil were collected Saturday using the newly installed containment cap on the gushing oil well in the Gulf and that number is expect to increase in the coming days.

The National Incident Commander told "This Week" anchor Jake Tapper that he expects the majority of the leaking oil can be contained "if the system is operating properly.

"We're not going to know how much oil is coming out until we're able to optimize the production, and that's what they're doing right now," Adm. Allen said. "They are slowly raising production. It was 6,000 a day before, and it was 10,000 yesterday."

Allen explained that despite the unprecedented clean-up efforts massive amounts of oil are still reaching the coast because "this spill is just aggregated over a 200-mile radius around the wellbore, where it's leaking right now, and it's not a monolithic spill. It is literally hundreds and thousands of smaller spills."

The size of the spills, he said, "could be anywhere from 20 to 100 yards to several miles in length."

"What we're going to have to do is not only be prepared to deal with the oil onshore, we are going to have to push it out to 50 miles offshore and basically have skimming capability that runs from southern Louisiana to Port St. Jill, Fla., and we are in the process of putting those things in place right now," Allen said. "And this is a war, it's an insidious war, because it's attacking, you know, four states one at a time, and it comes from different directions depending on the weather."

Allen said scientists are studying whether giant plumes or columns of oil are forming in the Gulf, and researchers are developing a massive model to better understand what is happening below the surface.