Government, industry leaders float new idea to capture oil gushing from Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Government and industry leaders are exploring a new way to capture oil gushing from the blown-out well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Tuesday they're looking into whether pipelines could be extended from the leaking well to several production platforms elsewhere in the Gulf where the flow could be captured or sent down to a different reservoir.

The idea emerged during a meeting in Washington last week and is still in the early stages. If it works, the option would allow oil to be contained even if the surface ships now siphoning it from the leaking well need to flee a hurricane.

Scientists estimate anywhere from 67 million to 127 million gallons of oil has spewed into the Gulf since the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20.