oil-spill-super-skimmer-taiwan.jpgGulf of Mexico cleanup crews working to block millions of gallons of oil from reaching land may soon have a giant on their side, a huge Taiwanese vessel dubbed “A Whale,” which its owners describe as the largest oil skimmer in the world.

The retrofitted oil tanker will cruise a 25-square-mile test site through Sunday, with the U.S. Coast Guard and BP waiting to see if the vessel, which is 10 stories high and as long as 3 1/2 football fields, can live up to its makers’ promise of being able to process up to 21 million gallons of oil-fouled water a day.

The ship works by taking in water through 12 vents, separating the oil and pumping the cleaned seawater back into the Gulf.

(READ the AP story at Natl Public Radio)