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Kevin Costner oil spill cleanup idea interests BP

Film star Kevin Costner and his scientist brother are promoting a new technology they say could separate oil from water as part of the effort to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf. BP officials agree to test the system.

A May 17 satellite image shows a large patch of oil visible near the site of the Deepwater oil spill, and a long ribbon of oil stretched far to the southeast. BP officials have agreed to test out a water-oil separation device being promoted by actor Kevin Costner and his scientist brother, Dan Costner.

NASA/AP

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Film star Kevin Costner is joining the ranks of scientists, engineers, and lawmakers in an international effort to figure out how to contain and clean up oil streaming into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 210,000 gallons a day.

Mr. Costner appeared in New Orleans last week to demonstrate a $24 million oil extraction device he is pitching to BP and Coast Guard officials. Costner says the device will clean oil from the water at a rate of 97 percent. BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said Wednesday that his team will test the device next week.

Costner’s involvement in helping solve oil spill crises is not new. The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster in Alaska motivated the actor to help fund a consortium of scientists to develop technology that mitigates oil-infected water before it hits the coast. The technology is ready to combat the BP spill, he told reporters last week.

IN PICTURES: Louisiana oil spill

“It's not anymore about talk," Costner told WWL-TV in New Orleans. “It's about doing the walk, and that phrase was probably invented down here.”

Costner’s company, Ocean Therapy Solutions, provides multiple machines designed to address spills of different sizes. The largest can clean as many as 200 gallons per minute, Costner said. The company reports it has 20 such machines ready to be employed.

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