One of the siphoning systems at the site of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has been restarted after a 10-hour shutdown to allow for repair work.
Experts now estimate that the leak amounts to between 35 and 60,000 barrels a day.
Tar balls have also washed ashore at Panama City, the most easterly point in Florida where oil has been found.
The White House has also renewed its criticism of BP chief executive Tony Hayward after he attended a yacht race in Britain.
The White House chief of staff said this was “just part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes.”
Rahm Emanuel told the ABC: “Well, to quote Tony Hayward, he’s got his life back, as he would say. And I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting.”
“There’s really a substance here that matters,” Emanuel added. “That’s clearly a PR mistake, but he’s made a number of those mistakes. What’s important is: are we capping the well? Are we capturing the oil? Are we containing the cleanup? Are we filing the claims? Are we also cleaning up the mess? That’s what’s important.”
BP says Hayward spent time with his teenage son after devoting most of the past two months away from family. He will no longer oversee the day to day running of the oil spill operation.