[Updated at 8:42 p.m.] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unfolded after an explosion aboard the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20:
- From midnight to noon Tuesday, BP collected about 8,195 barrels of oil (344,190 gallons) and about 5,045 barrels of oil (211,890 galllons) and 27.2 million cubic feet of natural gas were burned, the company said.
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement Tuesday that a six-month halt on deepwater drilling is "needed" and "appropriate" after a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the moratorium. "We see clear evidence every day, as oil spills from BP's well, of the need for a pause on deepwater drilling," the statement said. "That evidence mounts as BP continues to be unable to stop its blowout, notwithstanding the huge efforts and help from the federal scientific team and most major oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico."
CLEANUP AND RECOVERY EFFORTS
- BP says it will donate the net revenue it receives from the sale of oil recovered from the spill site to the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.
- BP has recovered a 40-foot riser pipe sheared off a few weeks ago in preparation for the placement of a cap. The section is being brought to the surface for forensic analysis, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen told reporters Tuesday.
- BP collected a record amount of oil over the previous 24 hours from the gushing underwater well, the company said Tuesday morning - 25,830 barrels, or 1.08 million gallons of oil. The previous record was last Thursday, when 25,290 barrels were collected.
- Of the 25,830 barrels, 10,270 were "flared" aboard the Q4000, a ship that uses a specialized clean-burning system to flare oil and gas captured by a containment system. BP previously estimated the Q4000 would collect between 5,000 and 10,000 barrels a day, so it appears the Q4000 is operating above that capacity.
- Government estimates say up to 2.5 million gallons of oil could be flowing into the Gulf daily.
- Progress continues to be made on the drilling of two relief wells, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Monday.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has expanded fishing closures in the Gulf of Mexico. The closed area now represents 86,985 square miles - approximately 36 percent of the Gulf's federal waters.
- The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has received reports of 143 cases of patients treated for oil spill exposure. Most of those cases - 108 - involved workers on oil rigs or workers involved in cleanup efforts, while 35 were reported by the general public.
- The city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is asking BP for a grant of $75 million over three years to mitigate the long-term effects on its tourism industry, the head of the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau told CNN.
- Kenneth Feinberg, who is overseeing BP's $20 billion escrow claims fund, is scheduled to meet with Alabama Gov. Bob Riley on Tuesday.
- BP needs to accelerate its claim payment process and provide more transparency to claimants, Feinberg told CNN Monday.
- The cost of the response to the disaster to date is about $2 billion, BP said in a statement Monday. That estimate includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs.
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and newly appointed Bureau of Ocean Energy Director Michael Bromwich will testify Wednesday before a Senate subcommittee regarding reforms to strengthen offshore oil and gas oversight and enforcement. Bromwich was sworn in as head of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement - formerly Minerals Management Service - on Monday.
- A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a six-month federal moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, saying such a ban "cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of the availability of domestic energy in this country."
- White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says the government would immediately appeal the ruling to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, were among those asking the Obama administration not to appeal the ruling.
- "I'm going to strongly urge the administration not to appeal this ruling, but to try to find a way forward that would achieve the president's goals for safety and responsibility, but at the same time would not jeopardize and threaten a very vibrant and necessary industry for decades," Landrieu told reporters during a conference call.
- Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said Tuesday that the judge's decision "is good for the nation."
- Iran would consider helping the United States with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico if asked, according to a report from the Iranian Labour News Agency, citing Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast.
- Standing in for BP CEO Tony Hayward at the World National Oil Companies Congress in London, England, BP Chief of Staff Steve Westwell said the past few weeks have been "extremely difficult for BP."
- Protesters briefly disrupted the London oil conference Tuesday. Just before Westwell's speech, a woman got on stage and started shouting. Security quickly removed her. The woman was Greenpeace campaigner Emma Gibson, who told the crowd that "because BP is incapable of telling you the truth, I'm going to tell you what you need to know."