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The Gulf oil spill has surpassed the Exxon Valdez as the worst in U.S. history, according to new estimates released Thursday, but the Coast Guard and BP said an untested procedure to stop it seemed to be working.

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Workers contracted by BP clean oil from the beach at the Grand Isle East State Park May 27, 2010 on Grand Isle, Louisiana.

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Members of the Louisiana National Guard install floating dams designed to protect the beach from incoming oil at the Grand Isle East State Park May 26, 2010 on Grand Isle, Louisiana.

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U.S. President Barack Obama announced an extension on the moratorium for deepwater oil drilling for six months at a news conference on Thursday.

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May 27, 2010 image made from video released by British Petroleum (BP PLC) shows equipment being used to try and plug a gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Oil streaks into the Gulf of Mexico May 26, 2010 near Brush Island, Louisiana.

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Garret Graves with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority shows his hand after collecting oil samples in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana on May 26, 2010.

SEAN GARDNER/Sean Gardner/Reuters

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Garret Graves with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority shows his hand after collecting oil samples in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana on May 26, 2010.

SEAN GARDNER/Sean Gardner/Reuters

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A member of Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries holds an oil covered Green Heron found in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana May 26, 2010.

SEAN GARDNER/Sean Gardner/Reuters

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