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Oil capture rate down to 2,200 barrels at leak: BP

HOUSTON (Reuters) - BP Plc said the amount of crude oil it siphoned from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico leak fell to 2,200 barrels (92,400 gallons/350,000 liters) in the 24-hour period ended at midnight on Thursday.

"The flow changes, it's not constant," BP spokesman John Curry said on Friday.

The company had reported siphoning as much as 5,000 (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) barrels per day from the ruptured well earlier on Thursday.

BP has inserted a tube into a riser, or pipe, that is leaking oil from the sea floor. The company is gathering the crude oil and siphoning it up to a drill ship for storage.

The company is under increasing pressure from the U.S. government to provide data on the flow rate of the well and contain the leak, which is causing a massive oil slick along a fragile coastline teeming with birds, animals and fish.

The Macondo well ruptured on April 20, causing the Deepwater Horizon rig to explode and sink two days later. The accident killed 11 workers.

BP shares fell 4 percent in London.

(Reporting by Anna Driver, Editing by Sandra Maler)