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Deepwater Horizon: a slippery oil slick situation

Issue No. 2201

The attempts to halt the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico have so far failed.

An attempt to lower a 98-tonne concrete-and-steel funnel 5,000 feet to the seabed didn’t work.

BP is now trying a smaller box, which it admits won’t catch all the oil.

According to Admiral Thad Allen of the US Coast Guard, if that doesn’t work, “They’re going to take a bunch of debris, shredded up tyres, golf balls and things like that, and under very high pressure shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up.”

BP has received US government approval to continuously pump dispersant chemicals underwater.

Scientists have expressed concern that the chemicals could further harm the marine environment.

The slick has so far covered about 2,000 square miles.

The stock markets chose the days when stock values were falling to buy up BP shares.

The price rose against the trend.

In April 2009, Barack Obama’s administration granted BP a “categorical exemption” from producing a legally required environmental impact study.

It also approved its exploration plan for “site 206”, the location of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The justification was the amount of money the oil companies had spent on exploration.

Two members of the Senate Committee which will investigate the spill received the third and fourth largest campaign funding from BP in 2008 – Republican John McCain and Democrat Marry Landrieu of Louisiana.


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News
Tue 11 May 2010, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2201
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