Gulf oil spill threat widens
US: Oil from BP’s out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could
threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, US forecasters
said Monday, as public anger surged over the country’s worst
US government and BP officials are warning that the blown-out
deepwater well feeding the catastrophic spill may not be shut off until
August as the company begins preparations on a new but uncertain attempt
to contain the leaking crude.
President Barack Obama will hold his first meeting with co-chairs of
an oil spill commission he tapped to probe the worst oil spill in US
history and make policy recommendations about US offshore oil drilling.
The commission will be similar to those that looked into the explosion
of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and the Three Mile Island
nuclear accident in 1979.
US Attorney General Eric Holder will meet with federal prosecutors
and state attorneys general in New Orleans. It will be Holder’s first
trip to survey the damage before what legal experts believe will be a
criminal investigation into the disaster.
The London Stock Exchange and Wall Street were closed for holidays on
Monday, but BP shares in Frankfurt sank seven percent to close at around
5.40 euros ($6.62) on the news of the company’s weekend failure to halt
the oil leak.
BP’s stock has lost nearly a quarter of its value since the oil spill
started six weeks ago, wiping nearly 29 billion pounds ($42 billion) off
BP’s market value, according to Reuters data.