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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

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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 environmental disaster.

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.

Vanice,Tuesday, Reuters

 

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