BP tries new oil leak fixes, tar balls wash ashore

Energy giant BP moved forward on Thursday with untested solutions aimed at containing the spreading oil spill from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that is inching closer to land and threatens an environmental disaster.
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May 14, 2010, 01.11 PM | Source: Reuters

BP tries new oil leak fixes, tar balls wash ashore

Energy giant BP moved forward on Thursday with untested solutions aimed at containing the spreading oil spill from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that is inching closer to land and threatens an environmental disaster.

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BP tries new oil leak fixes, tar balls wash ashore

Energy giant BP moved forward on Thursday with untested solutions aimed at containing the spreading oil spill from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that is inching closer to land and threatens an environmental disaster.

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BP tries new oil leak fixes, tar balls wash ashore
Energy giant BP moved forward on Thursday with untested solutions aimed at containing the spreading oil spill from a ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico that is inching closer to land and threatens an environmental disaster.

BP Plc, owner of the well off Louisiana's coast, said it hoped to have a small containment dome in place by late Thursday, its latest attempt to control the roughly 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 litres) per day that is gushing from the broken well.

It is also fighting to salvage its soiled reputation. London-based BP, Transocean Ltd and Halliburton Co are all under scrutiny for their roles in the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that killed 11 workers and triggered what could be the largest US oil spill ever.

Scientists say coastal wetlands threatened by the spill, which provide critical habitat for bird life and serve as rich nurseries for the region's valuable shrimp and oyster stocks, are already dwindling from erosion and development.

Oil pollution would accelerate the process by killing the vegetation that holds the marshes together. It threatens regional economic mainstays including fishing and tourism as well as wildlife throughout the region.

"If we allow that oil to come in and touch our marshlands, that'll shut us down for about five to six years," said Rodney Dufrene, 23, a new shrimp boat owner from the hamlet of Cut Off, north of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the oil continued to spread with winds and currents and this week's southeasterly winds could push the oil closer to Breton Sound and the Mississippi Delta.

"Oil observed to the west of the Delta offshore of Timbalier Bay could threaten shorelines as far west as Atchafalaya Bay by late Thursday," NOAA said on its website.

BP, whose shares have tumbled and wiped out $30 billion of market value since the rig fire on April 20, said on Thursday the oil spill had cost it USD 450 million so far. The stock was up slightly by midday in London after weeks of steady drops.

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