FACTBOX-Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill
June 8 |
June 8 (Reuters) - Here are developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history:
SPILL CONTAINMENT EFFORTS
* BP (BP.L) (BP.N) said it collected 7,541 barrels of oil in the first 12 hours of Monday, equal to a daily rate of more than 15,000 barrels. That was 4,000 barrels per day higher than 24-hour rate Sunday. [ID:nN07195670] BP seeks to boost the rate to 20,000 bpd within a few days. [ID:nN07195670]
* The ultimate solution remains the drilling of two relief wells expected to be completed in August, a lengthy, expensive but more reliable way to intercept and cap the leaking well.
* With an eye toward the U.S. hurricane season that began on June 1, BP and the U.S. government are designing an oil-collection system that can be quickly connected and disconnected in the event that stormy seas require the temporary abandonment of oil-collection efforts.
* BP is preparing containment enhancements that BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward says could capture "the vast majority" of the spewing oil. The first will be ready in mid-June and the second in early July, BP says.
OIL SLICK THREAT
* BP said on Monday it will make an immediate payment of $60 million to Louisiana for the construction of six offshore sand berms to help buffer the state's coast from the oil, which will ultimately cost about $360 million.
* The spill has so far affected 120 miles (193 km) of shoreline stretching from Louisiana to Florida. The top U.S. spill responder says clean-up will take at least four to six weeks after the well is sealed but that the spill impact will last years. [ID:nN07147206]
* Oil is looming off white sand tourist beaches in northwest Florida, depositing tar balls and debris on some, after soiling stretches of coast in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in the worst U.S. environmental disaster.
* Fully one-third of the Gulf's federal waters, or 78,603 square miles (202,582 square km), remains closed to fishing and the toll of dead and injured birds and marine animals, including sea turtles and dolphins, is climbing.
* The U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research said oil from the spill could reach Florida's Atlantic Coast within weeks and could move as far north as North Carolina. [ID:nN03245724]
* The U.S. Interior Department may issue new safety and environmental requirements for shallow-water offshore drilling as soon as Tuesday. The rules would apply to new applications to drill in waters less than 500 feet deep. [ID:nN07156429]
* The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing at 10 EDT (1400 GMT) on Tuesday titled: "The Risky Business of Big Oil: Have Recent Court Decisions and Liability Caps Encouraged Irresponsible Corporate Behavior?" Democrats in Congress have been looking at lifting such caps.
* President Barack Obama, speaking at a White House news conference after a cabinet meeting about the spill, promised Americans the spill will be contained but said the cost will be big and ongoing. [ID:nN07203714]
* The president faces rising criticism that his administration was slow to react to the spill. As Obama spends more time managing the spill cleanup, it could derail his domestic agenda and hurt Democrats' chances during the crucial November 2010 congressional elections.
* The Obama administration has delayed plans to increase offshore drilling as a result of the spill and is calling for an energy policy rethink that encourages clean energy sources like wind and solar.
* Venoco Inc VQ.N said the U.S. drilling moratorium will delay its plans in the Sockeye field offshore of California.
* Director Jamie Gorelick left the Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N) board because of her law firm's representation of BP.
* A BP executive said on Monday there is no change in the company's upstream exploration and production policy for now. Clive Christison in Kuala Lumpur said policy decisions are unlikely until lessons from the Gulf spill become clear. [ID:nSGE6560IB]
* Goldman Sachs and Natixis brokerages downgraded BP shares to "neutral" from "buy." [ID:nSGE6560IK]
* BP shares have lost about one-third of their value since the crisis began. In London at 3 p.m./1400 GMT on Tuesday they were down about 6.3 percent.
In New York, BP's American depositary shares closed on Monday down 1.1 percent.
* Nordic bank Nordea said it divested all its BP shares, worth about 10 million euros ($12 million), from its funds and would halt further investment in the British oil company until further notice.
* BP has spent about $1.25 billion on the response effort to date.
The Obama administration said it had sent a preliminary bill for $69 million to BP and "other responsible parties" to cover oil spill costs. The United States is pushing BP to improve handling of spill damage claims in affected areas. [ID:nN07194470]
* Britain said it would increase its inspection of North Sea drilling rigs and monitoring of offshore practices in the light of the BP spill. [ID:nN01138073
* The Norwegian prime minister said on Monday that Norway will apply lessons learned from the oil spill in exploring the Arctic for oil. [ID:nLDE6561WT]
* China National Offshore Oil Corp, China's biggest offshore producer, said it will tighten safety checks after the Gulf oil spill. [ID:nTOE656035]
* An Exxon official in Kuala Lumpur said the company supports efforts to prevent a repetition of the disaster. [ID:nSGE656040] But another in Beijing urged government caution in drafting new deepwater drilling rules. [ID:nTOE65603B]
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar; we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick," President Obama said in an interview with NBC News' "Today." ($1 = 0.84 euro)
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