WASHINGTON, March 7 The U.S. Justice Department
said on Monday that it will create a single task force to
oversee all aspects of its criminal investigation into last
year's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
A department spokesman said the task force will be led by a
criminal division senior counsel, John Buretta, and will be
supervised by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who is
in charge of the department's criminal division.
The criminal division, the environment and natural
resources division and the U.S. Attorney's Office in New
Orleans have been working for months on various investigations
into the April 20 drilling rig explosion and the worst offshore
oil spill in U.S. history.
On June 1 of last year, Attorney General Eric Holder
announced that the Justice Department had launched a criminal
and civil investigation into BP Plc's (BP.L) (BP.N) oil spill
involving the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blowout. It
spilled about 4.9 million barrels of oil over several months.
The spokesman said the task force will be created in an
attempt "to maximize department resources devoted to the
criminal investigation" and "to avoid duplication of effort."
He said the decision to establish a single task force was
made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.
(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Carol Bishopric)