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FACTBOX-Developments in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

June 30 (Reuters) - Here are some developments in BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history.

TOP DEVELOPMENTS

* The season’s first Atlantic hurricane is disrupting cleanup of BP’s massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, delaying plans to boost containment capacity and threatening to push more oily water onshore. [ID:nN30183862]

BP’S COSTS

* Costs to BP of its oil spill response hit $2.65 billion, the company said. [ID:nN28263650]

MARKET IMPACT/COMPANIES

* BP's London-listed stock was up 6.7 percent at 323.20 pence on Wednesday, with traders citing renewed talk that it could encourage a bid from ExxonMobil. XOM.N.

* The potential returns in BP shares are “very high,” a leading fund manager said. [nN29133103] BP’s shares have lost over 50 percent of their value since the oil spill started after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf.

STORM SEASON

* Hurricane Alex moved slowly in Gulf waters on Wednesday, growing stronger and likely to come ashore later in the day but sparing Mexican oil rigs and U.S. oil fields to the relief of crude markets. It has the potential to grow into a Category 2 storm on Wednesday after becoming a Category 1 Tuesday night.

OIL SPILL CAPTURE/CONTAINMENT/CLEANUP

* BP said on Wednesday that its oil-capture systems at the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico collected or burned off 25,220 barrels of oil on Tuesday. [nN30219778]

* An undetermined amount of oil continues to billow out from under the cap and through vents on top into the sea. A team of U.S. scientists estimate that the leak is gushing up to 60,000 barrels a day.

* The United States will accept offers from a dozen countries and international agencies to help contain and clean up the spill, the State Department said.[nN29161206]

POLITICS/POLICY

* A U.S. appeals court set oral arguments for July 8 on the Obama administration’s request to stay a ruling that lifted its six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in response to the spill. [ID:nWAT014567]

* U.S. lawmakers investigating the BP spill asked major energy companies for information on their response plans after it was discovered some companies’ plans had errors including protecting species that don’t live in the Gulf of Mexico. [ID:nN2897128]

SPREADING IMPACT, REACTION

* The lucrative tourism industry in the Gulf of Mexico could be hard hit for years by the false perception that the spill has ruined all the beaches, tourism officials said. [nN29162049]

* The mental health impacts of the BP spill will dwarf those encountered after the last major oil spill in Alaska, a sociologist who studied the Exxon Valdez disaster told Florida volunteers. [nN29141258]

Compiled by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Alan Elsner

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