(Reuters) - Here are some developments in BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the largest in U.S. history.
* The Obama administration lost another legal skirmish on Thursday when a judge refused to put on hold his decision lifting a ban on deepwater oil drilling imposed after the worst spill in U.S. history. BP shares hit new 12-month low in New York trading.
* The tropical wave over the western Caribbean Sea could develop into a tropical depression over the next couple of days as it moves toward the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center and other weather forecasters said on Thursday.
* Even with high-tech aids like satellite images, the U.S. government is finding hard data on the amount of shoreline affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill hard to come by.
* The U.S. Interior Department is reviewing BP’s plans to drill in Alaska after a report that the company’s project did not receive proper environmental oversight.
* The $20 billion oil spill relief fund set up by BP should be used only to compensate victims of the spill, and not for clean-up costs, lawyers involved in BP litigation said.
* Short interest in BP’s New York-listed shares rises 290 percent.
* Value fund managers who focus on undervalued and unloved stocks have started buying BP Plc shares, or at least considering it.
* Kenneth Feinberg will step down from his role as U.S. Treasury’s “pay czar” later this summer to focus on administering BP’s $20 billion oil spill fund.
* BP said on Thursday that its oil-capture systems collected or burned off 16,830 barrels of oil on Wednesday, a 38-percent decrease from a record rate of 27,100 barrels on Tuesday. The decreased reflects the 10-hour shutdown of part of the system for collecting oil on Wednesday.
“Obama’s attempts to restrict deepwater drilling are at odds with another policy — to cut dependence on imported oil. By taking deepwater supplies out of the equation, U.S. self-sufficiency in oil could fall to around 30 percent in 2035 from around 40 percent if deepwater production is allowed.” Jonathan Barratt, managing director of Commodity Broking Services.
Compiled by Bernie Woodall