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US Coast Guard approves reinspection of BP oil spill site

30th November 2012

US Coast Guard green lights BP, Transocean plan to inspect sunken Deepwater Horizon rig

US Coast Guard approves reinspection of BP oil spill site
The oil spill disaster flowed continuously for three months, releasing close to 5 million barrels of crude oil

The US Coast Guard has approved a plan by oil giant BP and offshore drilling contractor Transocean to conduct an additional underwater inspection of the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig to determine the source of an oil slick floating in the Gulf of Mexico, the agency said on Thursday.

The plan calls for remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to conduct an underwater inspection of potential sources of oil in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead and rig wreckage to address the sheen that persists in the area.

BP on 2 November reported a layer of oil covering several square miles of water in the vicinity of the sunken rig and wellhead, the site of the August 2010 explosion that left 11 dead, 17 others injured. The oil spill disaster flowed continuously for three months, releasing close to 5 million barrels of crude oil. The sheen was the second to be sighted in the waters above the well despite its being capped after the explosion.

The underwater inspection will begin on 3 December under Coast Guard supervision, the agency said. A joint plan to determine the source of a surface sheen was submitted by the companies on November 9 for review by the Coast Guard.

BP earlier this month agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of misconduct and other charges stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It also agreed to pay USD 4.5 billion in fines. The Obama administration, citing a "lack of business integrity" that resulted in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has temporarily blocked BP from obtaining new contracts with the US government.