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    Dec 2009

    Default Pressure Piles On BP As Gulf Spill Widens

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    President Barack Obama sent out two ministers to the dirty Gulf Coast Monday to keep the pressure on energy giant BP to plug an underwater oil leaks that threaten an ecological disaster.

    British-based BP is currently preparing new measures to try to stop the gushing torrent of oil that has been spewed over a month from cracked a good one kilometer below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The Obama Administration warned BP on Sunday would remove the company from efforts to seal the blown-good if the energy giant is seen as not doing enough.

    But the administration, under increasing pressure to do something to avert an impending environmental catastrophe, acknowledged that only the company and the industry has the know-how to stop the leak.

    BP shares are included beating the markets since the accident. The share price fell 4 percent in London on Friday and effectiveness will be intense with big eyes on Monday.

    Oil has been sloshing in Louisiana's fragile marshlands and over 65 miles of shoreline have been tarred.

    Interior Ken Salazar and Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, accompanied by a U.S. Senate delegation was due to visit the state on Monday and fly over the affected areas.

    They will also discuss recent response efforts with federal officials and representatives of BP, and meet with Governor Bobby Jindal Louisiana and the local community and business leaders, the departments of Interior and Homeland Security in a statement.

    Senate delegation will include **** Durbin, the chamber's No. 2 Democrat and Louisiana Senators Mary Landrieu and David Vitter.

    Salazar said Sunday Washington was frustrated and angry that BP has passed deadline after deadline "in its efforts to seal the well more than a month after an oil rig explosion triggered the disaster.

    "If we find that they do not know what to do, we'll push them out of the way right," he said after his visit to BP's U.S. headquarters in Houston.

    Emissions have raised questions about Obama's earlier proposal to expand offshore drilling as part of a strategy to win Republican support for climate change legislation. Analysts said that ecological and economic damage from the spill could be a political commitment before the November congressional elections.

    Jindal Sunday slammed both the federal government and BP for failing to act quickly enough.

    "Clearly the resources needed to protect our coasts are not yet here: boom, skimmers, vacuum cleaners, jack-up barges are all in short supply, he said at a press conference in Venice.

    "Oil is sitting and waiting for cleanup and every day that it is waiting for cleanup more marsh die," said Jindal, whose words were echoed by a number of local officials.

    Obama Saturday blamed the mess on "a breakdown of responsibility" for BP.

    BP has been sucking a little oil floats out with a long suction tube that is inserted into the larger of the two leaks, but to capture decreasing amounts.

    A BP spokesman Sunday receiver caught only 1,360 barrels of oil per day over 24 hours to noon Saturday. The flow has dropped from 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795, 000 liters) per day that the company had said that the pipe was siphoning a few days ago.

    Many experts believe that the volume of oil spills, far in excess of 5,000 barrels per day originally estimated by BP and some have put the number as high as 70,000 barrels a day.

    BP engineers are now preparing a "top kill" pump heavy fluids into the well to try to extinguish it, an operation to begin late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

    The local economic impact can be great with a great scourge of the Gulf waters closed to fishing and growing concerns about the falling-out of tourism, a regional mainstay.



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