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Still No Succes Stopping Oil Spill

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BP has still not been able to stop oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, two weeks after the deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Crews in Louisiana have finished building the first of three massive steel and concrete containment domes the company plans to lower in place over one of the three leaks on the ocean floor. BP expects to load the dome aboard a ship tomorrow for transport to the site. BP also has started drilling a relief well that could cap the oil spill, but that effort will take up to three months to complete, Reuters said.

TampaBay.com is reporting that BP was unable to install a shutoff valve at the site of one of the leaks due to rough seas. Heavy winds also damaged miles of floating booms laid out in coastal waters to protect the shoreline from the spreading oil slick.

The ever-growing oil slick now measures approximately 130 miles by 70 miles – about the size of the state of Delaware. Four states – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida – are under threat from the spill.

There are fears that the slick could be caught up in the Gulf Loop Current. That could carry the oil as far south as the Florida Keys and back up the east coast into the Atlantic.

For now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects the oil slick to spread further east and west. It is not known if it will progress closer to the coast though. One positive note, however, is that stormy weather, which has slowed cleanup and containment, is expected to clear, and better conditions are expected over the next few days.

BP acknowledged yesterday that it was “absolutely responsible” for stopping the leak, cleaning up the oil on the water’s surface and any resulting environmental damage. Some experts have put BP’s potential liability at more than $14 billion.

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