23 Jul 2010

Weather hampering oil spill clean-up

4:38 pm on 23 July 2010

Bad weather heading for the Gulf of Mexico is hampering oil company BP's efforts to clean up the oil spill from its ruptured well.

Ships involved in skimming off the surface oil have been ordered back to port and it is feared the vessels drilling the crucial relief well may have to follow.

BP workers have stopped drilling a relief well and are preparing to leave the site as Tropical Storm Bonnie gathers pace, the BBC reports.

The storm has wind speeds of 65km/h, the US National Hurricane Centre says.

The well would remain capped if ships left the Gulf.

Safety problems ignored - NY Times

It has been reported that workers warned safety problems were being ignored on the Deepwater Horizon rig, which exploded and sank in April, killing 11 workers and causing the oil spill.

The New York Times has obtained reports from the owners of the rig, Transocean, which surveyed employees' concerns about the rig.

Key equipment had not been inspected in a decade, it says, and some workers entered false data in a safety survey.