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AT A GLANCE: BP Vows To Pay All 'Appropriate' Oil Spill Costs

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THE EVENT: BP PLC (BP) vowed to pay "all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs" from the U.S. oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that is threatening swathes of Louisiana's coast. Oil from beneath a BP-leased rig that exploded and overturned in the Gulf of Mexico has formed a huge slick now coming ashore on the U.S. Gulf coast.

The oil could be leaking at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day, five times the government's current estimate, industry experts say. Basing their calculations on government data and standard industry measurement tools, the experts say the Gulf spill may already rival the historic 1969 Santa Barbara, Calif., and 1989 Exxon Valdez disasters.

 

A TOUGH BATTLE: Using remote-controlled submarines to shut off the leaking oil well is like doing "open heart surgery at 5,000 feet in the dark," the head of BP's U.S. operations said. Six robotic submarines struggled to activate a 450-ton blowout preventer valve that failed to work properly when the well exploded. Respondents to the spill endeavored to continue containment and pre-clean up operations, but bad weather kept hampering efforts.

 

OBAMA VOWS ALL-OUT EFFORT: President Barack Obama said the oil spill has the potential to be an unprecedented environmental disaster and the federal government would spare no expense to stem the leak and repair the damage. "The federal government has launched and coordinated an all-hands-on-deck relentless response from day one," he said.

 

CLEANING STATION: The U.S. Coast Guard is considering a plan to set up a cleaning station for cargo ships and tankers that are moving up the Mississippi River and could become coated with oil gushing from the offshore well.

 

DOME RESPONSE: The response team striving to contain the gushing oil well said it plans to deploy a dome to cover the well and siphon off the crude within the next six to eight days, depending on the weather.

 

FISHING STOPPED: U.S. government officials have closed commercial and recreational fishing in the areas affected by the oil slick, as officials weigh the concerns about potential health risks of contaminated seafood against the economic toll that such a closure will take. Shippers, shrimpers and tourism officials braced as the oil slick continued to spread, but many said it was too early to tell how severe the economic impact would be.

 

HALLIBURTON QUESTIONED: A U.S. congressional committee Friday requested that Halliburton Co. (HAL) provide information related to its work aboard a rig that caught fire and sank, leading to the oil spill. A report in Friday's edition of The Wall Street Journal identified Halliburton's cementing process used to seal the well as a possible cause of the spill.

 

MARKET ACTION: Wall Street may be applying overly severe punishment to BP, Transocean Ltd. (RIG), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and other companies involved in the oil spill, Barron's reports. The market values of the affected companies have declined by a total of more than $40 billion since the spill on April 20. That seems very high relative to the potential cost of the cleanup, economic damages and fines.

In premarket trading, BP's American Depositary Receipts are down 3.1% at $50.52, Transocean shares are down 0.3% at $72.10, Halliburton shares are down 1.4% at $30.21 and Anadarko shares are up 1% at $62.80.

 

IRAN OFFERS TO PITCH IN: An Iranian state firm offered to avert an "ecological disaster" by helping to curb the massive oil spill. "The oil drilling specialists of our country can act to contain the Gulf of Mexico oil rig and prevent the ecological disaster in that region of the world," said Haidar Bahmani, managing director of National Iranian Drilling Company.

 

Dow Jones coverage includes:

US Interior Secretary: Gulf Oil Spill May Be Worse Than Valdez 
BP: Weather Remains A Challenge To Oil Spill Response 
Obama: Will Spare No Effort, Resource To Respond To Oil Spill 
US Oil Spill Plug Like 'Open-Heart Surgery' In The Dark - BP 
Fishing Banned In Gulf Coast Areas Affected By Oil Spill 
US Oil Spill Response Team: Plan To Deploy Dome In 6-8 Days 
Cargo Ships In Mississippi May Need Oil Cleaned From Hulls 
BP Will Pay 'Necessary And Appropriate' Oil Costs 
US Gulf Oil Spill May Be 5 Times Estimated Size - Experts 
Iran State Oil Drilling Firm Offers To Help Curb Oil Spill 
 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 03, 2010 09:21 ET (13:21 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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