Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Third Containment Vessel wont be operational until possibly 1st week of July $BP

HOUSTON (Dow Jones)--The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday the arrival of a third vessel, expected to increase this week the amount of oil being contained from a growing spill in the Gulf of Mexico, will be delayed until the first week of July due to bad weather caused by Hurricane Alex. Speaking to reporters in a conference call, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the point man for the response to the oil spill, said he will meet Wednesday afternoon with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to discuss the impact of Alex on the containment operations. BP PLC (BP), the operator of a rig that exploded and sank in late April, unleashing the worst offshore spill in U.S. history, expected the Helix Producer, a third containment vessel, to arrive on the scene Tuesday. The ship can withstand harsher weather conditions than the two already on site. BP has said Helix may not arrive in time if Alex became a hurricane. BP has said the third containment system would allow the company to collect up to 53,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of June. Allen said containment operations on site recovered over 25,000 barrels of oil Tuesday. The Coast Guard also said that tar balls have been found on Texas beaches but that their origin is still being investigated. Allen said that BP will recognize oil from the spill brought onshore to houses and properties as legitimate claims. Alex is expected to make landfall late in the day or early Thursday. -By Isabel Ordonez, Dow Jones Newswires; 713.547.9207; Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day. (END) Dow Jones Newswires 06-30-10 1311ET Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 13:11 063010

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