US Coast Guard Approves Another Inspection of Sunken Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

The U.S. Coast Guard approved BP PLC and Transocean Ltd.'s plan to conduct another underwater inspection of the wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig to discover the source of an oil slick floating in the Gulf of Mexico, the agency said Thursday.

BP on Nov. 2 reported the slick in the vicinity of the sunken rig and wellhead, the site of the August 2010 explosion that killed 11 people and resulted in the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The sheen was the second to be sighted in the waters above the well despite its being capped after the explosion.

The underwater inspection will take start on Dec. 3 under Coast Guard supervision, the agency said.

BP earlier this month agreed to plead guilty to 11 counts of misconduct or neglect of ship officers and other charges stemming from the Deepwater Horizon explosion. It also agreed to pay $4.5 billion in fines. The Obama administration, citing a "lack of business integrity" that resulted in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has temporarily blocked BP from obtaining new contracts with the U.S. government.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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