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21 Jul 2010

Sheila McNulty, Financial Times

Oil groups form $1bn spill response unit [USA]

Four of the world’s biggest oil companies announced on Wednesday that they were pooling $1bn to form a joint venture to develop a deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil spill response and containment system. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips will each initially invest 25 per cent in a new standalone company. BP has not been included...The role of the venture will be to develop and have available in the waters of the Gulf equipment to prevent another spill on the scale suffered by BP’s Macondo well. The joint venture will permit others operating in the deepwater fields to join, allowing them to access the equipment in case they have an accident. The venture is seen as an attempt by the oil groups to secure permission to return to deepwater drilling in the Gulf...The White House...underscored that the ongoing investigation of the causes of the Deepwater Horizon disaster would ultimately dictate the kinds of safety regulatory reforms that will be needed to make deepwater drilling safe [also refers to PFC Energy]