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Oil spill response system launched [USA]

Oil companies on Thursday launched a spill containment system in the Gulf of Mexico in a bid to restart the issuance of permits stalled after BP’s fatal Macondo well disaster. ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips unveiled the interim containment system, which they said was open to all operators in the gulf. A second response system, by Helix Energy Solutions Group, is to be ready at the end of March. The move comes in the wake of the first bankruptcy to emerge from the slowdown in drilling imposed by regulators in the Gulf of Mexico...Randy Stilley, Seahawk’s chief executive...[said]: “The decision by regulators to arbitrarily construct unnecessary barriers to obtaining permits...has had an adverse impact...on the sector as a whole.’’...[The] Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement said it was investigating an incident on Apache Corporation’s natural gas production platform off Lake Charles, Louisiana, on February 16 in which a worker died...

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US Deepwater Horizon explosion & oil spill lawsuits

USA: Oil companies launch deep-water spill containment system in hopes of obtaining new drilling permits