An angry US government has threatened to remove the energy giant BP from efforts to seal the blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Frustration is growing in Washington that British Petroleum has missed several deadlines to cap the well more than a month after an oil rig explosion triggered the disaster.
The US administration has warned it may push BP side if progress is not made.
US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was less than complimentary about the petrol company:
“I have no question that BP is throwing everything it can at the problem to resolve it because this is an existential crisis for one of the world’s largest companies, so they are throwing everything they can at the problem. Do I have confidence that they know what they are doing? No.”
Environmentalists say oil has washed up on over 100 kilometres of Gulf coastline – less than half can be cleaned up easily. With thousands of barrels of crude continuing to gush from the well, the ecological toll on the region is growing.
BP has promised to pay clean-up costs beyond the current liability limit.