Rear Admiral James Watson, a top US Coast Guard official, has given BP just 48 hours to improve their containment of leaking oil.New US government data shows that the flow of leaking oil could be double that of original estimates.
He does not believe that BP has done all that it can to resolve the situation, and is concerned that the two relief wells will not be ready until August.
A BP spokesman has said that it had met with it's emergency planners, and had come up with a strategy. He confirmed that they would be reducing their health and safety levels, and eliminate time consuming safety and protection measures. He has said this would reduce the drilling time down by four weeks.
US officials have been alarmed by this new strategy, and have called for an immediate assessment of BP's proposals. BP Press Spokesman has tried to allay these fears by releasing the following statement:-
"BP would move to reassure US citizens and officials on the revised drilling strategy for the two relief wells. This is not a new strategy, and has been used many times by BP on other drilling rigs. When situations have dictated it (such as financial or commercial deadlines) we have reduced our safety levels to either a bare minimum or zero). Considering we have some 2300 rigs out there and we have had only one major accident, we believe this is the proven way forward"
Needless to say this has raised some eyebrows around the world. Our reporters tried to interview the Press Officer concerned, Doug Ahole, but the BP personnel department confirmed that he was no longer with the company.