BP says partly reducing oil leak

By Steve Gorman

GALLIANO, Louisiana (BestGrowthStock) – Energy giant BP said on Monday it was capturing about a fifth of the oil leaking from its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well, but the London-based company faced fresh questions about its industry safety record.

BP shares initially climbed on news that a “quick fix” — a mile-long siphon tube deployed by undersea robots down to the leaking well– had made some progress in partly reducing the flow of oil and gas.

More efforts to stem the spill were under way, and there is another smaller leak besides the one now being targeted.

The company’s stock initially rose more than 2 percent in London, but later fell back, shedding those gains

BP executives still faced tough questions from the U.S. government and public over the huge spill threatening economic and environmental calamity to the U.S. Gulf Coast. They can expect more intense grilling by lawmakers and investigators after tough questioning last week about safety practices.

A study released on Monday by the Center for Public Integrity showed two BP-owned U.S. refineries accounted for 97 percent of all flagrant safety violations found in the refining industry by government inspectors over the past three years.

“The only thing you can conclude is that BP has a serious, systemic safety problem in their company,” said Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, quoted in a statement from the nonprofit group.

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said engineers were working intensely to try to control the gushing well, which some scientists say also has created huge underwater “plumes of oil,” besides a massive, shifting surface slick.

“We’re throwing absolutely everything at this,” Suttles told CNN.

The spill threatens to eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident off Alaska as the worst U.S. ecological disaster.

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BP says partly reducing oil leak