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BP relations with the US reach crisis point as President Obama meets BP bosses

US President Barak Obama is beginning a two day visit of the Gulf Coast today, to review the damaged caused by the oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. During the visit he hopes to talk to local residents and view the damage caused himself. The President is then due to have a meeting with high level BP bosses on Wednesday to discuss the matter further.

Estimates vary as to how much oil has leaked from the stricken rig since the explosion on the 20th of April. The well has now been capped but it estimated that as much as 40,000 barrels of oil a day leaked for the six week period it took BP to contain the leak. However, the problem has not been contained fully and even though the cap has been fitted, oil is still leaking. BP now claims to be retrieving 15,000 barrels of oil per day, which means 25,000 barrels is still leaking into the Gulf. Spill containment booms, surface water skimming, dispersants and localised controlled burns have so far been used in attempts to lessen the environmental impact of the spill.

President Obama has suggested that BP compensate all those persons who have legitimate claims caused by the spill and wants money to be ring fenced for those people. Meanwhile, BP directors are in discussions as to whether to suspend dividends to shareholders, a move that may further enrage those affected by the spill.

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