BP Suspends Recovery of Gulf Oil After Ship Fire

Source : http://www.bloomberg.com

June 16, 2010 - BP Plc said it temporarily stopped collecting oil from its leaking well off Louisiana after a fire aboard the collecting vessel, allowing petroleum to again spill unhindered into the Gulf of Mexico.

There was no damage as a result of the fire, which was put out “within a few minutes,” said Robert Wine, a BP spokesman. Oil recovery was shut down as a precaution at about 10:30 a.m. New York time and is expected to resume today after equipment inspection and safety checks, Wine said.

The fire atop the derrick of the drillship Discoverer Enterprise may have been caused by lightning, London-based BP said today in an e-mailed statement. The company said there were no injuries. The National Weather Service had forecast isolated thunderstorms in the area.

“It’s just going to be an interruption,” said Bruce Lanni, a portfolio strategist at Nollenberger Capital Partners Inc. in San Francisco, which manages $1.2 billion. Lanni said he and the company own BP shares. “They are going to obviously adhere to all of the inspections to make sure that they don’t get caught up in an issue on this one, too.”

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