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US to accept offers of foreign help to contain BP oil spill

The United States says it will accept offers from 12 foreign countries to help with clean-up and containment efforts related to the collapsed BP drilling rig spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, officials said on Tuesday.


AFP - The United States will accept offers from 12 foreign countries to help clean up and contain the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said on Tuesday.

"The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies, including two high speed skimmers and fire containment boom from Japan," a US State Department statement said.

"We are currently working out the particular modalities of delivering the offered assistance," it said, adding that details would be "forthcoming once these arrangements are complete."

Offers of boom to contain oil and collect it off the surface of the water have been accepted from Canada, Mexico, Norway and Japan, said a spokeswoman from the Unified Area Command, an entity headed by the US Coast Guard that is coordinating with BP on the oil spill response.

Skimmers have been accepted from Mexico, Norway, France and Japan and a sweeping arm system has been accepted from the Netherlands, spokeswoman Gina Ruoti told AFP.

Non-material offers of assistance are coming from the European Union and International Maritime Organization, she added, but was unable to say how much the assistance would be.

A total of 27 countries have offered assistance to the US government following the explosion in April of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which left 11 workers dead and sparked the most severe oil spill disaster in US history.

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.6 million barrels of oil -- or 67 million to 153 million gallons -- have already poured into the Gulf from the ruptured wellhead some 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface.


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