Industry and government officials continue their desperate efforts to contain an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico that began on April 20 with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, claiming 11 lives. Representatives from the three major companies involved in the accident — Transocean Ltd., BP America, and Global Business Lines — testified earlier this week before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Transocean built the rig, BP was its leaseholder and operator, and Global Business Lines supplied the cement used to encase and seal the oil well. Each company blamed the others for failure to follow appropriate procedures and safety precautions.
Three weeks after the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, the response team is still working to contain three leaks spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was owned by the offshore drilling contractor Transocean, Ltd., and the oil company BP leased and operated it. Both companies are working with nearly a dozen federal agencies as part of the Deepwater Horizon Response Unified Command. So far containment efforts have been fruitless because of the depth and extent of the leaks.
The Vatican will help fund a research study into the potential use of adult stem cells to treat intestinal and possibly other diseases, officials announced April 23. The research study, now in a preliminary stage, is being carried out by a group of American and Italian scientists led by the University of Maryland's School of Medicine.