Obama criticises oil officials over giant slick

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The US President has blasted officials over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, denouncing the "ridiculous spectacle" of finger pointing.

Barack Obama comments comes days after executives from BP, which was drilling the well, Transocean, which owned the rig, and Halliburton, which was doing cement work to cap the well, testified on Capitol Hill, each trying to blame the other for what may have caused the disaster.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said he shared the "anger and frustration" felt by many Americans.

With millions of gallons of oil fouling the fragile Gulf ecosystem after a drilling rig exploded on 20 April and later sank, the president said he would not be satisfied until the leak was stopped, the spill was cleaned up and all claims were paid.

The Gulf spill is not only a potential environmental and economic catastrophe - it also is a major political challenge for Obama to demonstrate that his administration is doing everything it can to deal with the disaster.

As the president spoke, undersea robots tried to thread a small tube into the jagged pipe that has pumped out more than four million gallons of crude so far, in an attempt to siphon oil to a tanker on the surface.

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