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    Oil spill mission continues under hurricane threat


    by ODN

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    BP kept oil-capture and relief-well drilling operations going at its Gulf of Mexico deep-sea leak on Wednesday despite rough seas and high winds spawned by Hurricane Alex.

    US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, overseeing the spill response for the government, told reporters that waves at the leak site reached seven feet (2.1 metres) and winds gusted to 25 miles per hour (40 km per hour).

    The weather conditions forced the halting of skimming, spraying dispersant chemicals and controlled burns of oil on the ocean surface, the Coast Guard said. The sturdier vessels collecting and burning oil at the spill site were operating normally, Allen said.

    Alex, with winds of 85 mph (135 kph), was headed for the northeastern Mexico and South Texas coasts late on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. That is far from the oil spill site off the coast of Louisiana.

    A Coast Guard spokesperson said that senior government officials would meet with President Barack Obama later to review situation and oil containment plans going forward.