From: Tom Bergin and Leigh Coleman, Reuters
Published June 28, 2010 06:26 AM

Oil spill hits Mississippi shore

Thick oil from BP Plc's Gulf of Mexico spill washed ashore in Mississippi for the first time as tropical storm Alex moved into the Gulf, posing a threat to the cleanup operation.

Alex, the first named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, had sustained winds of 45 mph and was about 60 miles west-southwest of Campeche, Mexico. The system was moving west-northwest at 7 mph. Forecasters from the U.S. National Hurricane Center say Alex could become a hurricane in the next 48 hours.

They predict Alex will make landfall as a hurricane on Wednesday between Brownsville, Texas, and Tuxpan de Rodriguez Cano in Mexico, sparing BP's oil collection efforts at its ruptured deep-sea well.

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After another rocky week last week, investors will have their eyes on shares of BP, which have been savaged since the oil spill started on April 20. The shares, which fell to a 14-year low on Friday, were up 3.9 percent at 4:34 a.m. ET on Monday.

The oil spill, which began on April 20, has caused an economic and environmental disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast, threatening fisheries, tourism and wildlife.

BP said on Monday it had hit a spend rate of $100 million a day on its efforts to cap the well, clean up the spill and compensate those affected, bringing the total bill so far to $2.65 billion. BP has set up a $20 billion compensation fund under U.S. pressure.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who heads the world's biggest energy producer, made a proposal for a global pollution fund, into which oil companies would be forced to pay, at the Group of 20 summit in Toronto on Sunday.

Photo shows the Q4000 multi-purpose oil field intervention vessel (L) and the drillship the Discoverer Explorer (C) burning off material from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead near the disaster site June 24, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace/Handout

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65O5TA20100628

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