Fiery World

NEW ORLEANS, May 16, 2010 (AFP) – US officials have told BP to clarify what costs it will pay for cleanup of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with crews employing new tactics Saturday to stem the leak as globs of oil wash ashore in new sites. The latest effort by British Petroleum to contain the hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil spilling into the Gulf each day involves connecting an “insertion tube” to the leak site so oil can be siphoned to a container vessel at the surface.

The process was supposed to be completed overnight, but aligning the pieces under water proved more complex than expected, and a frame connected to the pipe had to be brought back up to the surface and adjusted, BP said.

The British company is under massive pressure from the US administration, including President Barack Obama, who Friday blasted companies involved in the disaster for seeking to shift blame and shirk responsibility.

He accused executives from three firms tied to the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank last month, precipitating the disastrous spill, of creating a “ridiculous spectacle” of finger-pointing and passing the buck.

Two of Obama’s top cabinet members also sought to hold BP to public promises it has made to pay all the costs o