BP crisis pushes Big Oil further into deep water

Firefighters tackle a blaze on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig

After an explosion on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig owned by BP crumbled and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, precipitating what US president Barack Obama has called “the worst environmental catastrophe America has ever faced”. At the time of writing, the leak in the well had still not been plugged.

Initial BP estimates suggested 1,000 barrels of oil a day were being lost, but that figure has been revised dramatically upwards. On June 15, the US government said between 35,000 and 65,000 ba