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Brussels, Friday 11 June 2010

The EU offers oil containment equipment to contain oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after a new US request

Yesterday evening US authorities requested additional equipment from the EU to help contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The request is for various types of booms to restrict the oil's spreading. Within hours, the Commission's Monitoring and Information Center forwarded this request to the countries participating in the European Civil Protection Mechanism and several Member States have responded positively to this demand by offering booms

Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva commented: "The swift reaction from European countries to the calls for equipment shows that Europe is determined to fight this ecological disaster alongside the US authorities. Our crisis response mechanism is working flat out to deliver the required assistance."

The Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre, which runs the European Civil Protection Mechanism, received a request from the US for booms to contain surface oil in the evening of June 10th. Sweden, Germany, Norway, the UK and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have all offered booms.

In a previous request the US asked for a specific type of sweeping arms to be attached to ships that are gathering the oil. The Netherlands provided three pairs of sweeping arms which are already deployed in the US. EMSA and Spain have offered additional sweeping arms. An estimated 2,400-4,800 tonnes of oil continue to spill into the Gulf of Mexico each day following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling well on 20 April.

See also MEMO/10/189

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