BP clean-up efforts hit methane hitch

EFFORTS to contain one of the worst oil spills in recent memory met with a hitch over the weekend after a methane build up threatened BP’s clean-up mission.

Attempts were delayed after a build up of methane ice crystals formed on the dome of a container box BP was hoping to use to stop the continual flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

As a response, the group moved the dome 200 meters away from the leak, which is currently spewing over 210,000 gallons of oil into the water each day.

A spokesperson from BP said they were currently evaluating options to get rid of the ice crystals, including applying heat on the pipe and box.

Using debris to plug up the leak is also an option under consideration.

It is understood that a methane bubble could have been the cause of the initial 20 April explosion of the Deepwater Horizon plant just off the coast of Louisiana.

BP would not confirm the cause and said the incident was still under investigation.

The news comes as BP America chairman and president Lamar McKay is set to face a grilling by the US Congress starting tomorrow.

McKay will testify in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the spill. He will be joined by Steven Newman, the head of rig owner Transocean.

Officials have become impatient with clean-up efforts as the spill begins to make landfall.

Lumps of tar the size of golf balls landed on beaches in Alabama over the weekend, signalling environmental concerns.