Monday, June 21, 2010

Geisum Oil Spill Continues in Red Sea

From the Associated Press:

CAIRO — Environmental activists said Monday that an oil spill off the coast of Egypt's Red Sea is continuing even after the government said it had been contained, leaving turtles and sea birds covered in oil.

Government spokesman Magdy Rady told the state news agency Monday that the spill, which began last week, was "limited" and has now largely been contained. It was one of the first government acknowledgments that the spill was even taking place.

An environmental group based in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada told the Associated Press that the government was trying to cover up the extent of the damage and the leak had restarted.

Although Egypt's Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy has publicly claimed that the source of the oil is unknown, independent laboratory tests have already confirmed that the oil washed up on the beaches is from the same source as the oil leaking from Geisum's oil rig.

This latest environmental mess has been complicated not only by the Egyptian government's attempts to cover up the incident, but also by the increased military presence heating up in the Red Sea. Israeli and U.S. warships have been deployed to the Red Sea in what has widely been described as a stage-setting for a possible attack on Iran.