By Guy Dinmore and Eleonora de Sabata in Rome, Published: July 23 2010
BP will start deep-water drilling off the coast of Libya within weeks in spite of concerns about the UK group’s environmental and safety record after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.
The move comes as BP faces increased scrutiny over its acquisition of rights to a big oil and gas field off the African coast three years ago, a subject that overshadowed the visit of David Cameron, UK prime minister, to Washington this week.
At 1,700 metres below sea-level in Libya’s Gulf of Sirte, the well will be 200 metres deeper than the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico which triggered the worst US offshore oil spill disaster when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 people.
“Drilling will start within a few weeks,” BP confirmed. Read more…
By Guy Dinmore in Trieste, Italy
Iran’s nuclear programme and its post-election crisis dominated talks this weekend among Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting in Italy, with a sense that time was running out for the international community to respond, diplomats said.
The ministerial discussions, preparing a wide range of global issues for next month’s G8 summit, also revealed how little they understood of what was happening inside Iran and within the regime, participants told the Financial Times. Read more…
David Miliband, UK foreign secretary, has warned Iran that “time is running out” for it to halt its uranium enrichment programme or face “increasingly tough sanctions” from the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations.
But Mr Miliband adds, in an article to be published on Monday in Rome, that the sanctions are not aimed at regime change and that the G8 is committed to a diplomatic solution of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme. Read more…
by Stephen Fidler, Guy Dinmore
After the bitter diplomatic battle in the UN over whether to go to war in Iraq, another could be shaping up. This time, however, it could split the closest allies in the military coalition to unseat Saddam Hussein: Britain and the US. The issue: what to do afterwards.