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BP warned of rig fault ten years ago

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BPIn June 2000, the oil giant issued a "notice of default" to Transocean, the operator of the rig that blew up last month. The dispute was over problems with a blowout preventer, a set of iron slabs that should close out-of-control wells. It failed on the Gulf of Mexico rig, triggering the explosion and oil spill.

BP's past problems with the preventer emerged as a giant oil slick, fed by the uncapped well, began lapping the coast of Louisiana, threatening to create America's worst environmental disaster since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.

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