The US administration has banned oil drilling in areas of the US coast while the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana is investigated, it has been announced.

White House adviser David Axelrod told ABC TV it wanted to know exactly what led to last week’s explosion on the BP-operated Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Last week the US Interior Department ordered all offshore rigs be reviewed immediately for safety in the wake of the disastrous oil spill after the explosion of the rig.

The Louisiana state government has declared the oil spill a state of emergency as the oil travels towards the coast faster than anticipated, affecting the ecologically sensitive coastal areas.

Meanwhile, President Obama said the government will work together with BP, to control the oil spill.

The US Navy has sent equipment to the Gulf, including 66,000ft of inflatable booms for containing the oil and seven systems for skimming the crude off the water.

The leak is believed to be costing BP and its partners $6m a day to control.