Hurricane Alex is slowing clean-up and oil containment efforts at the site of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, according to local reports.
Rough seas and winds spawned by the hurricane, which made landfall over north-eastern Mexico late on Wednesday and moved inland, has delayed BP‘s plans to expand the amount of oil it siphons from the ruptured deepsea well.
The bad weather also threatened to push more oil-polluted water onto the shoreline of the US Gulf Coast, bringing to a halt the skimming, spraying of dispersant chemicals and controlled burns of oil on the ocean surface, reports Reuters.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said one of the two relief wells being drilled by BP in a bid to stop the leak will take several weeks to reach the ruptured oil pipe.
The relief wells are intended to intersect and then plug the leak.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Alex is expected to lose its strength over Mexico in the next couple of days.