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Blame game between BP and Transocean over oil spill

Companies set to blamne eachother for disaster at a US Senate hearing today.

Oil giant BP and drilling company Transocean are expected to blame each other for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, at a US senate hearing on Tuesday.

Lamar McKay, president of BP America, and Steven Newman, president of Transocean, will be questioned by two Senate committees about their responsibility in discounting the risk of the disaster, which could have profound ecological and economic consequences.

In prepared testimonies, McKay has argued that the spill resulted from the failure of Transocean's safety equipment, while Newman placed the blame squarely on BP, the operator who had leased its rig which exploded on April 20.

Tim Probert, a senior executive at Halliburton Co, has also been dragged into the hearing by Transocean, which said BP's contractor was responsible for ensuring the integrity of the cement casing of the oil well.

BP's stock has fallen 15 per cent since the explosion, shaving off about $30bn (£26bn) from the company's market value.