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BP Oil Containment System Resumes Operation

Workers continue cleanup of oil in Barataria Bay near Grand Isle, Louisiana, 19 Jun 2010

Oil Company BP says its oil containment system is back in operation at the leaking Gulf of Mexico well after a 10-hour shut down.

BP spokesman says the system was shut down late Friday due to a blocked flame arrestor on the containment vessel Enterprise. He says lightning storms moving through the area prevented the system from restarting sooner.

Curry says not all the leaking oil was escaping into the ocean during the shutdown. Another vessel, the Q-4000, which burns off oil and gas collected from the well remained in operation.

Prior to the shut down, U.S. government officials reported BP was able to recover nearly half the oil leaking from its damaged Gulf of Mexico well.

Officials reported nearly 30,000 barrels of oil were recovered during the 24-hour period ending Friday, nearly 5,000 barrels more than was recovered Thursday.

Government estimates indicate 35,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil are leaking from the well every day.

Much of the recovered oil is being processed on ships, while some is being burned off.

Meanwhile on Friday, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, a part owner of the stricken well gushing oil into the Gulf, accused BP of "reckless decisions" and actions that led to the well's explosion in April.

The company said BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct. BP says it strongly disagrees with Anadarko's allegations.

In a statement BP says the disagreement between the two companies will not effect its commitment clean up the spill and settle legitimate claims against it.

BP's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said Friday that Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward will be handing over the company's oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico to Managing Director Robert Dudley, an American citizen.

Dudley is a member of the BP board and recently had been appointed to run the British energy giant's newly-created disaster management unit.

In the Republican weekly address Saturday, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker criticized President Barack Obama's response to the oil spill.

Wicker says Mr. Obama took responsibility for the disaster too slowly, and that many of his actions have taken the U.S. in the wrong direction.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.