10 years after BP spill: Oil drilled deeper; rules relaxed

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FILE – This April 21, 2010 file photo shows oil in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, as the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns. Ten years after an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico, companies are drilling into deeper and deeper waters where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater than ever. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Ten years ago, an oil rig explosion killed 11 workers and unleashed an environmental nightmare in the Gulf of Mexico.

Now, companies are drilling in even deeper waters where the payoffs can be huge but the risks are greater.

Industry leaders and government officials vow to prevent a repeat of BP’s Deepwater Horizon disaster that spilled 134 million gallons of oil, killed fish, birds and other wildlife and fouled the region’s beaches.

But some scientists and environmentalists say safety practices appear to be eroding and there are worries that spill cleanup tactics have changed little since 2010.

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