Volunteers, U.S. military team up for BP oil spill fight.

Oil workers, volunteers and the military prepared to toil for…

Oil workers, volunteers and the military prepared to toil for another day in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday in an attempt to plug a gushing oil leak and protect the U.S. coast from an environmental nightmare.

Meanwhile, questions arose about regulators’ practice of granting exemptions from environmental impact studies for some oil exploration projects deemed to involve little risk, as was the case with the approval for BP’s ill-fated well.

Politicians kept pressure on the energy giant to limit the ecological and economic damage from its ruptured well.

And driller Transocean Ltd said the U.S. Justice Department asked it to preserve records related to the drilling of the well and the deadly blast on its rig two weeks ago.

Wednesday, BP began transporting a massive metal device designed to channel the flow of leaking oil from the seabed to a drilling ship on the surface.

The device will take about 12 hours to reach the leak site off the Louisiana coast. After installation, it could begin capturing the oil Monday, BP’s chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said at a briefing.

The 98-ton structure is seen as the best short-term chance to stem the leak, but Suttles warned there was no guarantee it would work in water nearly 1 mile deep.

Source: Matthew Bigg for Yahoo! News Reuters.

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