New Orleans, La. – Lawyers for rig owner Transocean of Houston are telling federal investigators that the critical blowout preventer may be corroding. The 50-foot-tall device was lifted off the well a mile underwater in September and taken to a NASA facility outside New Orleans. Investigators are supposed to examine the 300-ton device to determine why it didn't slam shut and stop oil from spewing into the Gulf. Transocean says that as of last week, forensic testing still hadn't started. The Department of Justice has control over the blowout preventer as evidence in a wide-ranging federal investigation into what caused the country's largest oil spill.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.