BP suspends construction of rig off Alaska coast

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BP PLC is suspending construction of an oil rig off Alaska's coast to review its engineering and design plans and ensure the Liberty project can be done safely.

BP Alaska spokesman Steve Rinehart says "a few issues" were encountered over the last year in working to assemble the rig. He wouldn't define those but said BP wants to ensure the rig meets company standards.

The project calls for using a manmade gravel island in the Beaufort Sea as a drilling base, with a rig drilling horizontally for six to eight miles to tap what BP estimates is a 100-million-barrel reserve of recoverable oil. Critics have questioned the approach following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Rinehart says BP remains committed to the project. No timeline was given for construction to resume.