Tropical Storm Alex, which is reported to have killed at least 10 people in Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, is forecast to reach hurricane strength on Tuesday.
It is projected to travel well west and south of the spill, which lies about 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, but BP's plans to move a third containment vessel to the site of the leak could be pushed back by about a week by high waves, a company spokesman said on Monday.
US government officials estimate that 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil are gushing from the blown-out well each day, Telegraph.co.uk reports.
According to Reuters, oil fell as much as 1.7 percent to below $77 on Tuesday as forecasts indicated tropical storm Alex would skirt the main production region in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, limiting disruption there to a few precautionary shutdowns.
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