By TENNILLE TRACY
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Justice Department is consolidating its criminal investigations into BP PLC’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, folding the work of three different offices and divisions within the department under one task force.
Justice said Monday it had formed the Deepwater Horizon Task Force to oversee all facets of the criminal investigation, which is being undertaken by the department’s criminal division, its environment and natural resources division, and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole established the task force “after assessing the overlap of the cases and in an effort to avoid duplication of effort,” a spokesman for the department said.
The task force will be led by Criminal Division Senior Counsel John Buretta.
It will be investigating the April 2010 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico and the subsequent oil spill that became the worse offshore oil spill in U.S. history.