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UK to double oil rig inspections following BP leak

LONDON (AP) - British officials reacting to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill say they plan to double the number of inspections carried out at oil rigs in the North Sea.

Britain's Department of Energy says the average number of annual environmental checks aboard the country's roughly 24 drilling rigs would rise from eight to 16. The department says it's hiring three extra inspectors to help pursue the more aggressive program. The department did not provide details of the inspections, but said they involved visits to each rig.

Britain's energy secretary says that while the nation's offshore energy industry rules are robust, the catastrophic Gulf incident is worth some extra thought.

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