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UAE oil spill team on standby to assist in Gulf of Mexico cleanup

By Jennifer Z. Deaton, CNN

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- A team of oil spill experts were on standby in the United Arab Emirates, ready to help in the Gulf of Mexico cleanup efforts if called to do so, officials in the Middle Eastern country told CNN Sunday.

"The offer is still on the table to the U.S. government through their embassy here. It is about 30 people we are offering to send; 30 staff. The team is made up of some six Emiratis and the rest are technicians from Egypt, Sudan, Algeria and the Philippines; all of whom are based here for work of course," said Craig Buckingham of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

The United Arab Emirates originally made the offer two weeks ago.

"Basically, it's an offer made on behalf of the government in recognition of this environmental issue. It is an offer of support," Buckingham said. "We have people and supplies if they wish it. It's on the table. We're ready to go. We're just waiting for their call."

Up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) of oil continue to gush into the Gulf of Mexico every day from an underwater well that engineers have been unable to cap for more than a month.