The Gulf of Mexico was once seen by the U.S. as a new energy frontier and by oil companies as a safe, friendly place where political stability and easy-going regulators opened the door to decades of huge profits. Fifty days after BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded into flames and sank, the picture is completely different. "The change is quite incredible and all the risk is above ground, political risk," said the fund manager for one of BP's top-20 shareholders.

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