NEW ORLEANS (AP) A consortium set up by major oil companies to clean up offshore oil spills by quickly marshaling boom and skimmers says it has expanded its resources.

The Times-Picayune reports that the Marine Spill Response Corp. now has seven response vessels and that it has bought more than 21,000 feet of boom.

The MSRC also says it is better prepared to deploy chemical dispersants to break up spilled oil and that is has developed better oil-burning operations.

The catastrophic 2010 oil spill off the Louisiana coast highlighted the shortcomings of the response capacity of the oil industry and government to quickly contain major offshore spills.

The MSRC, founded in 1990, is funded by oil companies such as BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell.

These companies also are part of a group called the Marine Well Containment Corp., which invested $1 billion in developing a capping stack for shutting in a blown-out deepwater well.

A third consortium, Helix Well Containment, has developed a response system for independent operators. The response groups ramped up efforts when federal regulators said a strong response system had to be in place for companies to resume oil and gas exploration in Gulf leases.