HOUSTON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- BP confirmed Monday that it has placed a new containment cap on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. media reported.
|Workers onboard the Transocean Discoverer Inspiration retrieve the flange overshot|
tool used to remove the flange from the Deepwater Horizon BOP, July 11, 2010 in
the Gulf of Mexico. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
The cap was expected to completely contain oil that has been gushing into the Gulf since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in April, but tests are still needed to determine if the cap works, according to CNN.
Live underwater video provided on-line by BP showed a new cap was placed over the leaking well in the Gulf.
BP's chief operating officer Doug Suttles told a media briefing earlier in the day that the cap, a 150,000-pound (6.8 tons) metal stack, was very close to the well and crews would be attaching it later Monday. The work may continue throughout the day, he said.
BP removed the old cap on Saturday to make way for the installation of the new, larger one.
Suttles said it will take days to know whether the new cap can withstand the pressure of the gushing oil and siphon it through pipes to vessels on the Gulf's surface.
Once the cap is attached, the two vessels that are capturing oil from the leaking well will be shut down for crews to monitor the pressure and check the condition of the well, he said.
A third oil-recovery ship, the Helix Producer, was expected to start up on Sunday but Suttles said two minor technical glitches prevented that. He expected the ship to begin work Monday and reach full capacity within two days or so.
With the new cap and oil vessels, BP expects that all crude oil should be contained.
However, Suttles said, even the cap works as planned, BP will continue to finish its two relief wells so that heavy drilling fluid and fluid can be pumped in to permanently kill the leak.
The first relief well, started May 2, reached a measured depth of 17,810 feet (one foot equal to 0.305 meters) on July 11, and the well is intended to intercept the original well at approximately 18,000 feet. The second relief well is below 16,000 feet, according to a BP statement Monday.
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