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Obama says oil spill not over until relief well completed

07-17-2010 08:41 BJT

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday that BP's successful capping of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is "good news," but the problem would not be resolved until relief wells had been completed.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, July 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Leigh Vogel)
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington
D.C., capital of the United States, July 16, 2010. (Xinhua/Leigh Vogel)

British oil giant BP said on Thursday that oil has stopped leaking from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the new cap the company placed over the leak. It's the first time for BP to completely contain the months-long leak, triggered by the explosion of BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast in late April.

"The new cap is good news, either we will be able to stop the flow or we will be able to capture all the oil until the relief well is done," Obama told reporters at the White House.

However, "the final solution to this whole problem is going to be the relief wells and getting that completed," said the president.

Obama said testing continues to determine whether the temporary cap can stay in place and be used to permanently stop the flow of oil.

"Even if a shut-in is not possible, this new cap and the additional equipment being placed in the Gulf will be able to contain up to 80,000 barrels a day, which should allow us to capture nearly all the oil until the well is killed," he said.

Obama said he planned to make his fifth visit to the Gulf region within the next several weeks.


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