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BP robots have attached a new, tighter-fitting cap on top of the Gulf of Mexico oil well, raising hopes it can finally fully stem the flow of crude for the first time in nearly three months.
The British energy giant said in a statement it had installed the 40-ton containment device on the sea bed more than one and a half kilometers beneath the surface.
The cap will be tested by closing off three separate valves that fit together snugly, choking off the oil and blocking it from entering the Gulf.
It will be monitored to see if the cap can withstand pressure from oil and gas, starting Tuesday morning for six to 48 hours.
Work on the new capping operation began Saturday with the removal of a leaky cap that was capturing about half the flow of oil.
According to estimates, by Monday, the 83rd day of the disaster, between 89 million gallons and 176 million gallons of oil had poured into the Gulf, polluting the coastlines of US states.