Obama: 'Oil Cap Good News But Not Over Yet'


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Jan 21, 2008
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idd say that this is some good news : )

Barack Obama has cautiously welcomed the "good news" that BP has halted the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico but says a permanent solution is still needed.

BP finally choked off the flow of oil from an undersea well which has been spewing from the ruptured pipe since April in one of the worst offshore oil spills in US history.

The news saw the company's shares rally strongly, closing up 7.6% in New York on Thursday following the announcement.

BP said it stopped the leak on Thursday with a tight-sealing containment cap installed three days earlier and are "encouraged" so far by the results of an integrity test to see if it will hold.

The critical pressure test has shown no evidence of damage since it began on Thursday, said a BP executive.

Kent Wells, BP's senior vice president of exploration and production, also said pressure "continues to rise" in the well as hoped.

But the US president has warned that testing will continue to determine whether the temporary cap can stay in place and be used to permanently stop the flow of oil.

BP oil spill

A total of 105,266,671 gallons of oil have leaked in to the Gulf waters - enough to fill 191.4 olympic-size swimming pools, nearly five times (4.83) the volume of the Royal Albert Hall or 7,797,531 Ford Mondeo fuel tanks.

If not, Mr Obama says the cap and other devices will be used to capture most of the oil, up to 80,000 barrels a day, until a relief well is completed.

The British energy firm has said it hopes to plug the leak permanently by drilling the relief well intersecting the ruptured pipe, which extends 2.5 miles below the seabed, and sealing it with mud and cement next month.

Mr Wells said drilling will resume soon, adding: "Right now we're proceeding."

Oil has been spurting from the well a mile below the ocean surface for more than three months, leading to an economic and environmental catastrophe along the US Gulf Coast.

Based on the most conservative estimates, oil has been pouring into the ocean at a rate of at least 35,000 US barrels a day since April 21 - a total of 3,010,000 barrels.

That is 105,266,671 gallons - enough to fill 191.4 Olympic swimming pools, nearly five times (4.83) the volume of the Royal Albert Hall or 7,797,531 Ford Mondeo fuel tanks.

Each barrel of oil can produce 16.2 gallons of petrol (according to the Texas Oil & Gas Association), so the leak represents 48,762,000 gallons of petrol from all the spilled oil to date.

BP has made several failed attempts to end the leak since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers.

Barack Obama, who has seen his approval ratings fall as the crisis has dragged on, has welcomed the latest news as a "positive sign".

However, the US president warned: "We're still in the testing phase."

The test, which could last up to 48 hours, gauges pressure in the well to assess its condition.

Officials said the test would show whether the cap can safely shut off the flow from the well if oil-capture vessels at the surface must disconnect, for example in the event of a hurricane.

The US Coast Guard has called the containment cap at best a temporary fix to the leak while BP finishes the two relief wells it is drilling.

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BP Oil Leak In Gulf Of Mexico Stopped Temporarily: Oil Giant's Shares Rally In US | Business | Sky News