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BP happy with US oil-cap progress

United Kingdom
BBC News

A major effort to put a new cap on the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is making good progress, according to oil giant BP.

Work on the cap, which BP hopes will eventually help to capture all of the leaking oil, began on Saturday and is expected to be completed within days.

The cap is one of several devices BP has deployed as it works on a permanent solution - expected by mid-August.

The White House says containment efforts are at a "critical point".

"The new containment procedure will more than triple our containment capacity when it's all said and done," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told NBC television.

Share rally 

In addition, the firm has also set aside a $20bn fund to pay for the clean-up operation and other costs.

The value of BP shares has been almost halved by the disaster, but in early trading in London its share price continued a recent rally, climbing 5.5% to 384.7p.

Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama is due to visit communities affected by the spill later.

President Barack Obama, who has visited the area several times, has labelled the spill the nation's worst-ever environmental disaster.

Coastal communities from Florida to Alabama rely on fishing and tourism, and many people believe the spill will wipe out their livelihoods.

Unchecked spill 

In a statement, BP said installation of the sealing cap was "proceeding as planned".

Earlier, the firm's vice-president Kent Wells said he was pleased with the progress of the operation. "We have carefully planned and practised this whole procedure. We've tried to work out as many of the bugs as we can," he said. But he warned that "something unexpected" was bound to pose a challenge for the undersea robots installing the cap.

The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April killed 11 people. Since then, thousands of barrels of oil have been spilling into the the sea every day. Officials expect that the new sealing cap, combined with the other collection devices, will give BP enough capacity to collect all of the leaking oil. But while the current work is under way, large amounts of oil are spilling largely unchecked into the Atlantic. BP's permanent solution to the leak is to drill two relief wells - a process it expects to be finished by early August.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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