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BP Installs New Containment Cap on Leaking Gulf Well

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist British petroleum giant BP has successfully lowered a new and better fitting containment cap onto a well that has been gushing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 84 days. Pending the result of tests being conducted today and the closing of several vents on the cap, the spill could be halted as early as this week. ABC News is reporting that new underwater video of the well showed the 18-foot, 150,000-pound cap being successfully lowered into place on the spewing wellhead. The company will now begin testing the fit with the hopes that the tighter seal on the new cap will allow BP to capture all of the leaking oil. "This certainly is an important day in the evolution of this response," National Incident Cmdr. Thad Allen told ABC's Diane Sawyer today. "If all goes according to plan, we could initiate a well test tomorrow morning that could tell us where we need to go from here." Until testing of the cap is complete, which could take up to 48 hours, three pressure valves will remain open, which means oil will continue to leak into the Gulf. In order to implement this new plan, the original, leaky cap had to be removed from the broken wellhead over the weekend, which allowed up to 2.5 million gallons of oil to spew into the Gulf every day. The main fear about the new cap is that it could buckle under the extreme pressures and spring new leaks in the pipe. "This may actually work. We're hoping so," said Dr. Michio Kaku, author of Physics of the Impossible, to ABC. "But this is a science experiment at 5,000-feet of water. High pressure is the single reason why we're having so much difficulty, because the basic science of working at high pressure was not done years ago." If all goes well, the oil will be funneled to the Helix Producer, a ship that recently arrived at the site that could contain up to a  million gallons of oil per day. Meanwhile, BP continues to drill relief wells that are intended to be a permanent fix to the problem. The relief wells are now within five feet of the target, and BP is hoping the work will be completed by the end of the month. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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