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BP 'temporarily' stops oil leak in Gulf of Mexico

Houston , Fri, 16 Jul 2010 ANI

Houston, July 16(ANI): The gush of oil from BP's spewing well in the Gulf of Mexico has been 'temporarily' stopped for the first time in three months, raising hopes that it can be sealed off.


For the first time, video from BP's live feed on the ocean floor showed no sign of crude billowing out of the well, as it was sealed with a cap as part of a test of its integrity that could last up to 48 hours.


BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells, who announced the well closure at a press conference, said the oil had been stopped at 2. 25 pm on Thursday.


"As you can imagine, it felt very good not to see any oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. What I'm trying to do is maintain my emotions. Remember, this is the start of our test," the BBC quoted Wells, as saying.


Doug Suttles, BP's Chief Operating Officer, said that engineers would be checking carefully to make sure no oil was escaping from the well from previously undiscovered leaks.


At the White House, US President Barack Obama called the development a "positive sign," though he cautioned that the operation was still in the testing phase.


However, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said that seal or no seal, the oil already in the gulf was problem enough.


"We know our battles don't end even when the well is capped. Millions of gallons of oil are still in the gulf and some estimates show that oil will continue to hit our shores for many more months - or maybe even longer," Jindal said in a statement.


The disaster began when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on 20 April, killing 11 workers.


The massive oil spill has led to an economic and environmental catastrophe along the U.S. Gulf Coast. (ANI)


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