After 85 days, BP has finally succeeded in containing the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico waters. After closing valves and vents on the containment cap during a test on Thursday, the well has stayed in place for two full days.
Although this is a very positive sign, both BP and the White House have warned that the containment cap does not represent a permanent fix – there is still much more work to do to seal the well shut for good, and to clean up the hundreds of millions of spilled oil. “We’re encouraged by this development, but this isn’t over,” said the U.S. government’s lead contact in the region, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen.
BP will likely release the flow of oil again, siphoning it up to ships on the surface as it continues to drill a relief well to permanently shut the well with mud and cement. The well is expected to be ready in early August.
Investors welcomed news of the containment caps success, sending BP shares higher in trading today. However, since the rig explosion in April nearly $65 billion has been knocked off BP’s market value.