BP: We Fixed the Cap, Tests Begin Soon

Ready to begin testing to see if cap will hold
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 15, 2010 9:45 AM CDT
In this image taken from video provided by BP PLC at 6:45 a.m. EDT Thursday July 15, 2010, oil flows from one of three valves of the new 75-ton cap.   (AP Photo/BP PLC)

(Newser) – After fixing a leak on a cap designed to plug up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP engineers readied today to see if the new top is enough to contain the flow. Kent Wells, a BP vice president, said that the leak, which was discovered late yesterday, was fixed by replacing the pipe called a "choke line" on the side of capping device. The work set back the testing process on the cap's capabilities.

Now that the new choke line is in place, BP has to again stop the collection of oil from surface vessels, which resumed after the leak was discovered. For the tests, all the oil has to be trapped under the cap to measure how much pressure it generates. Then, BP has to recheck equipment used in the test and move undersea robots that perform the work back into position. Wells expected testing to start today, possibly late morning. "Bear with us," he said.

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