US President Barack Obama has hailed BP's success in stopping the flow of oil from a leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico as "good news", but warned against excessive optimism, saying there would still be an "enormous clean-up job".
AFP - US President Barack Obama Friday gave a cautious welcome to the "good news" that BP has halted the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, saying a permanent solution still needed to be put in place.
Obama went out of his way to guard against any euphoria after the new cap was placed on the well by the British-based firm, but said the device would at worst allow most of the oil gushing into the sea to be captured.
"There were a lot of reports coming out in the media that seemed to indicate, 'Well, maybe this thing is done,'" Obama said.
"We won't be done until we actually know that we've killed the well and that we have a permanent solution in place.
"We're moving in that direction, but I don't want us to get too far ahead of ourselves."
Obama noted that BP engineers along with government scientists were now carrying out a battery of tests to determine whether the well could be safely shut down using the new cap, without threatening the structural integrity of the well.
"Even if a shut-in is not possible, this new cap and the additional equipment being placed in the Gulf will be able to contain up to 80,000 barrels a day, which should allow us to capture nearly all the oil until the well is killed," he said.
"The final solution to this whole problem is going to be the relief wells and getting that completed."
Obama, before heading off for a vacation weekend in Maine with his family, stressed that there was still an enormous job to do in cleaning up the huge environmental damage wrought by America's worst environmental disaster.
And he stressed that his administration would not let up on BP in order to ensure that the firm pays for clean-up costs and to help businesses which have been devastated by the disaster.
Date created : 2010-07-16