Latest update: 15/07/2010
- environment - Oil spill - USA
BP says crucial test will go ahead despite fresh leak
British oil giant BP has announced that a crucial test to determine the condition of a ruptured oil wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico should begin later Thursday, while engineers rushed to repair a leaking valve on a newly-placed cap over the well.
AFP - British energy giant BP is hoping to start a key test to study the condition of a ruptured Gulf of Mexico oil wellhead deep below the sea floor later Thursday, a top official said.
"I'm expecting that we'll start up here later this morning, sometime today," said BP senior vice president Kent Wells.
He was referring to what the company calls integrity tests aimed at determining whether there is any damage to the wellbore, which stretches 2.5 miles (four kilometers) below the seabed.
The news comes as BP engineers struggled to repair a leaking valve on a giant cap which was placed over the damaged well earlier this week.
BP hopes the cap, known as a capping stack which has three exit valves, will to be able to choke the flow of oil from the pipe, but also needs to test whether the damaged wellhead has any other underground leaks.