National

Jul 13, 2010 8:14 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

BP to start testing new cap on Gulf oil well

Testing of a new, tighter cap on the Gulf gusher begins today to see if the device can stop the spewing crude.

BP plans to gradually shut the valves to see if the oil stops or if it starts leaking from another part of the well. BP robots finished attaching the cap yesterday, raising hopes that the crude could be kept from polluting the water any further for the first time in nearly three months.

The capping project is just a temporary fix, but it's the oil giant's best hope for containing the spill until a pair of relief wells are finished next month. The cap will be tested and monitored for six to 48 hours to see if it can withstand pressure from oil and gas.

One expert says BP doesn't want the flow of oil to stop instantaneously, because shutting it down too quickly could cause another explosion.

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