/ 4 June 2010

BP: Cap should stop ‘vast majority’ of oil spill

A cap placed over a ruptured well deep in the Gulf of Mexico should capture the “vast majority” of the oil gushing out, BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said on Friday.

Remote-controlled submarines installed the cap over the spewing pipe nearly 1 600m below the surface late on Thursday.

“It should capture the vast majority” of gushing oil, said Suttles, speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America news show.

President Barack Obama is set to return to the stricken US Gulf coast on Friday, responding in part to mounting anger at the disaster, which has poured crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico since a BP-operated drilling rig exploded and sank on April 20.

Suttles said that workers will have a “first indication” of how much of the flow is being captured later in the day.

The containment device has four vent valves on the top to prevent the formation of hydrates, which doomed an earlier attempt at containing the flow.

“Over the course of today, we’ll be successively closing those four vents,” Suttles told ABC.

“I’m pretty confident this is going to work,” said Suttles. “It probably won’t capture all of the flow. But it should capture the vast majority.” — AFP