BP temporarily stops Gulf oil leak for first time since April

13:49, July 16, 2010      

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The new containment cap is seen during the "well integrity testing" in the image grabbed from the BP's live video feed in the Gulf of Mexico, July 15, 2010. British oil giant BP said Thursday the new cap on well is fully closed and no oil is going into Gulf during the well integrity test conducted by the company. (Xinhua/BP LIVE FEED)

British oil giant BP said on Thursday that it has temporarily stopped oil leak from a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico after it placed a new cap over the leak.

It is the first time for BP to completely contain the months-long leak triggered by the explosion of BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig off the Louisiana coast in late April.

BP's U.S. shares soared about 10 percent on Thursday after the London-based energy company announced that it has managed to choke off the spill as part of efforts to end the worst offshore leak disaster in U.S. history.

BP's Vice President Kent Wells said at a news briefing that oil leak stopped at 2:25 p.m. (1925 GMT) after engineers gradually dialed down the amount of oil flowing through the last of three openings on the 75-ton metal capping stack.

He said he was "really excited" that no oil was spewing into the Gulf of Mexico now, but warned that it was only the beginning of a long test process to evaluate the integrity of the well bore.

BP said in a press release on Thursday that during the integrity test, which will last between six to 48 hours, the three ram capping stack is closed, effectively shutting the well and all sub-sea containment systems have been temporarily stopped.

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