BP Closes 1 of 3 Gulf Oil Leaks

But it won't cut the amount of oil gushing from the damaged well
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2010 9:59 AM CDT
BP Closes 1 of 3 Gulf Oil Leaks
In this photo provided by Transocean, the ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig Development Drill III begins operations for drilling a relief well Monday, May 3, 2010.   (AP Photo/Transocean)

One of the three leaks gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruptured undersea well was shut down last night, BP said this morning. The success in installing a valve, after several days of rough seas that hampered efforts, won't slow the oil flowing into the Gulf, but it allows BP to focus on the other two leaks, the company said. The four-story 'containment dome' engineers have been building to cover the worst of the leaks has been loaded onto a barge, the New York Times reports, and should be heading out to sea this afternoon.

The company also plans to do a "controlled burn" of some of the oil spill, a spokesman said this morning. But in closed-door briefings with members of Congress yesterday, a BP exec warned that the ruptured well could end up gushing up to 60,000 barrels a day before the problem is solved; that's more than 10 times the current estimate.
(Read more Gulf oil spill stories.)

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