BP places new sealing cap to stop oil spill, prepares for testing

British oil giant BP yesterday said that it has successfully placed a new sealing cap on the Deep Water Horizon oil leak and has started to conduct tests to find out whether the leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped completely.

Following installation of the capping stack BP will start conducting well integrity test from today on the Mocondo oil well situated a mile below the surface of the sea to find out whether the new sealing cap is functioning.

BP said that for the duration of the test, which will be a minimum of 6 hours and could extend up to 48 hours, the three ram capping stack will be closed and all sub-sea containment systems will be temporarily suspended, effectively shutting in the well.

''It is expected, although cannot be assured, that no oil will be released to the ocean for the duration of the test. This will not however be an indication that flow from the wellbore have been permanently stopped,'' BP said in a release.

The oil giant however warned that the sealing cap system has never been deployed before at these depths or under these conditions, and its efficiency and ability to contain the oil and gas cannot be assured.

By conducting the tests, BP wants to find out whether the pressure in the well is rising and holding, which indicates that the well is not damaged and oil is not leaking.