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Gulf oil spill well declared 'dead' by BP

Oil giant sees share price rise after announcement.

A  worker walks past marsh grass that was impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Bay Jimmy on the Louisiana coast.
A worker walks past marsh grass that was impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Bay Jimmy on the Louisiana coast.
Image: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images

A PERMANENT SEAL HAS been placed on the oil well responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in American history.

BP says that the well, sitting almost 2.5 miles below the sea bed, has been plugged with cement and no longer poses a threat to the Gulf as it is “effectively dead”.

A pressure test has been carried out on the plug to prove it will hold. BP’s shares rose 1.4% on the London market today in response to the news that the well is capped.

The well had initially been fitted with a temporary cap, and cement was pumped down through the top of the well. A relief well has since been drilled to ease pressure on that cap, and a more permanent top put over the well. Oil began spewing from the well after an explosion on a BP rig, the Deepwater Horizon, on 20 April.

An estimated 206m gallons of oil have been poured into the Gulf of Mexico, and the effects of the spill on the environment and on local communities along the Louisiana coast look set to continue for years. Some areas remain closed off to fishing.

BP has set aside $20bn as a compensation fund for people affected by the spill, and has spent $9.5bn on the clean-up. The company could face tens of billions more in fines and pending lawsuits, according to the Huffington Post.

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