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Well Cap Is Holding for Now As Final Kill Is Planned

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BP is keeping a lid on its runaway Mancondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, despite four leaks that developed in and around the well since July 14, when BP installed new shut-off valves. BP and federal emergency response officials believe the well bore is sound; they will continue tests in 24-hour increments with the valves closed. BP and federal overseers agree the “seepage” is not enough to signal a failure of the well bore, although they are watching closely. Two leaks are in equipment at the wellhead, and two others are “a few thousand feet” and two miles away, respectively, on the seabed. Officials say it is not certain the remote leaks are related to the well. Further, on July 20, as a relief well came within feet of its target to intercept and choke off the damaged well for good at 18,000 ft down, BP was studying proposals for another “top kill” to force mud into the well to close it.

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