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BP seals off well that caused oil spill

According to Bloomberg, BP Plc said it controlled the pressure in the damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well with drilling mud, moving a step closer to permanently sealing the source of the world’s worst accidental oil spill.

The well “appears to have reached a static condition -- a significant milestone,” BP said in a statement in London.  However, the company still needs to complete a relief well. The next step according to Reuters in the so-called "static kill" operation is to pump in cement behind the mud as a seal, but BP said monitoring was required to see whether more mud should be pumped in first.

US’s government scientists issued revised estimates on August 2 that the well spewed 4.9 million barrels, making it the largest accidental maritime oil spill. The New York Times reported that three-quarters of the oil leaked from the well has evaporated, dispersed, or been recovered.

BP shares have fallen 37% since the spill has started on April 20, killing 11 workers. The company said it would expand asset sales to raise as much as $30 billion over 18 months to help pay for cleanup costs and liabilities from the environmental disaster, which also cost CEO Tony Hayward his job.  (BBJ)