There has been progress in efforts to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with a containment cap now in place above the main leak.
It comes after BP used shears to cut the damaged oil pipe. An earlier attempt using a diamond-edged saw failed.
The containment cap around the new hole will allow some of the leaking oil to be siphoned to the surface. The US coastguard called it a “positive development” but “only a temporary and partial fix.”
BP has been trying to stop the leak for more than six weeks and its CEO insists it is in it for the long haul. Tony Hayward said:
“We are going to be here long after the media has gone, the coastguard has gone and everyone else involved in the spill has gone because our commitment is to work with the communities and societies of the Gulf Coast to give them back their livelihoods and their way of life as fast as we can and we will be here until that task is complete.”
President Barack Obama has cancelled a trip to Australia and Indonesia to make a third visit to the spill zone. He is cranking up the political pressure on BP, but the oil giant has other worries. Its share price has tumbled and its credit rating has been cut due to the multi-billion euro cost of the clean-up operation. It also faces a marketing nightmare, with parodies of its own TV commercials spilling onto the US airwaves.