US authorities have given BP an extra 24 hours to keep the containment cap on its ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, despite possible seepage.
Reports of a leak have raised fears over the cap which has stopped oil spewing into the water nearly three months after a rig explosion caused the worst oil spill in US history.
BP recognises a seep has been detected. But a spokesman said it is unclear whether the source was the blown-out well, adding that seeps are a natural phenomenon in the Gulf.
With fishing areas closed, some in the industry have been working for BP during the clean-up. Hence mixed feelings at signs of an end to the crisis.
New Orleans fisherman Andrew Jones said: “It is good news and bad news in a way. Because we want the oil to keep coming so we can still have a job. But it is great news to see that we can actually have a chance to save the Gulf Coast a little bit sooner.”
“Right now,” he added, “they are paying my bills. They are paying everything, you know. They are keeping my house, my truck and all that. They are keeping everything afloat right now. But I have got to find something for whenever this ends.”
Whether the seepage is methane or oil, dealing with this disaster is still far from over. BP says it has already spent nearly 4 billion dollars doing so.