BP has successfully placed a new cap over the leaking Gulf of Mexico oil well. The success was revealed on murky live pictures from an underwater camera and broadcast on BP's website. They show the "Top Hat 10" device hovering and then lowering completely over the well that had been gushing a mile (1,600 meters) beneath the surface. The valve has been designed to be a much tighter fit than its predecessor, so as to completely contain the oil. Once it is screwed into place, BP plans to perform an "integrity test" lasting between six and 48 hours.
The US government and BP are due to decide by Thursday whether the valve can stay in place to seal the well shut. The company's share price, which has taken a battering since the disaster happened three months ago, rose around 5% yesterday as hopes for a solution increased. The oil company has used 46,000 staff and 6,400 ships so far in the clean-up effort. The operation began after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank on April 20 and crude oil began spewing into the ocean. The new cap is capable of collecting more than 50,000 barrels a day and is resilient to the hurricane season. BP said it has gathered around 749,100 barrels of oil from the various containment systems in place around the well so far.