Gulf Cleanup

Final Leak Plug Delayed

The leak may be contained for the time being, but the final plug will not be in place until at least mid-September now—a month later than was originally expected. Before BP can seal the well for good from below in a “bottom kill,” it will try to replace a part known as the blowout preventer, designed to avert further leaks during the plugging process. The entire operation has been slowed down by inclement weather in the Gulf of Mexico and concerns over 1,000 barrels of oil trapped inside the well, even though none has leaked into the sea since BP installed a cap over a month ago. BP began a pressure test Thursday to assess when it will be able to fit a new blowout preventer.