Mon, September 20, 2010
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BP oil well sealed

2010-09-20 05:19:57 GMT2010-09-20 13:19:57 (Beijing Time)

An oil well that exploded and unleashed the worst oil spill in US history has finally been sealed.

With a final shot of cement, BP permanently "killed" the runaway Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The top US spill official confirmed the successful completion of the relief well.

The well flowed unchecked for 87 days after an April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers. It released a torrent of oil that marred the coasts of four Gulf Coast states and spurred a moratorium on all new U.S. offshore drilling.

The oil seeped into fragile wetlands, threatened wild life, and dealt a severe blow to the Gulf Coast fishing industry.

BP engineers sealed off the flow July 15 with a cap on the mile-deep well after it spewed more than 4 million barrels into the Gulf. This about 16 times as much as the 257,000 barrels of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska in 1989.

Sreya Banerjee, Reuters

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