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BP encouraged that capped-off oil well still holds

NEW ORLEANS – BP said its capped-off well appeared to be holding steady Friday morning, almost midway into a white-knuckle waiting period in which engineers watched the pressure gauges for signs of a leak.

Results monitored from control rooms on ships at sea and hundreds of miles away at the company's U.S. headquarters in Houston showed the oil staying inside the cap, rather than escaping through any undiscovered breaches, BP PLC vice president Kent Wells said on a conference call.

Two underwater robots scoured the sea floor looking for signs of new leaks.

President Barack Obama said BP's capping of the spill was "good news" but cautioned that testing continued.

There was no evidence of a leak in the pipe under the sea floor, Wells said, one of the main concerns. Wells spoke 17 hours after valves were shut to trap oil inside the cap, a test that could last up to 48 hours.

He said pressure continued to rise inside the tight-fighting cap, a good sign that oil was not getting out somewhere else. The pressure was more than 6,700 pounds per square inch, above the minimum they were hoping to see, but not yet in the high range of 8,000 to 9,000 psi they were hoping for.







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