BP Begins Crucial Well Pressure Test On Gulf Spill

BP PLC [S: bp] said Thursday it began a crucial well integrity test on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico. The test will take at least six hours and could last up to 48 hours. "During the test, the three ram capping stack is closed, effectively shutting in the well and all sub-sea containment systems," BP said. "Although it cannot be assured, it is expected that no oil will be released to the ocean during the test." The oil stoppage would mark the first time the flow of oil could be completely stopped since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig caused the massive oil leak. "Even if no oil is released during the test, this will not be an indication that oil and gas flow from the wellbore has been permanently stopped," BP said.