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CNN News:英石油开始测试油井和控油罩内压力

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Day 85 of the Gulf oil disaster and there is new hope this morning that today could mark the beginning of the end, “could” being the key word.

Here's the latest, BP has successfully placed a new containment cap on the gushing well. The company says that tight-fitting cap may be able to contain all of the escaping oil. Now today the company will begin critical tests on the cap's effectiveness. That testing could take as long as 48 hours. BP says the ultimate solution now appears within reach. The company says the so-called kill operations to seal the well could take place at the end of this month. For the very latest let's go now to CNN's Ed Lavandera. He's in New Orleans for us. So, Ed, today is a critical day clearly. They'll be closing the valve on that new containment cap for the first time. So what exactly does that mean?

Well, we just wrapped up a technical briefing from a BP officials. And basically what we're waiting on now is for this, what's called the integrity testing of the well to take place. Now we've been told that that would start Tuesday morning. We're now told that that will begin around midday today. There's some other testing, preliminary testing that's going on. But essentially once they begin that process, that integrity testing, could take anywhere between 6 to 48 hours. And it will include closing off the valves on that new containment cap so that they can take solid readings of the pressure inside of that containment cap and inside that well.

And even though it might sound a little counterintuitive, when I first heard it I was a little confused by. But they want a higher pressure. Lower pressure means that oil is escaping from other parts of that well and that would not be a good situation at this point. So, the integrity of that well is the key aspect of all of this. That testing is expected now to begin around midday today according to the latest briefing we just received from BP officials. And that will give them, after that, that will be, that will allow them to figure out exactly how they proceed next, whether or not the cap alone will be able to take care of everything or if they will, if the pressure is not high enough, will they need to be able to bring oil to the surface through various different pipes and tubes and all of that, to bring the pipe, the oil to the surface.  So we're waiting to hear on what the next move will be and these tests that will begin later on in the next few hours will tell them the information they need and how they can move ahead.


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