After nearly three months, BP has finally gained control over the massive oil leak in the gulf with a 75-ton containment cap.
Now the device just has to hold.
BP's latest fix appears to be doing its job, at least for now.
"I think everyone feels like we've begun to turn a corner," said BP’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles.
For the first time Thursday, the company managed to block the flow of oil with a new tighter fitting cap. It's what Gulf Coast residents have been waiting nearly three months for.
"That is a big relief,” said business owner Ty Scott. “At least part of the problem is over."
But no one is celebrating just yet. Engineers must closely monitor the pressure buildup to make sure the well stays intact and no new leaks erupt
"Once we're convinced it can withstand the pressure, after that 48 hours we can certainly consider shutting in the well," said Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander for the Coast Guard.
Tara Mergener reports, “President Obama is also cautiously optimistic. He called Thursday's progress a ‘positive sign’ but warned the cap is still in its testing phase.”
The next two days will be critical. There's a possibility oil forced down into the bedrock could rupture the seafloor or the pressure buildup could cause another explosion.
Even if the test results are good, BP hasn't ruled out releasing some oil again as a precautionary measure.
The company calls the containment cap a temporary fix at best while it finishes drilling two relief wells.
"That activity will continue until this well no longer has the capability to ever flow again," said Suttles.
But even when the gusher is plugged for good, experts warn oil could continue washing ashore for months to come.