With the replacement of the cap yesterday, it appears that BP has made a large step in the right direction. The new cap will be able to seal the well cap, thereby stopping the oil from flowing. However, as seems to be the case with this spill- if its too good to be true it probably is; the closing of the cap has been delayed so more analysis can be done. Tests will then take place to see if the cap can withstand the pressure. If it does, it will stay closed. If not, the well opens back up and things continue as they have until the relief well can be completed.
This delay is just another tick on the record of BP’s not meeting its commitments. Robert Dudley, the managing director, says they should have the well closed between the 20th and 27th, under ideal conditions. Given this condition and their previous track record on things of this nature, these deadlines seem lofty. At the very least though, the government is not letting up on its commitment to keeping BP responsible. The Coast Guard sent its first bill (PDF) to BP the other day for $99,661,359.34. We will be watching for more of these.