BP has successfully attached a valve to the end of the broken drilling pipe at the Macondo well in a bid to end the flow of oil into the US Gulf.
The move is not expected to reduce the estimated 5,000 barrels per day of oil gushing from the well, but it will close one of three sources, BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said.
Crews first cut the jagged end of the drill pipe, which extends beyond the end of the broken riser, then fabricated and installed the valve.
A plan to contain the other two leaks was delayed slightly, Suttles told a press conference.
It is expected to take about 12 hours for the first dome to reach the location of the leak.
Once on location, it should take another 48 hours to lower the 70t structure, which measures 14ft by 24ft by 40ft, over the largest leak at the end of the riser and secure it to the seafloor.
BP is then expected to bring in Transocean‘s drillship Discoverer Enterprise and connect the dome to the ship with a system of pipes.
BP will also bring in a third rig, the Transocean semi-submersible rig Development Driller II, to spud a second relief well.
The Transocean-owned Horizon rig exploded last week with leaking oil prompting one of the largest cleaning operations the region has ever seen.