Slight progress has been made in trying to remedy the ecological and corporate nightmare that the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has become: On Wednesday, the company reported that repair workers were able to shut off one of the three leaks responsible for the catastrophic mess. –KA

The New York Times:

Though by itself the move was not expected to reduce the amount of oil being released — estimated at 210,000 gallons a day — it “does enable to us to make progress, to winnow down the focus from three leaks to two,” said the spokesman, John Curry.

Submersible robots, controlled remotely from a ship on the surface, were able to place a specially designed valve over the end of a leaking drill pipe lying on the sea floor in water about 5,000 feet deep, and stop oil from escaping at that point, Mr. Curry said. The company had been trying since Monday to place the specially designed valve but had been hampered by rough seas and high winds that diminished on Tuesday.

With one valve shut, BP is now turning its attention to capping the worst of the leaks. Crews have loaded a 98-ton, four-story structure called a containment dome onto a barge, and are expected to tow it at midday Wednesday to the site of the spill, a 12-hour trip.

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