New Orleans, La. – BP has extra skimming vessels above the well site to recover the oil now spilling freely into the Gulf. It's also hooking up a production vessel to another part of the blown-out well. Once the new containment cap is attached, pressure readings will track the rate of oil gushing out of the well. The cap might be able to close off the leak. BP vice president Kent Wells says the system should be operational by mid-week, but is only a temporary solution.
"The relief wells, under any scenario, are the opportunity to kill the well. Even if it was possible to shut it in, that's not the kill procedure. The relief wells are the answer to kill the well."
The first of two relief wells is expected to kill the broken well by the middle of next month.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.