BP has slowed the flow of oil and gas from a ruptured well into the Gulf of Mexico, a US official told local media.
The company's "top kill" effort has "stabilised the wellhead", Coast Guard commander Admiral Thad Allen said. But he cautioned it was too early to declare success. This is the first step in BP's plan to seal the well for good.
BP Managing Director Robert Dudley said the company’s operation to try to plug the well, which started on Wednesday, was "moving the way we want it to."
'Plug the damn hole'
A leak from the Oval office suggests it did not take Barack Obama long to grasp the enormity of the political disaster washing towards him with the oil spill in the Gulf.
The ordinarily unflappable president cut off a briefing by aides in the first week after the Deepwater Horizon cut down with a terse command: "Plug the damn hole."
A month later, and with the hole still unplugged, Obama is expected to impose tighter new controls on offshore oil drilling.