A Setback for BP's Oil Spill Containment Cap

BP Oil spill cap
BP Oil spill cap

In a rude welcome to Bob Dudley, BP's new point man in the Gulf oil spill, the company's containment effort hit a potentially serious snag when the cap covering the blown-out well had to be removed. The U.S. Coast Guard announced that one of the robotic submarines working near the damaged installation at the bottom of the Gulf hit the venting system, forcing workers to remove the cap for further inspection.

That means the crude that had been getting scooped up by the containment cap is flowing unimpeded into the Gulf. BP (BP) is already planning to upgrade the containment system that has been in place for the past few weeks, but that equipment isn't ready to be installed yet. BP's stock price, which had risen as high as $30.20 in earlier trading on Wednesday, fell back in midday to $29.72, still up slightly from Tuesday's close.