By Jason Theodorou

BP is preparing to permanently seal the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, with a 'static kill' operation. The government estimates that the oil well leaked 4.9 million barrels of oil, before being capped last month. Only a fifth of the leaking oil, equating to 800,000 barrels, was effectively captured during a clean up operation.

The flow ended on 15 July, when BP successfully installed a temporary cap on the well. The 'static kill' operation will involve pumping heavy drilling fluid into the well, before sealing the well with cement. BP have said that the well has 'integrity' and is no longer spewing oil after it was capped.

The US has confirmed that the BP oil spill is the biggest accidental oil leak in the world, with government scientists estimating that 4.9 million barrels of oil escaped the leaking oil well before it was capped a month ago.

BP has reported a $17 billion (£11 billion) loss, having put aside $32 billion to cover the costs of the oil spill. BP chief executive Tony Hayward is expected to be replaced by Bob Dudley in October.

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