By Jason Theodorou

Oil giant BP has said that a 'significant milestone' has been achieved in the ongoing efforts to stop the oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico, with the company's 'static kill' procedure proving a success.

The static kill process involves pumping special drilling fluid known as 'mud' directly into the well, forcing oil back down. BP has said that well pressure was being sublimated by the pressure exerted by the mud, which was the result that their engineers hoped to achieve.

A government report to be published today, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will claim that only 26% of the oil leaked into the ocean poses any clear and present danger to the environment, with three quarters of the oil dispersed or captured in BP's ongoing clean up operation.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, dubbed the world oil spill in the country's history, has resulted in the dismissal of BP chief executive Tony Hayward, and his replacement by American Bob Dudley. Mr. Hayway is expected to be nominated as a non-executive director of BP's Russian arm, TNK-BP.

The oil spill began in April when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers. The flow ended on the 15th July, with BP putting a temporary cap on the well. The company may end the leak permanently by sealing the well with cement. US government estimates show that at least 5 million barrels of oil leaked before the cap was installed.

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