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Report: Scientist helped keep cap on BP well

November 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A lone scientist may have saved the Gulf of Mexico from a few more weeks of oil gushing from the BP well.A new report from the presidential oil spill commission found that a scientist, working with a photo from a cell phone camera, convinced the government that the cap put in place in July was actually working as designed.

Officials had considered removing the cap because pressure readings had indicated a leak elsewhere.

That cap ended up stopping the oil flow.

Scientist Paul Hsieh created a model to explain what was happening under the cap and how - despite low pressure readings - there was no leak. He was convinced the containment cap wouldn't blow.

More than 170 million gallons of oil gushed into the Gulf from April 20 to July 15.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.