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(BusinessWeek) — BP Plc plans to start testing today on a new cap over its leaking Gulf of Mexico well to determine whether it can stop the largest U.S. oil spill in history while continuing work on a permanent plug. Starting about noon local time, a 40-foot (12-meter) stack of valves secured atop the well yesterday will shut off the flow of crude, BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells told reporters on a conference call. The test will measure pressure inside the well to determine whether the cap can remain in place without causing oil to burst uncontrolled through another opening.

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