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VENICE Louisiana (Reuters) - BP inched ahead on Thursday with a painstaking attempt to cap its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico and to safely siphon off some of the billowing crude in a high-stakes bid to curtail the 45-day-old deep-sea gusher

The British energy giant's robot submarines sheared away the oil-spewing well pipe after two days of trying, then began working to lower a containment cap over the jagged hole left on top of the crippled wellhead assembly resting on the seabed.

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