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LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell said it had moved closer to stemming Britain's biggest oil spill for over a decade by closing a valve from which crude had been seeping for over 8 days.

"Closing the valve is a key step," said Glen Cayley, Technical Director of Shell's exploration and production activities in Europe.

"We will be watching the line closely over the next 24 hours and beyond," he added.

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