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BP shares jump on first major oil spill progress

By Tom Bergin

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in oil major BP Plc rose on Monday after the company said it was capturing most of the oil gushing from its leaking Gulf of Mexico well, and that an additional capture system would be ready in mid-June.

BP said on Sunday its lower marine riser package (LMRP) containment cap had captured 10,500 barrels on June 5 -- compared with an estimated daily flow of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels.

BP shares opened up 3 percent before falling back to trade up 2.24 percent at 1029 GMT against a 0.06 percent drop in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index.

"At last we have seen some positive news from BP," Peter Hitchens, oil analyst at Panmure Gordon said.

An additional system to capture more of the leaking oil via equipment previously developed for the failed "top kill" attempt to shut the well, could allow BP to siphon the vast majority of the leaking oil, BP said.

A spokeswoman for the London-based company said on Monday that BP expected the system to be operating in mid-June.

"With the right LMRP efficiency and surface skimming response, we may have turned the corner on shoreline oil spill volumes," analysts at Credit Suisse say in a research note.

Another analyst, who asked not to be named, said capturing most of the oil in the coming month and a half would make it easier for BP avoid cutting its first quarter dividend -- something some politicians in the U.S. have called for.

BP, Europe's second-largest oil company by market capitalization, added it had so far spent around $1.25 billion on the response effort, excluding $360 million committed for construction of the Louisiana barrier islands project.

(Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by David Holmes and Sharon Lindores)

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