Tags: US | Gulf | Oil | Spill | Well

BP: Cement Plug Stopping Gulf Oil Leak Hardened

Sunday, 08 Aug 2010 02:33 PM

BP says the cement sealing the busted oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has hardened as crews prepare for the final phase of drilling a relief well.

The oil giant said Sunday that pressure tests on the cement plug poured down the throat of the blown-out well show the seal is solidly in place.

That means BP engineers can begin drilling the final 100 feet of a relief well meant to permanently seal the blowout.

Crews will carefully drill about 30 feet at a time, and BP says it will likely be next weekend before the two wells meet. BP didn't make it clear Sunday if workers had begun drilling.

Engineers will use the relief well for a "bottom kill," pumping more mud and cement into the busted well in what is expected to completely seal the well for good.

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