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BP's relief well closes in for final kill of gusher in Gulf of Mexico

08-10-2010 10:29 BJT

HOUSTON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- BP's relief well drilling operations continue to move forward with an interception of the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico expected by the end of the week, the U.S. spill commander said Monday.

A view is seen in the video image captured August 5, 2010 from a BP live feed in the Gulf of Mexico. BP said on Thursday it completed cementing operations at the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico at 14:15 CDT, as part of the static kill procedure. Monitoring of the well is underway in order to confirm the effectiveness of the procedure. (Xinhua/BP Live Feed)
A view is seen in the video image captured August 5, 2010 from a BP live feed in the 
Gulf of Mexico. BP said on Thursday it completed cementing operations at the ruptured 
oil well in the Gulf of Mexico at 14:15 CDT, as part of the static kill procedure. 
Monitoring of the well is underway in order to confirm the effectiveness of the 
procedure. (Xinhua/BP Live Feed)
U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who is tasked to handle the oil spill, said the cement cap installed on the top of the Macondo well last week was holding and the first relief well is expected to intercept the underwater gusher "toward the end of the week."

"We expect that sometime before the end of the week we will be able to intercept the annulus and commence the kill," he said, noting that authorities were watching closely a tropical weather system moving east over Florida toward the Gulf of Mexico which might affect the timing of the "bottom kill" operation on the leaking will.

The so-called "static kill" operation, commenced Aug. 3, is the biggest development in BP's 100-day plus spill ordeal since it placed a tight-fitting cap over the blown-out well in mid-July, stopping oil from flowing into the ocean for the first time after a deadly rig blast in late April opened the underwater gusher.

Following the completion of cementing operations on the Macondo on August 5, pressure testing was performed which indicated there is an effective cement plug in the casing, and BP believes the " static kill" and cementing procedures have been successful, the company said in a statement Monday.

Both U.S. federal officials and BP said relief wells being drilled are the "answer" to permanently sealing the ruptured well.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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