'Static Kill' Worked; Well Is Plugged: BP
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 8, 2010 2:22 PM CDT
A oil platform is seen past brown pelicans as they float on the Gulf of Mexico in Grand Isle, La., Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – The cement sealing the blown oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has hardened as crews prepare for the final phase of drilling a relief well, BP said today. The oil giant said pressure tests on the cement plug poured down the throat of the well show the seal is solidly in place. With confirmation that the "static kill" worked, 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. The company didn't make clear whether 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. For more on the possibility that BP will someday drill for oil near the blown well, click here.