Storm Forces BP to Halt Work on Relief Well
Now it's possible that the relief well will be unnecessary
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2010 2:30 PM CDT
In this Aug. 3 photo, a support vessel, foreground center, surrounds the Helix Q4000, background, used to perform the static kill operation, at the site of the Deepwater Horizon spill.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(Newser) – BP engineers have suspended the drilling of a relief well in the Gulf of Mexico because of a tropical storm headed for the dig site, the Houston Chronicle reports. The crew of the Development Driller III will lock down the drilling rig for two or three days. By then, however, it's possible that the so-called "bottom kill" procedure will be unnecessary.

Adm. Thad Allen raised that possibility for the first time today when he announced that the "static kill," an injection of cement from the top, may have permanently sealed the Macondo well. Tests are being undertaken to judge the stability of the cement seal. If scientists are confident it will hold, work on the relief well could stop.