BP (BP) finished pumping cement into its broken Macondo oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, clearing the way to permanently sealing the leak later this month.
BP pumped cement into the well for most of Thursday after using mud to control the pressure inside the ruptured well, Reuters reported.
"This is not the end, but it will virtually assure us that no oil will be leaking into the environment," said retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen.
The next step will be to use a relief well to finally seal the reservoir 13,000 feet beneath the seabed. Engineers will use the relief well to pump in more mud and cement as part of a so-called bottom kill operation. The relief well should be ready later this month.
"I will declare this well dead once we've intercepted the annulus (the space between the well pipe and surrounding rock) and we've assessed how much mud or cement we need to do from the bottom to finally kill this well," Allen said
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