) relief well has intercepted the Macondo well, putting engineers in a position to permanently plug the well that spewed out millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The relief well achieved this milestone late last night, Reuters reported
. The next step will be to pour in cement near the bottom of the well, some 2.5 miles below the seabed.
"The aggregate data available supports the conclusion that the two wells are joined," said retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the government's point man on the disaster.
Allen also said it appears the reservoir is already sealed off from all parts of the Macondo well following BP's "top kill" operation last month. Now, this "bottom kill" will ensure that the job is completed.
The Macondo ruptured when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers. Crude oil spewed into the Gulf for almost three months before BP was able to cap the wellhead.