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Decision expected on plug for BP's broken oil well

Aug 13, 2010 11:44:00 AM - thestate.com
Officials could know by early Friday if BP's broken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been sealed for good.

BP PLC said Friday that tests on the well were being analyzed after being finished the night before. The tests will let the federal government and BP know if work last month that was meant to be temporary had the unexpected effect of permanently plugging the gusher.

BP said in a news release that officials would soon make a recommendation to retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the Obama administration's point man on the oil spill. Allen scheduled a news conference for 12:45 p.m. CDT in Louisiana to give an update on the operation.

On Thursday, Allen said it's possible that the long-discussed final fix, known as a "bottom kill," won't be necessary. After a temporary cap was placed on top of the well last month, heavy drilling mud and cement were pumped in from above in what's called a "static kill."

Some of the cement may have gone down into the reservoir, come back up and plugged the space between the inner piping and the outer casing - which is what engineers were hoping to do with the bottom kill, Allen said.

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