From: Kristen Hays, Reuters
Published September 20, 2010 06:19 AM

BP permanently "kills" Gulf of Mexico well

With a final shot of cement, BP Plc permanently "killed" its deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico that ruptured in April and unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the top U.S. spill official said on Sunday.

Some 153 days after the Macondo well ruptured, the U.S. government confirmed that BP had succeeded in drilling a relief well nearly 18,000 feet below the ocean surface and permanently sealing the well with cement.

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"The Macondo 252 well is effectively dead," retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, who has overseen the U.S. government's response, said in a statement. "We can now state, definitively, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico."

President Barack Obama, whose public approval ratings were hurt by public discontent over the U.S. government's initial response to the spill, welcomed the long-awaited development as an "important milestone."

Obama said his administration was now focused on making sure the Gulf Coast "recovers fully from this disaster."

"This road will not be easy, but we will continue to work closely with the people of the Gulf to rebuild their livelihoods and restore the environment that supports them," Obama said in a statement.

On Thursday, a relief well bored into the bottom of the Macondo well to pump in cement and seal the reservoir for good. BP pumped cement for seven hours on Friday, and finished a pressure test early on Sunday that showed the well was permanently clogged, Allen said.

Photo shows  a remote operating vehicle (ROV) working on Sept 18 at the site of BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Credit: REUTERS/BP/Handout

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68H22Y20100919

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