Federal Official to Outline What Lies Ahead After Oil Spill Is Sealed

Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is optimistic that steps planned for the coming days will finally, permanently seal the well.

"The relief well, while it is deep, is something that has been done before," Allen said. "The technologies involved here are not novel, but obviously, the depth is a challenge here. But we are optimistic we willget this done."

Allen offered that assessment as preparations proceeded for two efforts to kill the well about a mile below the surface — first, sealing it from above by pouring down mud and cement in an operation known as "static kill," and then closing it off from below by an intersecting relief well.

The static kill could begin Sunday, while the relief well may be ready for the "bottom kill" effort five to seven days afterward.
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