The “static kill” procedure, which involved filling the leaking well at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico with cement, was finished Friday. Monitoring is ongoing to determine how effective the latest containment effort will be.
Meanwhile, the “bottom kill” procedure will continue, in which more cement will be poured into the well through a relief well. British oil company BP stated that the static kill procedure complemented the ongoing drilling of relief wells.
US officials had given permission earlier this week to BP to undergo the procedure of pumping mud and cement.
Previously on July 15, BP placed a temporary containment cap over the leak which ended months of oil leakage. Before temporarily capping the well, the government estimates that nearly 5 million barrels had spilled into the Gulf.
Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said the cementing process brings the situation one step closer to a final solution. Allen is the national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon response.
Allen told reporters, “Let me state, and I have stated this several times, that this is not the end. But it will virtually assure us that there will be no chance of oil leaking into the environment.”
He added, “And we have significantly improved our chances to finally kill the well.”
According to the British oil company, “Depending on weather conditions, mid-August is the current estimate of the most likely date by which the first relief well will intercept the Macondo well annulus.”
President Obama rejoiced in “the welcome news.”
The president had said, “The long battle to stop the leak and contain the oil is finally close to coming to an end, and we are very pleased with that.”