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Review Under Way on Whether 'Bottom Kill' Needed for Gulf Well


A still image from a live BP video feed shows the BP well on 06 Aug 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico

A still image from a live BP video feed shows the BP well on 06 Aug 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico

Oil company BP says it is reviewing with government scientists the results of a pressure test on the Gulf of Mexico oil well to see if the ruptured well that has spilled millions of barrels of oil into the water is already sealed for good.

BP said in a statement Friday that the four-hour pressure test was completed Thursday night, and the review is under way.

The government's response chief, retired Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, is to provide an update on the situation Friday.

Allen has said the test results could show that the final application of mud and cement, known as a "bottom kill," is not needed. He said an earlier process known as a "static kill" operation may have unexpectedly plugged the well completely.

The static kill operation, completed by BP last week, involved pumping mud and cement into the well from the top. The bottom kill would involve pumping mud and cement in from the bottom. But officials say the cement may have already sealed the space the bottom kill would have targeted.

An April 20 explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 people and ruptured the well, polluting the region's waters and much of the Gulf Coast shoreline. The oil leak was stopped with a temporary cap in mid-July.

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