BP Begins Cementing Gulf Oil Well


BP (BP) has started pumping cement into its ruptured Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, the next step in the process to permanently end the disastrous oil spill.

Authorities gave the go-ahead late last night to begin cementing after the pressure in the well was brought under control as part of the so-called static kill procedure, Bloomberg News reported.

"Based on the successful completion of the static kill procedure and a positive evaluation of the test results, I have authorized BP to cement its damaged well," National Incident Commander Thad Allen said in an emailed statement.

The final measure to seal the well remains the relief well, which will pump in mud and cement to kill the well from the bottom. Allen said he expects the relief well to be complete later this month.

The Macondo well leaked about 4.9 million barrels of oil between April 20 and July 15. Eleven workers were killed when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20.