The Upshot

Thad Allen: Drilling of relief well must go forward

Brett Michael Dykes
The Upshot

On Thursday, reports surfaced that BP may have accidentally plugged its nightmare Gulf of Mexico well from the bottom, thus eliminating the need to complete the drilling of a relief well to inject cement into it for a permanent kill. But in a news conference Friday, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said that relief-well operations must go forward.

Some had thought that the  mud and cement pumped in from the top of the well might have killed it. But officials tested the pressure beneath the cement plug currently in place and determined that a rise in pressure meant that a space between the inner piping and outer casing needs to be cemented in order to finish it off.

"The relief well will be finished," Allen said. "We will kill the well."

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