National

Aug 2, 2010 8:20 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Gulf crews prepare to start plugging well for good

Today could be the beginning of sealing up BP's blown-out oil well for good.

Engineers in the Gulf of Mexico hope to begin shoving mud through lines installed last month straight down the throat of the leaky well. If mud forces the oil back into the massive underground reservoir and scientists are confident the pressure remains stable, then engineers can pump in fresh cement to seal it.

Officials would then begin the process of choking the underground reservoir feeding the well by pumping mud and then cement down an 18,000-foot relief well. The so-call "static kill" plan carries no uncertainty, but right now the only thing preventing oil from once again gushing into the Gulf is an experimental cap that's held for more than two weeks. It was never meant to be permanent.

The well spewed as much as 184 million gallons of oil into the Gulf since the April rig explosion.

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