Adm. Allen: "There's basis for optimism moving forward"

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BP planned to resume drilling a relief well on Sunday to permanently seal its ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The well has already been sealed by pumping cement into it as part of a complex operation known as a "static kill". Next up is the "bottom kill" procedure. The well-killing effort will send more mud and cement through a relief well that has been in the works for months now.

On the talk show circuit Sunday morning, Retired Admiral Thad Allan said he was optimistic about its success. "The nightmare scenario has always been total loss of well control, and I think we're well beyond that at this point, that's the reason I think there's basis for optimism moving forward," he said. When asked on CNN if he thought the well was sealed once and for all, Allen said, "Well it needs to be sealed from the bottom. We have sealed the casing pipe from the top. We need to drill into the area outside the casing pipe and the well bore, and do that with the relief well and that will be happening this week."

BP says the relief well is about 100 feet from the crippled well. The company expects the relief well to intersect the main well between August 13th and 15th. The drilling of a second relief well as a backup has been suspended.

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