New Orleans, La. – The government's point man for the response says once the well is declared dead, crews will start removing the containment cap that stopped the leak in mid-July.
"Once the relief well is finished that equipment will have to be removed and the well will then be plugged under regulations that are issued by the Department of Interior. That will involve several steps. It will be removal of the cap itself and ultimately the removal of the current blowout preventer and its replacement."
Allen says BP has less than 100 feet to drill before intercepting the well, which is expected at the end of this week. Mud and cement will be pumped in before the well is considered permanently shut.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.