New Orleans, La. – National Incident Commander Thad Allen says pressure testing at the well shows something is blocking oil from coming back up the reservoir. He says it's probably cement pumped in from the top that somehow got pushed back inside.
"What we don't want to do is somehow upset what we've done, which is a really good cementing job that was done through the top kill."
Allen says pumping in more mud and cement from the bottom through the relief well could bust the cement now in place. And he says it could damage the capping system.
"The relief well will be finished, and that is the end result. How it gets finished will be determined on risk mitigation and a way forward that's being discussed right now. The relief well will be finished. We will kill the well."
Storms have halted drilling at the site. Allen says it could resume next week.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.