Gulf Oil Spill
5:41 pm
Sat August 14, 2010

Blow-out Preventer May Be Replaced Before Bottom Kill

New Orleans, La. – National Incident Commander Thad Allen is ordering more testing and options on handling problems that may develop when mud and cement are pumped into the broken well from the bottom. One option may be replacing the blow-out preventer now on top of the well that was plugged with mud and cement last week

"We're going to kill the well. The question is do you remove the blow-out preventer before or afterwards. If you remove it before, you're banking on the fact that the cement job you did in the well casing will hold and there'll be no hydrocarbon transmission into the environment."

Allen says he expects test results early next week. If he OK's the bottom kill, it could begin next weekend if drilling on a relief well into the broken line is finished.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.