New Orleans, La. – The first step is called a static kill. Heavy mud will be pumped into the containment cap that's been holding back the oil spill since July 15th. If casing in the broken well system is intact, the oil will be pushed back down into the underwater reservoir and cement will seal the well. Work then begins on the permanent kill that's being drilled by a relief well. Once the static kill is finished, more mud will be pumped into the broken well and sealed with cement from the bottom. If the static kill goes on schedule, it could finish sometime next week. The mud and cement plug operation under the seafloor could then take days or weeks to complete.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.