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Coastal Desk

Debris In Relief Well Delays Kill Operations at BP Well

By Eileen Fleming

New Orleans, La. – Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen says operations will be delayed a day or so. Debris was found inside the relief well that's set to plug the broken well with mud and cement.

"Some of the sediment around the sidewall just kind of fell in on itself. If you can imagine if you drilled a hole and did not put a pipe down to reinforce it. We had about 40 feet of where it just - it settled in on itself. It's not a huge problem."

The government point man on the oil spill says it means that mud will be pumped down through the containment cap next week, not over the weekend as hoped. It's called a static kill, and if it works, oil would be pushed back down into the undersea reservoir and the cap would be sealed with cement. The same method would be used from the bottom once the relief well is finished. That's considered a permanent fix and could be finished in a few weeks.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.

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