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Testing Begins for Attempt to Plug Gulf Oil Well

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - BP says engineers have begun testing to
determine whether they can begin pumping mud down the throat of the
blown-out Gulf oil well in hopes of choking it for good.

Engineers are probing the busted blowout preventer with an oil-like liquid Tuesday to decide whether it can handle this "static kill" process.

If the test is successful, the company plans to start slowly pumping the heavy mud down the well as early as Tuesday and it could continue through Thursday.

BP engineers say the static kill may permanently plug the well but they may not know for sure until they finish a relief well later this month.

They then plan to pump mud and cement through that 18,000-foot
well to permanently suffocate the source of the oil.


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