NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Sometime later today, officials are expected to deliver the verdict on whether BP's problem oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is permanently plugged.

Test results will determine if the BP gusher has been sealed well enough to declare the operation complete. National Incident Commander Thad Allen says the big question is whether enough drilling mud and cement went into the pipe through the temporary cap to plug the oil flow for good.

If it's decided the well is indeed sealed, then there will be no need to complete the relief well to plug the well from below. An early afternoon news conference is set announce the findings.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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