BP said in a statement that the relief well intercepted the stricken well’s annulus — the space between the well’s metal casing and the surrounding rock — nearly 13,000 feet below the seabed at 4:30 p.m. Central time on Thursday.
BP said that tests showed there was no cement or oil and gas in the annulus at the interception point, so there was no need to pump heavy drilling mud into the annulus through the relief well, a procedure known as a bottom kill. Instead, crews will pump only cement into the annulus, forming a final seal.
“It is expected that the MC252 well will be completely sealed on Saturday,” the statement said, referring to the damaged oil well. Once it is sealed, the statement said, crews would begin standard procedures to abandon the well.