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Aug 2, 2010 4:34 AM

Gulf crews prepare to start plugging well for good

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Engineers on the Gulf of Mexico hope to begin a plan by Monday evening to shove mud and perhaps cement into the blown-out oil well at the seafloor, making it easier to end the gusher for good.

The only thing keeping millions more gallons of oil out of the Gulf right now is an experimental cap that has held for more than two weeks but was never meant to be permanent.

The so-called "static kill" attempt carries no certainty, and BP PLC engineers still plan to follow it up days later by sending a stream of mud and cement into the bottom of the mile-deep underground reservoir through a relief well they've been digging for months.

But the oil giant's engineers and petroleum experts say it's the clearest path yet to choke the blown-out well.

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