BP finished pouring cement down its crippled well in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday in an operation known as a "static kill," completing the job earlier than expected.
The government official overseeing the effort is sounding increasingly optimistic that the end is in sight in the drive to seal the well once and for all.
BP began pouring cement into its undersea well in the Gulf of Mexico at 9:15 a.m. ET Thursday, and it finished pouring it at 3:15 p.m. That followed 2,300 barrels of heavy drilling mud, poured down from a ship on the surface Tuesday.
Before word came that the cementing had been completed, retired Adm. Thad Allen said the development would amount to a "significant milestone" in the long-running fight against the BP oil spill.