The beginning of the end could be little more than a week away for the capped, sunken oil well in the Gulf of Mexico - that is, if the latest timeline for permanently killing the ruptured well holds up.
Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the government's oil spill response, said Friday that BP tentatively expects to intercept the ruptured well through the closer of two relief wells around August 14 or 15.
While the "static kill" that involved pumping mud and cement into the upper part the pipe earlier in the week could potentially plug the well for good, Allen has instructed BP to proceed with a final "bottom kill." That's when more mud and cement will be poured into the well through one of two relief wells. The bottom kill amounts to an insurance policy.