BP says its engineers have begun pumping heavy drilling mud into the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well in hopes of choking it for good.
BP spokesman John Barnes says crews launched the so-called "static kill" process Tuesday to plug up the well and then possibly seal it with cement.
The well has leaked millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf since a BP rig exploded in April and killed 11 workers. The company was able to bottle up the leak last month with a cap, but engineers always considered that a temporary solution.
BP engineers say the static kill may permanently plug the well, but they will not know for sure until they finish a relief well later this month.
They then plan to pump mud and cement through that to permanently suffocate the source of the oil.