"The final question in this whole killing of the well has been the condition of the annulus"
Press Briefing by National Incident Commander Thad Allen, September 15, 2010 at 12:00 p.m. EDT:
So we're sort of concerned with the annulus and the actual actions taken will be depending on the condition of the annulus when the intercepts made. The first indication we will get with that will be any change of pressure in the drilling fluids or the strum in that drill bit when the interception is made. At that point, I think there will be a characterization made of the annulus itself and a decision made on how to proceed at that point.
I can't predict what will happen because as we said the final question in this whole killing of the well has been the condition of the annulus. I don't think we think there will be any blockage here I think we think we're going to need to pump cement but that will not be verified until we actually do the intercept. ...
The steps after the well intercept will be to ascertain the condition of the annulus. As you know we do not know what the condition of the annulus is whether or not there are hydrocarbons in it, communication with the reservoir and so forth. Today will give us a lot of information especially when we get close and finally conduct the intercept looking at the changes in pressure of the drilling mud that's going in and out.
That will be something that we're monitoring very closely. And we will give you update throughout the day. I have been notifying and updating the senior leadership in Washington as we move forward.