BP's infamous Macondo well is now "effectively dead" according to the federal government's number one point man for the Gulf Oil Spill.
"Additional regulatory steps will be undertaken but we can now state, definitively, that the Macondo well poses no continuing threat to the Gulf of Mexico," former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen announced.
The owner of the well, BP, began its final cementing operations to cap the well Friday. Workers waited Saturday for the cement to harden inside the well, some 2.5 miles below the sea floor, and then conducted their final pressure tests.
The oil was contained in July when a temporary cap was put on the well, but the well was not officially dead until a relief well was dug and a more permanent solution was implemented to seal the well.
While the well is sealed, and BP has so far paid $1.6 billion in claims and payments to the government, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D) of Massachusetts says many questions remain unanswered.
"This spill began with a bang, ends with a whimper, and leaves a number of issues still screaming for attention," he said Saturday in a statement regarding the well.
"This may be the final nail in the coffin for BP's well, but the investigations into this crime against the environment are continuing. Inquiries by Congress, the Obama administration's independent panel, and others will progress until every inch of this environmental crime scene has been examined and a full autopsy has been performed on the spill's effects," his statement said.