Another delay in the Gulf oil well kill caused by hydraulic leak.
One mile beneath the surface is the latest delay. Crews hope to fix a hydraulic leak today to get back to the business of sealing the leaking well.
If they're able to do that and complete one more key test, heavy mud will begin pumping through the blow out preventer…choking the Macondo well from the top down.
National Incident Commander Thad Allen said, "What you want is the pressure to slowly decrease until it becomes zero in the well, that means the amount of mud is equal to the pressure being pushed up."
If it works, it could be all that's needed and a relief well would only be used to verify that and give an extra measure of mud and cement from the bottom.
But an end to the well is hardly an end to the story. Government scientists now estimate the crude flowed at a rate of 62-thousand barrels a day initially, down to 53-thousand barrels a day when it was capped July 15th…a total of some 4-point-9 million barrels.
Oil, that locals worry is still out there…If not on the surface, then somewhere below.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said, "Pelicans and birds continue to dive and lose their lives because we were told no oil."
Orange Beach, Alabama Mayor Tony Kennon said, "We're going to put divers in the water at all different depths, looking for that mystical oil monster."
A monster that so many still fear here, even as officials get ready to go in for the kill.