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NEW ORLEANS-- Oil giant BP says crews have begun pumping cement to permanently seal the company's blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

A spokesman said Friday there no longer is a need to use mud in tandem with the cement because pressure from the well isn't an issue.

BP expects the well to be completely sealed on Saturday. The government had previously said it expected the well to be declared dead by Sunday.

The pumping of cement follows the successful intersection late Thursday between a relief well drilled nearly 2.5 miles beneath the floor of the Gulf and the blown-out well.

An April 20 explosion killed 11 workers, sank a drilling rig and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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