Published: Aug 05, 2010 5:33 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 06, 2010 4:30 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The government's point man on the Gulf oil spill response says it could take at least a day for the cement being pumped in the blown well to dry.

Retired Adm. Thad Allen said Thursday in Washington that it could take another five to seven days after the cement cures to finish the last part of a nearby relief well.

Engineers were able to force oil underground after pumping mud and then cement down the throat of the blown well this week.

But Allen says he will not declare the well dead until engineers shove mud and cement down the relief well to plug the underground oil reservoir.

The relief well is about 100 feet above its target and about four feet from it horizontally.