Relief Tunnel Should Reach BP Gulf Well By Weekend
July 21, 2010
The Associated Press reports the federal government''s spill chief said a relief tunnel should finally reach BP''s broken Gulf of Mexico well by the weekend, meaning the three-month-old gusher could be snuffed for good within two weeks. After several days of concern about the well''s stability and the leaky cap keeping the oil mostly bottled up, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said that engineers concluded the risk of a bigger blowout was minimal and were getting closer to pumping mud into the column to permanently seal it. On the Gulf, BP vice president Kent Wells said crews hope to drill sideways into the blown-out well and intercept it at the end of July. The relief well is necessary to plug the well permanently. After it''s done, crews will begin the kill procedure, pumping mud and cement into the hole a mile underwater to seal it, which BP said could take anywhere from five days to a couple of weeks. Engineers are also considering shooting drilling mud down through the cap to increase the chances that the attempt to kill the well succeeds.