BP Moves on with Relief Well

A month ago, this would have seemed like great news: BP is going full-steam ahead on drilling the relief well that will finally guarantee the oil well that caused the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is dead. But today, that drilling is generating little excitement, because it isn’t obvious that the procedure is still necessary. In its own report this week, BP suggested that it may have to take a different approach, even though the well is no longer liable to spring a new leak into the Gulf of Mexico, according to Admiral Thad Allen. Currently, the plan is to first attach a rig to the top of the well and pump cement into it from there—which could be enough on its own—before pumping in more cement near the reservoir through the relief well. "If you can do one more thing to enhance the security of the well and the relief well is 99 percent finished, it would be terrible to walk away from it. It's very close to being completed," said one relief well technology expert.