Could Relief Come Sooner?

If you listen to the media storm at the moment, a lot of people are debating whether or not these relief wells will finally shut down the gushing oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Tomorrow is the fourth of July, so I wanted to impart you with a little bit of optimism to share around the grill. For weeks, the progress of both relief wells have been ahead of schedule, and the first well is only hundreds of feet from it’s target. It isn’t a certainty, but in this case the technology BP is using to stop the well is actually a technology they heavily invest in, drilling. If there is one thing they have progressed in the last 30 years, it’s the ability to make big holes.

And now BP has been letting it slip that they may reach the beast and stop it sometime in July. Jordan Burke and Jessica Resnick-Ault write for Bloomberg Businessweek

The target date for intercepting the leaking well and pumping in mud and cement to permanently seal it is still mid- August, U.S. National Incident Commander Thad Allen said today on a conference call with reporters. The well is within 600 feet (182 meters) of intercepting the leak, he said.
“They are ahead of schedule at this point,” Allen said. “I am reluctant to tell you that it will happen before the middle of August because I think that everything associated with this spill and response recovery suggests that we should under- promise and over-deliver.”
BP diverted 25,150 barrels of oil from the leaking well to surface vessels yesterday. The Macondo well is estimated to be spewing 35,000 to 60,000 barrels a day, according to a government-led panel of scientists. The well started leaking after an April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, causing the drilling rig to sink and killing 11 crew members.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc analysts David Cline and Barry MacCarthy said the first relief well may be completed between July 7 and July 12, according to a note to clients yesterday. Pritchard Capital Partners LLC analysts Brian Uhlmer, Anuj Sharma and William Conroy said in a June 29 note that the well would be intercepted between July 7 and July 9.
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