BP's relief well should finally reach its broken wellhead by the weekend, says federal coordinator Thad Allen, meaning the gusher could be snuffed for good within two weeks. BP vice president Kent Wells said crews hope to drill sideways into the blown-out well and intercept it at the end of July. After the relief well's done, crews will begin the kill procedure, pumping mud and cement into the hole a mile underwater to seal it, which BP says could take anywhere from five days to a couple of weeks.
"Everything's looking good," Wells said. "The relief well is exactly where we want it. It's pointed in the right direction, and so we're feeling good about that." Meanwhile, the oil giant was quick to dismiss yesterday's report by the Times of London that CEO Tony Hayward would be out of a job before October so the company could guard against a buyout by Royal Dutch Shell or ExxonMobil, reports Reuters. Despite Hayward's bumbling leadership, "There's more than enough blame to spread around here," says one insider.