BP: Relief Well May Not Be the Answer

Firm might try to plug busted wellhead directly
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2010 2:37 PM CDT
A crab swims in a light oil sheen in Barataria Bay on the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, July 31, 2010.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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(Newser) – BP officials say the role of a relief well long considered the only surefire way to kill the Gulf oil leak is now unclear. A BP exec said today engineers may pump cement directly into the failed well using a surface ship. The company had already said it might do that rather than waiting for the relief well to be completed this month. But BP has never before indicated it might forgo use of the relief well altogether in direct attempts to plug the leak.

Officials had said they hoped to begin testing this evening in an effort to plug the well from the top in what's called a "static kill." It was hoped the relief well would eventually do the same from the bottom. But a BP spokesman says "precisely what the relief wells will do remains to be seen."

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