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Primary relief well edges closer to gushing oil well

Emmett Mayer III, The Times-Picayune, June 30, 2010

Gulf of Mexico relief wellThe ultimate solution for stopping the gusher is still a relief well. Two are being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, one as a backup. The primary well, which was started nearly two months ago, had been drilled to about 16,770 feet below the water's surface by Monday [June 28] morning.

The well was about 900 feet above the point where it will intersect with the Macondo well, Wells said. But horizontally, the well is now just 20 feet away from the blown-out well, after beginning about half a mile away, Wells said.

When the relief well reaches its target, engineers will drill through the busted well and pump mud into it until the flow of oil is stopped. The mud will be followed by cement to seal the well permanently. A second well is being drilled as a backup in case the first fails.

Gulf of Mexico relief well

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