Digging for relief

BP's relief well


BP's explanation of the relief wells they are drilling, and progress as of May 14.

The backup backup backup plans
BP announced that its next step would be to cut the broken riser from the blowout preventer, and then attempt to seal another containment device over the pipe. The device, called the Lower Marine Riser Package Cap Containment System, will hopefully capture most of the leaking gas and oil, giving BP time to complete its long-term solution. BP hopes to close off the well completely by first drilling another hole into the original well, and then pumping drilling mud into the well to seal it off. “Relief wells” have worked before, but drilling through them can takes several months—BP doesn’t expect the relief well in the gulf to be operational before August. Whether or not they can take control the leak before then remains to be seen…