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Gulf relief well down to final 100 feet

August 9, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A drill guided by one person is less than 100 feet away from its target, half the size of a dartboard.The relief well is touted as the best solution to prevent crude oil from spilling into the Gulf of Mexico again.

It's the final act, as John Wright guides a drill more than two miles beneath the sea floor and three miles from the surface, trying to hit a target less than half the size of a dartboard. The drill is about as wide as a grapefruit, and the target now lies less than 100 feet away.

If Wright misses, BP engineers will pull the drill bit up, pour concrete in the off-track hole and then try again.

Wright is 40-for-40 , though, having helped capped wells across the world in four decades of work. And he seemed confident in a June video put out by BP that he could make it 41-for-41.

Latest Developments:

  • BP says it has received 145,000 claims for lost income because of its blown-out well and has paid out $324 million without denying a single claim.
  • BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley met with top administration officials at the White House Monday to discuss environmental and economic recovery in the Gulf.
  • The Justice Department says BP made its first deposit into a $20 billion fund for victims of the Gulf oil spill -- more than a month earlier than planned.
  • Weeks ago, scientists discovered specks of oil on crab larvae. They say it's an ominous sign that crude has infiltrated the Gulf's vast food web - and could affect it for years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.