Gulf relief well down to final 100 feet

NEW ORLEANS 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.

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