The Oil Spill's Ironic Ending

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Aug. 25 2010 12:30 AM

The Oil Spill's Ironic Ending

In early May, BP began drilling a relief well to stop the leak. Two weeks later, under orders from the government, it initiated a second relief well. The second well now extends 15,874 feet below the water's surface, and the first has reached a depth of 17,864 feet —just 100 feet from its destination. The point was to kill the leak by pumping mud and cement into the bottom of the troubled well. But now that the cap is in place, BP and the government are considering a " static kill "—pumping in the fatal mud from the top. Three months of drilling for nothing.

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Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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