N THE GULF OF MEXICO – Drilling crews are grinding ever deeper to build the relief wells that are the best hope of stopping the massive oil leak at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
The crew of Transocean Ltd.’s Development Driller II finished pouring cement Sunday morning on a section of metal casing lining one of two relief wells now at roughly 5,000 feet, said Mickey Fruge, BP’s wellsite leader aboard the rig. When that cement is firm on Monday, the rig’s crew will keep extending the well.
BP and government officials say the wells are the best option for cutting off the gusher that has spilled as much as 125 million gallons into the Gulf since the Transocean drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 workers. A separate rig had drilled to a depth of nearly 11,000 feet, a BP spokesman said Sunday.
Back on land, coastal residents were infuriated by news that BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward was taking a break from overseeing efforts to stop the leak to watch his 52-foot yacht, “Bob,” compete in a race around the Isle of Wight off southern England.
“Man, that ain’t right. None of us can even go out fishing, and he’s at the yacht races,” said Bobby Pitre, 33, who runs a tattoo shop in Larose, La. “I wish we could get a day off from the oil, too.”