July 7th, 2010
09:34 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Will the Relief Wells Work?

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Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Progress is being made on two relief wells in the Gulf. Retired Admiral Thad Allen, who’s leading the government response to the disaster, said today one well is "very close" to being completed, and would be ready in early or mid-August. Rig workers are drilling 100 feet at a time until they intercept the broken well at the right place, Allen said.

But what if they miss? Tom Foreman has the answer to that question tonight on 360°.

We're also looking into a plan to measure just how much oil is leaking into the Gulf, where it's going and what it's doing to the region. It's called "Deep Spill 2." The cost: $8.4 million. The proposal was put together by a team of researchers. They never got a response from BP on their first proposal two months ago. They're trying again.

In crime and punishment, we're following the arrest of a suspected serial killer. For decades, police in Los Angeles have been trying to hunt down the Grim Sleeper, nicknamed for taking long breaks between attacks. Today they believe they caught their man. We'll have the details.

Join us for these stories and more tonight on 360°. See you at 10 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    WE had better hope & pray that these releif wells work! If they do not then what is next? To much uncertanity about blowing the well up. You could shatter the well and wind up with oil seeping through the ocean bottom, in multiple locations, that could not be stopped! And why so many comments about the president? It appears that some think that the president is totally responsible for this disaster? Do you really want him to nuke the well? He and others have already said that they, our government, does not have the technology to deal with this problem and have to let BP do their thing. And for those of you that ask. NO I do not trust BP! Money & greed created this disaster, and i would not be surprised at all to find that other oil companies, and others are taking short cuts to make $$$. What we need to do is stop all the politics about clean up and start trying some of the suggestions from others & get all the "do gooder" groups out of the way!

    July 8, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  2. mitchell

    I work out there. MMS has the right to stop what they want, when they want to. AC360 yall need to look in the MMS rule books to see just how much control they have. They can make you stop or start something as fast as they want because they can pull your right to drill or produce at any time.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  3. BiL

    the first solution top-hat ...

    they said it didnt work because ice crystals clogged it..
    wasnt that EXACTLY what we wanted ?

    BP wanted to syphon the oil, not clog it.. so they said it failed.

    I think they lied, I think clogging up was EXACTLY what we wanted.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:08 am |
  4. Bruce Harris

    Plan A was to cap the well, Plan B is drilling the relief wells. I can't believe the government agreed to let the oil spew out for 80 days without trying plans C,D etc. I am not an engineer, but I am a geophysicst. I shouldn't be hard to get a concrete or steel tank, (even 100ft diameter) cut the bottom off it and and lower it down from the ship so that it completely covers the leaking well and sits on the seafloor to provide a seal. You may have to cut the well off at seafloor level first The tank would have a pipe attached up the the surface where they could apply suction so that they could get all the oil not just some of it. Its not rocket science just engineering. Its just like putting a vacuum cleaner over over a candle.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:34 am |
  5. Pam in SWLA

    The Cooporate Lawyers of BP are keeping Americans in the dark of the slow poisoning that's taking place to our citizens....It is Our RIGHT to know exactly how much oil is flowing & the long term effects of the vapors we breathe with the southwesternly winds that are blowing this time of year...this is Our Homeland that has being destroyed by coirporate greed. They are making the rules...& only a handful of our government/agencies actually have stood up to this industry...

    July 8, 2010 at 1:28 am |
    • Pam in SWLA

      The news keeps comparing this incident with the Exon Mobile spill in Alaska. At least with that spill, there was record of how much that ship was carrying...we will never know the amount that has already tainted our waters...the waters of our world!!! Aren't other countries concerned??

      July 8, 2010 at 1:38 am |
  6. m.bybee

    shawna, if you set a charge of on that oil well, you will just knock the cap off of it, it is a deep hole in the ground. explosives in the past,were used to put fires out on the wells in iraq so they could be shut down. it would seem to me that the best course of action would be to drill a hole at a 45.degree angle down a few hundred feet to intercept the existing well hole, and while relieving the pressure on the well, you could then pump concrete into the top of the first screw up. bp has spent tens of millions of dollars on research to scientists who suggested filling the hole with shredded tires.. i would have givin' that one to them for twenty bucks and a pack of marlboros..

    July 8, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  7. Debra Ogletree

    I can only hope that the well is stopped soon. We have lost so much already. I wonder, once the well is capped, will our elected officials do their job or will it be another "out of site, out of mind."
    If I am allowed, as our government has been, to interpret the "intent" of the United States Constitution, then I truely believe the wise men that drafted this document fully intended for the citizens of the United States to have the right of protection against any and all attacks to our land and water. The responsibility to provide and guarantee this right shall be on the shoulders of the government.
    BP is criminally responsible for the death of 11 men, putting many others in direct danger and causing life threatening injuries, for polluting our water and land, for killing endangered species of mammal and marine life, and for the extinction of some of the same.
    This was all caused by BP's negligence.
    I feel that my constitutional right has been put in jeopardy. Our Constitution states: That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–
    It is my right and my duty to say (Enough is enough.) If our elected officials can't protect us, our land and water, then it is time to get someone that will.
    We voted you in, we can vote you out. Do your job!

    July 8, 2010 at 12:55 am |
  8. Steve

    Yes the relief well will work, no body remembers in the 80's when
    West Carmon 648 was on fire for months. That is how we got it out.
    How about the early 70's when we lost Hill House block off the coast of
    California. Funny how short we can't remember the past. The Government should fire some of their experts and hire some people with some common sense. When MMS lands on your platform they have guns and hand cuffs (just in case they want to arrest you) CNN you need to get better experts also. I could write a book about who all is at fault on this one.

    July 8, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  9. Lynn from Texas

    I agree David Hoo. I have been screaming about this since the beginning. The dispersants are the hidden tragedy that no one seems to be really addressing. Correxit it illegal for use in Europe-it is too toxic.
    Yet, we have treated the Gulf like a big experiment and dumped millions of pounds into the water without even knowing what it will do to the water or to the poor animals living in it. The EPA should be horsewhipped for allowing this poison to be used with no regard for what may happen to the ecosystem as a result.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm |
  10. Jade

    The government should seize all of BP's assets and put every single executive in that company in prison. And charge them with "ruining the earth". I mean that has to be some kind of felony! Don't you think?

    July 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
  11. vicki

    everyone is talking about what this is costing bp and what the fine will be,they have destroyed the gulf and it has destroyed peoples lives not just affected them as the dem was choosing his words carefully on that subject and they need to open the wallet and keep giving it out but it will never be saved and every us government official is just as guilty because they were letting them operate it was not safe,if you want to shut up a politician just mentain campain donations.

    July 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  12. john

    Shawna's right about waiting a month, and Will is right on about leadership issues. David looks like he has some good insight as well. A quicker solution has been proposed on a blog nobody seems to read, so here's a quote of their summary. They've got a drawing of their idea which is a better than this description. (they are strikstone hosted by wordpress):

    "We propose lowering to the leak a wide (4 yard diameter or greater) flexible, plastic (tarp-like), sheath with a single segment of reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) at the bottom. The idea is to have the concrete pipe surround and contain the leak spot, funneling the oil upwards like a chimney. The plastic sheath will then contain the oil as it rises to the surface. The wide diameter is intended to circumvent the formation of frozen deposits which foiled the first attempt to pipe up the oil. Once the oil is contained, the base of the RCP can be cemented to the ocean floor, and then work can commence on sealing its top. "

    July 7, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  13. Adam

    Welcome to Capitalism(Big Business)
    They have our politicians in their pockets and call us "small people"

    July 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  14. David Hoo

    The President and the EPA have been suckered by BP. The use of dispersants, especially far below the water surface, was simply a smart PR ploy by BP to minimize the spilled oil to visibly surface. Had 100% of the oil reached the surface, the world would be able to easily and graphically see this horrendous disaster from the start.

    Worst, dispersed oil below surface makes if far more difficult to track, collect and skim off the spilled oil. Plus the dispersants may also have additional negative environmental effects. Plus, it makes it impossible to measure how much oil has been spilled to evade the environmental fines liability worth billions. Failure to see and stop BP’s use of dispersants seems grossly negligent on the part of the President and the EPA.


    July 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
  15. will

    what is the plan if the shaft for the oil well leak is fractured and they cannot plug the well? that is a possibility and no one is addressing that question. what if you cannot plug the well with the relief wells? Will anyone then ask why we waited three months to answer the offer from europe and saudi arabia for skimmer ships? when will anyone scream at obama for failing in leadership as they screamed at bush two days after katrina? tomorrow is day 80!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
  16. shawna coviello

    Why doesn't the President let the oil spill go on for another 79 days. In the face of disaster, its not the disaster people are judging, its how its handled, Obama gets an F, I am personaly humiliated that Obama seems to act like a kid who's just gotten his license, picking a fight w Az, instead of helping wit the problem, letting BP still control the disaster in Gulf, not DOING anything. Blow it up, as President Clinton and others who use their brains have suggested.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  17. mike ,oregon

    ive been thinking and wondering if im the only one? I think bp is trying to delay all containment efforts just so they can get the relief well done, with it being done early they may try to stop the flow 1st. because if they stop it 1st they wont be able to collect more oil, thus not letting us have a accurate figure on how much oil is coming out.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  18. shawna coviello

    At almost 80 days and the oil stil gushing out, we shouldn't even be talking about something that may or may not work, a month from NOW. When is the leader of America, going to act like one, stop letting BP make these decisons, and take control, bring in the Navy, and low the well up. Enough is enough.

    July 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Annie Kate

    I hope BP hits the pipe soon and caps that well. There is more than enough to clean up now. I am looking forward to hearing about Deep Spill 2; the damage the oil has done to the Gulf and its ecosystems and to the human and business community of the Gulf is huge; how do you measure that much pain and destruction? Show sounds good; glad that CNN is keeping this story at the forefront of the show.

    July 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm |