July 8th, 2010
12:25 PM ET

Relief well drilling ahead of schedule

CNN Wire Staff
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/US/07/08/gulf.oil.disaster/story.drill.jpg caption="A federal judge issued an injunction against a government moratorium on oil drilling." width=300 height=169]

BP is about seven days ahead of schedule in drilling a relief well that could help stop the leak, according to the man in charge of the federal response to the oil crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says that doesn't mean the relief well will intercept the leaking main well any sooner than the initial August estimate.

"I'm sticking with the August [date]," he said. "I've learned in dealing with you people over the last seventy plus days that its better to under-promise and over-deliver."

BP is in the final stages of drilling one of two relief wells, Allen said. He called it "the slowest, most meticulous part."

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