Crews Drill Into Gulf Far Offshore to Stop Oil

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) - Imagine a target the size of a salad plate three miles away.

That illustrates the difficulty for the teams drilling the relief wells to stop the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

None of them have done it before because deep sea interventions are rare. If the workers miss or move too slowly, oil will keep pouring into the sea.

Workers aboard Transocean Ltd.'s Development Driller II say they're confident of success just the same.

A second ship, the DD III is drilling another relief well.

Once one of the two relief wells intersects the damaged line, BP plans to pump heavy drilling mud in to stop the oil flow and plug the blown-out well with cement.

It's tricky and it's not guaranteed to work. A pair of relief wells took months to stop an undersea gusher in Mexico that started in the summer of 1979.

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