U.S. Plans ‘for Worst’ in Gulf, Seeing Risk in Leak Strategy

Sunday, May 30, 2010
By Paul Martin

By JOSEPH BERGER and LESLIE KAUFMAN
NYTimes.com
May 30, 2010

After the failure of an effort to seal off a well spewing oil one mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico, a top Obama administration environmental official said the government is “prepared for the worst” in case oil keeps gushing until relief wells are finished sometime in August.

The chance that some oil will continue to leak for months was underscored by the managing director of BP, Robert Dudley, who described plans to put in place a second version of a containment dome, a strategy that failed earlier this month. Mr. Dudley, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” program, said that attempt had given the company’s engineers valuable lessons that would be applied to the new dome. But he added that even if it worked, some oil would seep out until the relief wells provided an “end point” by cutting off the flow beneath the seabed.

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