BP said it spud the first of two planned relief wells to intervene in the Macondo exploration well that is leaking an estimated 5000 barrels a day into the US Gulf.
Transocean semi-submersible rig Development Driller III spud the first probe yesterday, BP announced today.
The spud, originally planned for late last week, had been delayed by bad weather. The effort is expected to take between two and three months.
The company said yesterday it is expanding efforts to cap the Macondo well, including a plan to stack an additional blowout preventer on the bore.
The company is also investigating installing a valve on the end of the ruptured drill pipe to shut off oil leaking from there, the company told US media yesterday.