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BP's experience is showing us that the relief well is the only solution that will work.
It's why the Canadian government is taking the position that one must be drilled at the same time as a new well is being built. Unsurprisingly, oil companies are already lobbying hard to have these measures curtailed.
"At issue in talks between the oil industry and the National Energy Board on relief wells in the North is whether they must be drilled during the same season as the primary exploration well. The window for drilling in the North is only a few months because of ice conditions. However, allowing oil companies to wait a season to drill relief wells could leave a new well exposed to a potential rupture for a year or more. Mr. Pryce at CAPP said the policy for relief wells was devised in the 1970s, and alternative technology for dealing with ruptures has advanced considerably. "