BP Claims Well Could Be Capped Weeks Ahead of Schedule

The relief well that is supposed to finally stanch the oil flow from the Deepwater Horizon may be ready as early as July 27, BP is now telling the Wall Street Journal.

That's weeks ahead of the mid-August schedule they’ve discussed until now, and just happens to be the day its second quarter earnings report comes out. At the Obama administration’s urgings, the oil giant is also developing a “backup to the backup plan,” in case things go wrong.

BP PLC is pushing to fix its runaway Gulf oil well by July 27, possibly weeks before the deadline the company is discussing publicly, in a bid to show investors it has capped its ballooning financial liabilities, according to company officials.

At the same time, BP is readying a series of backup plans in case its current operations go awry. These include connecting the rogue well to existing pipelines in two nearby underwater gas and oil fields, according to company and administration officials.