BP relief well drilling ahead of schedule-paper

Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:02am EDT

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* Drilling relief wells going faster than expected-paper

* Company points to statement saying wells will take 3 months

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) - BP (BP.L) could plug the leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico in mid-July, two weeks earlier than its current guidance of early August, British newspaper The Sunday Times said.

The drilling of relief wells which the company hopes will enable it to finally plug the oil gushing out from the seabed a mile below the surface of the Gulf is progressing faster than expected, sources with knowledge of the operation were reported as telling the newspaper.

A spokesperson for BP declined to comment on the report and referred to a statement issued by the company on Friday which said the two relief wells were still estimated to take approximately three months to complete. [ID:nLDE65O140]

BP began drilling the wells on May 2 and May 16 suggesting the spill could be brought under control at the beginning of August. (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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