Tomgram: "On those relief wells, listen to David Rensink, president-elect of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and a veteran of oil industry offshore exploration: "If they get it on the first three or four shots, they'd be very lucky." That's not exactly surprising given that the process has been "compared to hitting a target the size of a dinner plate with a drill more than two miles into the earth." Rensink also suggests that the odds of a first-time success are about the same as winning the lottery. What, then, can be learned from the historical record? The last time such a well was drilled in the Timor Sea off Western Australia, it took five tries over 10 weeks to succeed (and in the process, the well's rig went up in flames) -- and that was in only 250 feet of water..."
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