Could the Oil Spill Be Stopped This Month?

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Oil rigs off the coast of Long Beach, Calif.

Tim Rue/Corbis

That’s BP’s aim, at least.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that BP plans to plug the leak on the Deepwater Horizon oil well by July 27. This goal comes a few weeks before a deadline BP is discussing with the public, which is in mid-August. The company reportedly wants to plug the well early to impress investors, because BP will unveil its second-quarter earnings. (See exclusive pictures of the spreading oil spill.)

But BP knows this is probably a long shot. This date would happen “in a perfect world with no interruptions,” Bob Dudley, head of BP’s Gulf restoration unit, told the Journal. In the meantime, those involved are coming up with several backup plans, including laying pipe to connect two wells and moving the oil to a different location several miles away. Hurricane Alex has impeded plans so far, but waters should calm in the coming days to help the cleanup process move along.