BP's 'Top Kill' Effort to Plug Oil Spill in Gulf Reportedly Working
Published May 27, 2010
BP's "top kill" operation halted the flow of oil and gas from the stricken Deepwater Horizon rig Thursday, according to U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, cited in the Los Angeles Times.
The White House called the report premature and BP would not confirm that the operation had been a success, but indicated that an update on flow rates from the leaking well would be delivered by the U.S. Geological Survey at 10:00am Eastern Time
Allen, who is coordinating the government response to the oil spill, said that engineers had succeeded in stopping the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP well.
Allen said the engineers had pumped enough drilling fluid to block all oil and gas from the well. The pressure from the well was very low, but persists, he added.
If the risky procedure stops the flow, BP will then inject cement into the well to seal it. The top kill has worked above ground but has never before been tried 5,000 feet beneath the sea. BP pegged its chance of success at 60 to 70 percent.
BP prepares for 'top kill'
"We're doing everything we can to bring it to closure, and actually we're executing this top kill job as efficiently and effectively as we can," BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said.
Fishermen, hotel and restaurant owners, politicians and residents along the coast are fed up with BP's failures to stop the oil that is coating Louisiana's marshes and the wildlife that relies on them. The anger has turned toward President Barack Obama and his administration. Polls show the public is souring on their handling of the catastrophe.