BP to go for 'top kill' to plug gushing spill in Gulf of Mexico
26 May 2010
Having failed in its attempt to cap the spill from its leaking offshore well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP could to resort to a technique called 'top kill'' according to experts.
Top kill involves pumping 50,000 pounds of thick, viscous fluid twice the density of water into the site of the leak to stop the oil flow after which the well is sealed off with cement. The technique has worked successfully on on-shore oil wells in the Middle East but has never been tried in high seas.
BP chief executive Tony Hayward gives ''top kill'' a 60 to 70 per cent chance of success.
Through the early-morning hours on Wednesday BP deployed equipment into position. A team of experts will now examine conditions to determine how much pressure the injected mud would need to overcome.
Diagnostic tests would next be undertaken to determine whether it could go ahead with the procedure.
Meanwhile president Obama is set to visit the Gulf Coast to review the oil response efforts. He spoke with energy secretary Steven Chu yesterday to get the Nobel Prize-winning scientist's assessment of BP's top kill plans.