failed attempts at stopping the oil leak in the Gulf of
Mexico, BP started the top
kill procedure on Wednesday in hopes of sealing the well
shut permanently with cement. But BP PLC's Chief Executive Tony
Hayward said that this procedure only had "a 60 to 70 percent
chance of long-term success."
top kill procedure is a process
where heavy fluid under pressure is pumped into the broken
blowout preventer. The idea is that the heavy fluid should counteract
the pressure of the oil and suppress it back into the well where
cement will be injected to seal it.
the early stages of the top kill procedure, BP noticed that the heavy
fluid, or kill mud, was flowing up to the surface and out to sea
rather than pressing down into the well. Their resolution was the
junk shot procedure, which is a maneuver BP officials have compared
to "plugging up a toilet" with shredded rubber tires, golf
balls and pieces of rope that are being pumped into the well. BP has
reported that there were some indications that the junk shot was
mentioned that it could take as
long as 48 hours to conclude whether the top kill procedure
is a success or not, but BP engineers have stated that oil stop
flowing out of the well they pump the kill mud into it. Yet, the kill
mud hasn't overwhelmed the oil completely and the well is certainly
not ready for the cement seal.
said the total cost to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill so far
million. This figure includes federal costs and claims paid.
Barack Obama took full responsibility for what has become
oil spill in U.S. history, and went to Fourchon Beach in
Louisiana to supervise the spill effort.
Allen, Coast Guard admiral in charge of the spill response, said he
was "very encouraged" that BP was able to weigh the oil
down, but "the real question is, can we sustain it."
will be the critical issue going though the next 12 to 18 hours,"