BP Resumes "Top Kill" Effort after Pause
    2010-05-28 10:16:51     Xinhua      Web Editor: Jiang Aitao
 

A pelican tries to clean its wings while standing on a rock in the water May 27, 2010 near Grand Isle, Louisiana. [Photo: CFP]

British oil giant BP said Thursday night it has resumed its attempt to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, after a more-than-10-hours suspension of the operation to allow crews to monitor their work and more materials to be brought in.

BP started the "top kill" operation of force-feeding heavy drilling mud into the blown-out well 5,000 feet underwater Wednesday afternoon, then stopped later that night to monitor the work and bring in 630,000 more gallons of mud, said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles.

"The fact that it's taken more than 24 hours is not a big surprise," he said. "We'll stay at this until we're successful or we determine we can't be successful."

Earlier, BP said it would know if the "top kill"" is working in 24 hours after the launch of the latest attempt. However, BP now said it could be late Friday or the weekend before the company knows if it has stopped the five-week oil flow.

Local media reports said no new oil was found escaping from the undersea gusher after the start of the "top kill" effort.

BP acknowledged drilling mud was escaping from a broken pipe along with the leaking crude, but denied there is problem. "The fact that we had a bunch of mud going up the riser isn't ideal but it's not necessarily indicative of a problem," said company spokesman Tom Mueller.

BP is pinning its hope on this new method after several failed attempts to stop the month-long spill. The method has never been tried 1,500 meters beneath the sea. BP top officials said the attempt has a 60 percent to 70 percent chance of success.

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