May 25th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Official: BP has equipment to begin testing for 'top kill'

A top BP official said Tuesday that the oil company has equipment in place to begin diagnostic testing for a maneuver called a "top kill" that could be implemented as early as the following day to stop the gushing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP plans a high-pressure injection of thick, viscous fluid twice the density of water into the site of the leak to stop the flow so the well can then be sealed with cement.

BP Senior Vice President Kent Wells told reporters that the 12-hour diagnostic tests will determine how the oil company moves forward.

"Normally you'd spend months to do what we've done in days and weeks," Well said.

BP CEO Tony Hayward has said the "top kill" maneuver has a 60 to 70 percent chance of success when it is put in place.

The procedure has worked on above-ground oil wells in the Middle East, but has never been tested 5,000 feet underwater. All of BP's previous attempts to cap the Gulf spill have failed.

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Filed under: BP • Gulf Coast Oil Spill
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  1. Brian

    "Normally you'd spend months to do what we've done in days and weeks," Well said.

    Imagine that, BP's Senior Vice President has the last name Wells.

    Regarding what was "Well said", Mr. Wells seems to be impressed with what BP has done in "days and weeks", like construct a steel dome but seemingly lack basic chemistry knowledge of how ice crystals would render it useless, then plan but not implement the other smaller dome procedure, and lastly a siphon that is gathering a tiny fraction of the oil from just one of the leaks.

    Wow, BP you really have an impressive list of achievements to point at. How pathetic. Meanwhile the consequences of their sloppy operations in the Gulf continue to unfold.

    Criminal negligence comes to mind.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tommy

    "Normally you'd spend months to do what we've done in days and weeks," Well said.

    Yes that is very true. And you also should have spent decades and years to know if deep oil extraction was safe. I guess BP applied the same haphazardness to all aspects of their business.

    May 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |