BP says it's ready to try 'top kill' to plug leak

Associated Press - May 25, 2010 9:44 AM ET

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - BP engineers say they have the equipment in place to try a complicated procedure that they hope will seal the blown-out Gulf of Mexico oil well.

BP PLC senior vice president Kent Wells said Tuesday the company hopes to launch the "top kill" on Wednesday and will soon start 12 hours of tests to prepare for the maneuver.

The procedure involves pumping heavy drilling mud into a massive device on top of the gushing well. Wells said it could be delayed if there's any snag in the tests.

The top kill has proven successful in aboveground wells, but has never before been tried a mile beneath the sea. Company executives peg its chances of success at 60 to 70%.

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