BP: ‘Top Kill’ Should Stop Gulf Oil Spill…or Not

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Eric Gay / AP

Shrimp boats are used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La.

With some six million gallons of crude spat into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, frustration continues to grow as thick as the oil and near equal in volume.

Still, British Petroleum is defending its bet on the (awesomely named) “Top Kill” option to finally stop the flow.

Here’s how it works: Heavy drilling fluids will be injected into the well in order to stem the flow of oil and gas and ulitimately stop it. After it is killed, cement would be used to seal it off. The company would like to deploy the equipment, which is onsite, within a few days, BP said in a statement. But officials also admit that the operation is very delicate and requires precise execution, so there are no guarantees it will work.

Such hedged optimism isn’t pleasing the U.S. government. Yesterday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar even entertained the idea of firing the company and threatened to take over the cleanup if real progress is not made soon.

“If we find that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately and we’ll move forward to make sure that everything is being done to protect the people of the Gulf Coast,” Salazar said.

Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is releasing maps depicting the flow of the oil and its path every several hours. See the latest here.

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