British Petroleum is waiting anxiously to see if its latest efforts to halt the Gulf of Mexico oil leak are working.
During a visit to the spill site, BP chief executive Tony Hayward said it was too early to say if the company’s “top kill” strategy has been successful.
“I think we’ve made progress. We’ve followed through on the program. We’ve demonstrated it can work and we’ve achieved some early success but until it’s done, it’s not done,” he said.
Ships on the surface are pumping thick mud into the blowout preventer which sits on top of the well.
If done with the right pressure and the right density of mud then the oil flow is expected to stop. Another pipe will then be used to pump cement to hopefully plug the well.
Between 800,000 and 3 million litres of crude have been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico every day since BPs oil rig exploded last month.
The disaster has savaged the energy giant’s reputation, caused shares to nose dive and triggered an environmental catastrophe along the Louisiana coastline. Some experts say it could take up to 10 years for the ecosystem to recover.