BP commences 'top kill' oil spill containment measures

By Phaedra Friend Troy

BP has started the ‘top kill’ oil spill containment measures 5,000 feet below the water’s surface at the damaged Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. 

For comprehensive coverage of the Deepwater Horizon incident, oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts under way to resolve them, visit PennEnergy's Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico special section.

In an effort to slow the flow of oil and natural gas from the Macondo well, BP will inject very heavy drilling fluids into the well via the blowout preventer (BOP). Then, a cement slurry will be pumped into the well to permanently seal the flow of hydrocarbons. 

Final approval was given to deploy the “top kill” measure by Federal on-scene coordinator Rear Admiral Mary Landry early this afternoon. The pumping of the drilling fluids began at 1:00 p.m. CST. 

The “top kill” oil containment procedure could take up to two days to complete. 

Situated in the deepwaters of Mississippi Canyon Block 252, this procedure has never been done at such a great water depth.

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