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Worst News of the Day: ‘Top Kill’ has Failed

HOUSTON, May 29 (Reuters) – BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) gave up on its failed “top kill” effort to smother a Gulf of Mexico oil leak on Saturday and focused on a plan to cap a piece of equipment at the wellhead and corral spewing oil and gas.

“We do think it will capture the majority of the oil if it works. We can’t guarantee that,” BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said of the next step at a daily briefing on Saturday with the U.S. Coast Guard. He said it could take four days or longer to show results.

Suttles said the top kill, or the pumping of heavy fluids and materials into a failed blowout preventer to quell the leak in the well, did not stop the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf.

Although Chief Executive Tony Hayward said on Friday that BP would not know until Sunday whether the top kill was a success or failure, Suttles said company and government officials decided on Saturday to give it up and move on.


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