BP on oil spill: May take 48 hrs to gauge success

Over 24 hours into its crucial “top kill” plan, London-based BP Plc on Thursday said it was still too early to access the success or failure of its best short-term hope of plugging a blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.
When it commenced the operation to pump thousands of barrels of heavy drilling mud down the well on Wednesday, it said results could be clear in 24 hours. On Thursday, a BP spokesman said it could be another 24-48 hours before it can gauge the success of the operation.
“The approach to all of this is that we do the operation at the best time or the best speed,” spokesman David Nicholas said. “We have tried to give guidance, but they shouldn’t be seen as deadlines.” BP’s resistance to being pinned down on success or failure came as fierce pressure mounted for the company to fix the leak. US interior secretary Ken Salazar has scolded the company for missing previous deadlines. BP wants to set realistic expectations on a critical procedure, said Dan Pickering, co-president of Tudor Pickering Holt & Co energy investment and merchant banking in Houston.
“Going slow and being successful is better than going fast and/or jumping to conclusions,” Mr Pickering said. And after other efforts to stem or corral the leak failed, the stakes are climbing fast, he said. “BP has indicated this has a 60 per cent to 70 per cent probability of working. If it doesn’t, their credibility is weak and they’re going to have a lot of very disappointed people,” Mr Pickering said.
President Barack Obama heads to the Gulf coast on Friday to assert control over the largest oil spill in US history. For a few hours, Mr Obama will visit the Louisiana coast where the gloppy oil has permeated precious wetlands, closed down a lucrative fishing trade and angered locals still on the mend from 2005 Hurricane Katrina.

Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy, asks Malia
Washington, May 28: “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?” this is what daughter Malia asked US President Barack Obama, when he was shaving, reflecting how the issue of oil spill in the Mexican Gulf has engulfed the entire nation.
“The Gulf is going to be affected in a bad way. And so my job right now is just to make sure that everybody in the Gulf understands this is what I wake up to in the morning and this is what I go to bed at night thinking about,” Mr Obama said at a White House news conference. —PTI

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