COVINGTON, La. – BP is going in for the kill. The trick is to do the job quickly and cleanly.
If it's not done just right, it could make the leak worse.
If some of the higher estimates of 3 million to 4 million gallons a day are correct, "it's going to spit everything back in your face," Bea told The Associated Press. He estimated that anything above 1.6 million gallons a day would be too much for a top kill to work.
Nevertheless, "they're trying and that's a good thing," Bea said. "I certainly pray that it works, because if it doesn't there's this long waiting time" before BP can dig relief wells that would cut off the flow.
The company's backup plans include a junk shot, which involves shooting golf balls, tire scraps, knotted rope and other assorted objects into the well to clog it up.
BP executives say the only guaranteed permanent solution is a pair of relief wells crews have already started drilling, but that will take at least two months.