May 27th, 2010
09:30 AM ET

Coast Guard admiral: 'Top kill' working as planned

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/27/art.oilrig.getty.jpg caption="A drilling platform is seen near the site where the Deepwater Horizon oil platform sank in the Gulf of Mexico"]

Update: "The 'top kill' procedure is going as planned, and it is moving along as everyone had hoped," said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who has been leading the government's effort to end the leak.

Earlier, BP officials said they may know by Thursday afternoon whether the oil company's latest attempt to cap the runaway leak in the Gulf of Mexico is yielding results.

"I think we just need to take the next 24 hours and actually see what the results are," said BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles from Robert, Louisiana.

The operation, known as a "top kill," that began Wednesday afternoon was going according to plan, he said, with drilling mud being applied to the well at a rate of up to 65 barrels per minute.

Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, the federal on-scene coordinator, was equally reluctant to draw conclusions.

"While we're very encouraged by some aspects of this procedure, I don't want to express optimism until I know for sure that we've secured the well and the leak has stopped," she told reporters.

President Obama is certain to be peppered with more questions Thursday about the administration's response to the spill. He plans to announce "strengthened inspections" and an effort to tighten safety regulations for offshore drilling, during an afternoon session with reporters, an administration official said.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Gulf Oil Spill • T1
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