The first planned intervention is the so-called "top kill" operation which began a 2 PM today (May 26). Heavy drilling fluids would be injected into the well to stem the flow of oil and gas and, ultimately, kill the well. Most of the equipment is on site and preparations for this operation continue, with a view to deployment within a few days. If necessary, equipment is also in place to combine this operation with the injection under pressure of bridging material to seal off upward flow through the BOP.
BP indicated it will continue to provide a live video feed from the seabed through the diagnostic testing and top kill, if undertaken. They said, "Throughout the diagnostic process and top kill procedure very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed will be expected. These will not provide a reliable indicator of the overall progress, or success or failure, of the top kill operation as a whole."
Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams, along with teams using booms, are already deployed along potentially affected shorelines. More than three million feet of boom is in place and crews are rapidly removing oil from the shoreline with shovels and rakes. Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Team personnel are overseeing and evaluating response efforts to ensure the oil is removed with the most environmentally responsible methods. Skimming vessels have recovered more than 260,000 barrels of oily water mixture. Additional strategies include the application of dispersant and controlled burn operations to stop oil offshore. On Monday (May 24), crews conducted 14 controlled burns for nearly 12 hours bringing the response total to 53 burns and 62,000 barrels of oil removed.Access a release from BP (click here); and (click here). Access the BP response website for complete details on their response efforts (click here). Access the Unified Command website for complete updates (click here). Access the White House website on the BP spill which contains links to all Federal agency response websites (click here). Access the BP live video feed (click here).