BP Oil Spill Live Feed, What is the 'top kill' Procedure?

by the Left Coast Rebel

Today British Petroleum is attempting a 'top kill' procedure to cap off the leaking oil underneath the Gulf of Mexico oil platform. Reaganite provided a video-capture of the BP oil live feed that shows a snippet of the process:

Reaganite has the link to the BP oil spill live feed video. At Reaganite's BP link, BP explains the top kill procedure as the following:

Throughout the extended top kill procedure – which may take up to two days to complete - very significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may 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. BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate and on its outcome when complete.
More on the top kill at Google Trends. What exactly is a top kill? The Newsroom at Yahoo News explains:

A "top kill" consists of pumping huge amounts of mud and cement into the leak in hopes of stopping it. Themud and cement will be pumped at high pressure from barges down 5,000 feet. BP has stockpiled 50,000 barrels of the manufactured mud, AP reported.

The challenge will be to pump the mud at sufficient downward pressure to counteract the upward pressure of the gushing oil. The tactic has been used in above-ground oil leaks, but never underwater.

Also, I took a screen-shot of the AP Flash graphic showing the top kill procedure:

top kill

More discussion at Memeorandum.

UPDATED: A reader in the know corrects LCR on the top kill procedure:

TopKill is not done with the material you decribed (A "top kill" consists of pumping huge amounts of mud and cement into the leak in hopes of stopping it.), but with mercury. I’m very much in favour of freedom, but I think advocating for single well heads was stupid. Well head redundancy was the right move, but has been abandoned during the Bush administration.

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