Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

Americas

BP boss urges patience with 'top kill' operation

Video by Shona BHATTACHARYYA

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-29

BP chief executive Tony Hayward, on a visit to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill site, has said the energy giant needs two more days to see if its complicated ‘top kill’ operation to plug the oil pouring into the ocean will succeed.

REUTERS - The worst oil spill in U.S. history hits its 40th day on Saturday with Gulf residents clinging to one tenuous hope: that BP's complicated "top kill" operation will plug the gushing well.

Beleaguered Louisiana residents heard from President Barack Obama and BP CEO Tony Hayward on separate visits to the Gulf coast on Friday as they tried to get a handle on a crisis damaging the credibility of both the government and BP.
 
Obama, facing criticism that he responded too slowly to the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, assured Louisianians during his five-hour visit that they "will not be left behind" and that the "buck stops" with him.
 
Hayward, on a visit to the site of the April 20 rig explosion that killed 11 workers and unleashed the oil, said the energy giant needed up to two more days to determine if the
top kill will stop the underwater gusher once and for all.

The top kill, however, is a tricky maneuver that involves injecting heavy fluids, material and cement into the well to stifle the flow. It has never been done at this depth, one mile
(1.6 km) under below sea level.
 
Hayward dismissed concerns about delays, which made investors jittery and drove BP shares down 5 percent Friday.

"We're continuing because we are making progress," Hayward said on a drilling ship at the site, with perspiration dripping from under a white plastic BP safety hat.
 
Obama is caught in a tight spot: there is not much he can do about the well other than apply pressure to BP to get it right and put his best scientists in the room. The government has no deep-sea oil technology of its own.

 


 
That fact is not lost on the people of Louisiana's coast, a hub of the U.S. oil industry and now the site of the country's largest oil spill after it surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez
disaster in Alaskan waters.

'We want our beach back'
 
"I wouldn't know what to ask him to do, other than stop the leak," said John Bourg, a resident of Grand Isle who watched the president's motorcade roar by on Friday. "And I'd put more faith in an oil company to stop a leak than anybody else."
 
But that doesn't mean the public will forgive the first-term president, who is anxious to avoid comparisons to President George W. Bush after his government's much-criticized response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
 
Polls show that Americans are losing faith in the Obama's administration's response to the spill as oil seeps farther into fragile marshlands and shuts down a good chunk of the lucrative fishing industry.
 
Still, BP gets worse marks and faces anger over lack of proper clean-up of the 100 miles (160 km) of Louisiana coastline and the oil in the gulf.
 
In Grand Isle, 17-year old Hanna Lemoie posted a sign she painted that read "BP...we want our beach back."

"The beach, the waves had like orange oil coming in and it made me mad because there was nobody cleaning it up and I felt helpless," Lemoie said.
 
The frustration, the anger and the delays all were taking their toll -- on Obama, Hayward, the residents and those working to plug the well.
 
Bruce Simokat, the captain of the Discoverer Enterprise drill ship assisting in the BP containment effort, said the crew found it difficult to hear all the criticism about the
response effort on television.
 
But were they still watching the TV?

"It's hard not to," said Simokat.

Date created : 2010-05-29

  • GULF OF MEXICO

    Obama defends government response to oil spill

    Read more

  • GULF OF MEXICO

    BP spill eclipses 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster

    Read more

COMMENT(S)