(Recasts, adds BP spokesman)
HOUSTON/MIAMI May 27 BP (BP.L) is continuing
with its "top kill" operation to try to plug its leaking Gulf
of Mexico oil well but has no immediate update to give on
whether it has succeeded, a BP spokesman said on Thursday.
Spokesman David Nicholas was responding to a Los Angeles
Times report that had quoted a U.S. Coast Guard admiral leading
the oil spill response as saying the top kill procedure had
succeeded in blocking the leak.
"The top kill operation continues, there are no operational
updates," Nicholas told Reuters.
He could not say when the next progress report would be
given but recalled that BP executives had said it could take up
to two days to tell whether the top kill operation, which
started on Wednesday, had worked.
The oil spill response unified command, which includes both
BP and the Coast Guard, said it could not confirm or deny the
Latimes.com report, which cited Coast Guard Admiral Thad
BP shares were up more than 5 percent in London trading.
Allen told National Public Radio that BP engineers had
"been able to force mud down and not allow any hydrocarbons to
come up." But he added this did not mean the well was sealed or
that the problem was solved.
The top kill attempt, which has been underway for more than
20 hours, involves pumping heavy drilling fluids into the top
of the well to try to halt the oil flow. If it succeeds in
doing this, cement would then be injected to cap the well.
BP Managing Director Robert Dudley said earlier on Thursday
the procedure was "moving the way we want it to." But he told
NBC's "Today Show" it was too early to say whether it had been
(Reporting by Chris Baltimore, Anna Driver, Pascal Fletcher
and Tom Bergin; Editing by Eric Beech)