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BP starts 'Top Kill' operations to stop Gulf of Mexico oil leak

Procedure aims to stop the flow of oil and gas by injecting heavy drilling fluids into the well.

BP has started the 'top kill' operations to stop the flow of oil from the MC252 well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The procedure is intended to stem the flow of oil and gas and ultimately kill the well by injecting heavy drilling fluids through the blow out preventer (BOP) on the seabed, down into the well.

Earlier, the company began a series of diagnostic tests on the Deepwater Horizon's failed BOP to make a decision on the execution of the top kill procedure to plug the blown-out well.

According to BP, this top kill procedure has not been carried out offshore at 5,000ft water depth before, and its success cannot be assured. It is expected that the entire procedure could take up to two days, and it cannot be predicted how long it will take for the operation to prove successful or otherwise.