Current Top Kill Forecast: Tuesday at the Earliest

BP could deploy the top kill method at the leaking Macondo well as early as Tuesday, Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said during a Friday afternoon press conference.

According to Suttles, much of the equipment needed to attempt the well shut-off operation has already been mobilized. The plan is to pump heavy, viscous drilling mud from a large barge on the surface to the blowout preventer (BOP) via two "choke" and "kill" lines. Cement would then be directed into the BOP to seal the well and stop the flow of crude oil.

Top kill is a recognized industry technique, but it has never been attempted at 5,000 feet.