ROBERT, La. -- BP PLC says it hopes to start the next phase of its effort to halt the flow of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday or early next week.
Oil has been spewing from the blown-out well since an offshore rig exploded off the Louisiana coast April 20 and sank two days later.
The "top-kill" method BP hopes to start involves shooting heavy mud into crippled equipment on top of the well to stem the flow of oil and gas. The company's engineers hope to quickly follow it up by aiming cement at the well to permanently keep down the oil.
Engineers could also use another strategy called the "junk shot," which involves shooting knotted rope, pieces of tires and golf balls into the blowout preventer. Crews hope they will lodge into the nooks and crannies of the device to plug it.