Obama in Gulf as BP makes progress

http://news-updations.blogspot.comObama visited the Louisiana coast, where sticky oil has permeated wetlands, closed down with the lucrative fishing trade and angered locals whose communities are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said that so-called top kill procedure, in which heavy drilling "mud" is pumped into the seabed well shaft, was showing some signs of success in choking off the leak that has already spewed millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf.

But the success of the operation, never attempted at such depths,and was still uncertain and it would be another 48 hours before the company knew whether it worked, he said.

"We don't know whether we will be able to overcome the well," Hayward told NBC's "Today" show. The British-based energy giant has said that the "top kill" plugging operation had a 60 to 70 percent chance of success.

The spill is a major challenge for Obama.

Opinion polls show many Americans are dissatisfied with Obama's handling of the five-week-old crisis. He was on the defensive at a news conference on Thursday, rebutting criticism that his administration had been too slow to act and too quick to believe what it was being told by BP.

On his visit to the Gulf coast, Obama inspected oil-trapping booms at a beach in Port Fourchon, the hub of the Gulf oil industry and one of the areas worst affected by crude coming ashore from the spreading spill.

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