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BP is preparing to launch a procedure as early as Sunday to clog the flow of oil and gas from the month-old Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the proposed "top kill" method is untested at the 5,000-foot depth of the spill, and could easily join the growing list of fixes thwarted by the spill's punishingly remote environment. It is also the most invasive maneuver attempted to date, and could rupture the leaking well and actually accelerate the flow of crude.
Federal officials acknowledge that the top kill carries a risk of breaking open the well or the BOP and exacerbating the spill.