Speaking at a news conference at Fourchon Beach in Louisiana, Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer, said that attempts to plug the oil leak with a mixture of mud and debris had done nothing to stem the flow.
"I don't think the amount of oil coming out has changed," said Mr Suttles. "Just by watching it, we don't believe it's changed."
Suttles said BP is already preparing for the next attempt to stop the leak. Under the plan, BP would use robot submarines to cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking, and then try to cap it with a containment valve. Officials say the cutting and capping effort would take at least four days.
"We're confident the job will work but obviously we can't guarantee success," Suttles said of the new plan.