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BP oil spill: 'top kill' failure means well may gush until August

Christian Science Monitor - After the failure of "top kill," BP said it will concentrate on containing, not stopping the leak. As failures to stop the BP oil spill mount, the federal government is careful not to promise too much.

With the failure of the BP “top kill” maneuver, the effort to combat the BP oil spill is increasingly becoming an attempt to manage expectations.

A month ago, when the spill was barely a week old, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told CNN that the “ultimate relief” – drilling a relief well – was still “90 days out.”

Now, that pronouncement is looking like the most realistic target. BP managing director Bob Dudley said Sunday that the the company's best hope was not in capping the well but in containing and collecting the oil at the source until a relief well is ready in August.

After BP's three unsuccessful attempts to stop or siphon the gushing oil, federal officials also appear to be shifting focus. They are subtly but repeatedly emphasizing that their efforts should be judged by the region’s long-term recovery – not on the immediate issue of whether they can stop the Macondo wellhead from leaking 800,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico. Read more.

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