BP pauses effort to stop Gulf oil leak

ROBERT, LA (AP) - BP is pausing its unprecedented attempt to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, saying it wants to monitor the effects of the top kill attempt.

BP said Thursday that nothing was going wrong with the procedure that involves force-feeding mud into the blown-out well in an attempt to overcome the oil flowing upward.

BP says it hopes to resume shooting mud into the well Thursday night. Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles says he is not surprised that it is taking longer than expected.

The top kill has never been tried at 5,000 feet underwater.

New government estimates show the Gulf disaster has easily eclipsed the Exxon Valdez as the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

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