05/28/2010 05:06 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

BP May Add Rubber Balls To 'Top Kill' Drilling Fluid Mixture In Effort To Plug Gushing Oil Well

BP may soon add rubber balls to the mixture of heavy man-made drilling fluids that it is pumping into its gushing oil well, reports The Times-Picayune:

BP will supplement the mud with "bridging agents" in an effort to keep the mud inside the pipe. The next round of pumping could also include a "junk shot," the high-velocity shooting of debris, such as tennis balls and pieces of rubber tire, into the well to clog it.

BP hopes that by adding the debris during its "top kill" attempt at plugging the well, more mud will go towards the source and less will escape from the leaks.

On Thursday, BP announced that the night before, it had suspended its "top kill" attempt at plugging the well because too much of the drilling fluids were escaping.

But before the announcement, BP and government officials created the impression that the effort was working, reports The New York Times.

BP resumed pumping fluids into the well on Thursday evening.

Officials said it could be late Friday or the weekend before the company knows if the procedure known as a top kill has cut off the oil that has been flowing for five weeks.