Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will announce Friday that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is beyond the capabilities of BP PLC and Transocean Ltd. to handle, meaning a larger government role to stop the leak, a government official told CBS News.
Emanating from a blown-out well a mile under the surface, the leak is spewing about 210,000 gallons of oil a day. It threatens to become the worst environmental disaster in the U.S. in decades and may eclipse the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
According to the official, a new blow out prevention device is being flown in from Italy to attempt to stop the leak. Should that fail, authorities will look to drill two relief wells. On drill has already arrived and will begin drilling over the weekend. The process will take approximately 60 to 90 days to complete.
The official also confirmed that the Coast Guard is looking to release a chemical dispersant underwater to break up the spill.More on the Gulf rig disaster:
Oil Spill: What Went Wrong?
Oil Spill Creeping Toward U.S. Coast
Pentagon's "Full-Blown Effort" to Halt Spill
Obama on Oil Rig Cleanup
Oil Leak May be 5 Times Worse than Initial Claim
BP Exec: Size of Leak Won't Change our Response
Crews Start Burning Gulf Oil Slick
Fighting Oil with Fire
Man-Made Disaster in the Gulf
New Oil-Rig Safety Rules Eyed Before Blast