Obama heads back to Gulf Coast Friday to view oil spill response

The company plans to try and stop the leak Wednesday with a procedure called a “top kill,” in which heavy drilling muds will be pumped into the well.

The White House has come under attack for not taking a tougher hand with BP over the spill.

But administration officials acknowledge that it’s the oil industry — not the federal government — that has the equipment to try the very complex task of capping a well 5,000 feet under the surface.

The White House, in announcing Obama’s trip, sought to emphasize the breadth of the administration’s response to the spill that has sent oil into fragile Louisiana marshlands and other areas.

“The Administration has mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history, with more than 1,200 vessels in the region and more than 22,000 people, including many of the brightest scientific minds from both the public and private sector, working around the clock to mitigate the oil’s impact,” the White House said.