While crews employed by British oil giant BP attempted to clean the oil-tarred shoreline in Port Fourchon, Louisiana, the chief executive of BP, Tony Hayward, walked the beach himself -- to personally inspect the damage.
Addressing a large contingent of reporters, Hayward said he understands the anger directed at his company after oil from BP's ruptured undersea oil well began washing up along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
"It's clear that the defense of the shoreline, at this point, has not been successful. I feel devastated by that, absolutely gutted. What I can tell you is that we are here for the long haul. We are going to clean every drop of oil off the shore. We will remediate any environmental damage and we will put the Gulf Coast right and back to normality as fast as we can."
Estimates of the amount of oil flowing from the ruptured well vary from 5,000 to over 25,000 barrels a day. And Hayward explained why it's been so difficult to stop the oil from gushing.
"It has never been done in 5,000 feet of water; if it was on land, we have a high confidence of success. Because it's in 5,000 feet of water, we need to be realistic about the issues operating in a mile of water. We rate the probability of success between 60% and 70%."
Hayward disputed reports that BP has deployed chemical dispersants against the direction of the Environmental Protection Agency and said the company continues working with the Obama Administration to eliminate the leak, contain the oil and defend the shoreline.