The top kill procedure intended to stem the flow of oil from the destroyed Deepwater Horizon has failed, the Times-Picayune reports a source as saying.

BP officials reportedly will announce the failure at a briefing this evening, the newspaper reports. The next step is expected to be cutting off the leaking riser at the top of the Lower Marine Riser Package on the blowout preventer so there is a clean-cut surface on the pipe to work with.

This would be followed by the installation of a cap with a sealing grommet connected to a new riser that from a drillship, which would hopefully be able to capture most of the oil flowing from the well.

Thus far, at least 18 million gallons and as much as 40 million gallons have spewed from the well. By even the most-conservative estimate, the Deepwater Horizon has surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill to become the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

LouisianaSportsman.com will continue to follow the spill and report developments.