The Japanese owner of the Ever Given container ship, still blocking the Suez Canal, suggested on Friday that refloating work may wrap up "tomorrow night Japan time" but that no guarantee can be given.
A spokesperson for the company Shoei Kisen Kaisha told local media that even though an operation to refloat the vessel is under way, no clear-cut end point is in the offing.
"We don't have an estimate for when the work will succeed", the spokesperson added.
The statement followed the company "sincerely" apologising for "causing a great deal of concern to the vessels scheduled to sail and all related parties while navigating the Suez Canal".
Referring to the "extremely difficult situation", the firm made it clear at that time that clearing the passage may take weeks.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha explained the Ever Given got stuck as a result of "stormy weather" that forced the vessel to run aground, adding that it was working with maritime solutions provider Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement to resolve the situation.
Earlier, the Suez Canal Authority announced a temporary halt to maritime traffic as eight tugs are working to release the 400-metre-long Ever Given, which was on its way from China to the Netherlands when it became stranded in the Suez Canal on Tuesday and blocked traffic in one of the world's key trade arteries.