May 3rd, 2010
10:04 PM ET

Latest Updates: Reports and perspectives on Gulf oil spill

Workers in Louisiana place an oil boom into the water to try and protect the coast line from the massive oil spill.

[Updated at 10:01 p.m.]  BP chief executive Tony Hayward vowed that the oil giant would "absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation" of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. 

"Where legitimate claims are made, we will be good for them," he told NPR's "Morning Edition." 

The U.S. government was leaving little to chance. Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that Justice Department employees were in the Gulf region "to ensure that BP is held liable." 

Allen said BP "is the responsible party" and "will bear all the costs" of the cleanup. 

Still, the promises failed to quell the fears. "I hope we can weather the storm," said Keith Delcambre, owner of seafood market Bozo's in Pascagoula, Mississippi 

See a timeline of the oil spill in the Gulf

[Updated at 9:56 p.m.] BP this week is going to attempt an unprecedented engineering feat to try and stop the oil spill, reports CNN's Brian Todd. It involves lowering a four-story metal container onto the leaking pipe to try to suck in the flowing oil. 

[Updated at 9:31 p.m.] CNN.com's Steve Almasy reports that environmental scientists say the effects of the spill in the Gulf of Mexico could have ecological and biological consequences for years, if not decades. 

[Updated at 1:56 p.m.] The Half Shell Oyster House in Gulfport, Mississippi is making plans to get their oysters, shrimp and fish from elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. Staffers tell CNN their local supplier has a plan to fish in areas closer to Texas, but they  still expect seafood prices to go up. However, the staffers say they don't expect much of a tourism decline unless the oil slick actually hits the local beaches. For now, the oil slick has remained offshore. 

A portion of the northern Gulf of Mexico was closed to fishing on Sunday, curtailing the billion-dollar business. 

[Updated at 1:47 p.m.] Florida Governor Charlie Crist told reporters in Tallahassee that he may extend the declaration on Tuesday to Collier and Monroe counties. 

"In the event that the oil does come to our shores, I want us to be ahead of it as much as humanly possible," he said about the spill, which the oil giant BP is responsible for cleaning up. 

Preparations are under way on strategies to stop the leak, though each has drawbacks. 

The initial plan is to lower a dome over the wellhead next week to capture the spewing oil, said state Secretary of Environmental Protection Michael Sole. 

"That would stop the flow, if successful," he said. "Unfortunately, it's never been tried at 5,000 feet below the surface of the water." 

[Updated at 1:06 p.m.] Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and other Obama White House officials are scheduled to meet with Hayward and BP America President Lamar McKay Monday afternoon to "discuss ongoing, coordinated response efforts and receive an update on BP's mitigation plans for potentially impacted Gulf Coast states," according to an administration official.  

[Updated at 12:37 a.m.] Florida Governor Charlie Crist extended Monday a state of emergency to the coastal counties of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota due to the offshore oil leak. 

[Updated at 11:19 a.m.] The Justice Department, however, has sent a team to the Gulf Coast to meet with federal prosecutors and response teams, the department has said. 

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that Justice employees are in the Gulf region "to ensure that BP is held liable." 

[Update 10:32 a.m.] The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico comes a month after President Obama announced plans to expand offshore drilling. CNN's Kristi Keck takes a look at how the oil spill could sap appetite for Obama's offshore drilling plans. [Update: 9:19 a.m. ET] BP will "absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation" of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, chief executive Tony Hayward said Monday. 

"There's no doubt about that." 

"It is indeed BP's responsibility to deal with this and we're dealing with it," Hayward told NPR's "Morning Edition." 

And, he added, "where legitimate claims (of damages) are made, we will be good for them," according to NPR's website. 

[Posted at 7:56 a.m ET] The battle against a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is being waged on three fronts, United States Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday. 

"One is to cap the well" that is leaking the oil, she said. "Efforts to do that have not succeeded to date." 

Authorities are also trying to keep the slick from reaching land, and preparing to clean it up immediately if it does make landfall, she said on CNN's "American Morning." 

Previous roundups:
– SUNDAY: An eerie stillness along Mississippi coast
SATURDAY: 'This will be catastrophic to the mom and pop businesses' and more stories
FRIDAY: 'People want to get ready for this, but they don't know what to do' and more stories

Read Sunday's roundup of oil spill coverage

soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Lee Madden

    We would all panic in our town or city if a substance we had no control over was beginning to affect our drinking water and air, and our lives. That is just what is happening to the Marine Ecosystem in the Gulf right now. The Ecosystem is also a community not unlike our own where organisms, as plants and animals within the same habitat help each other create a stable system. What I don't really understand is why so many so called knowlegable people in our government make such stupid decisions.

    May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ari

    Why isn't it required by law for these platforms to have contingency plans for these events? Why are they still evaluating what to do to stop this disaster? They should already know exactly what to do and they should have the necessary materials ready and the infrastructure in place!

    It's absurd that we can accomplish feats such as space travel, yet we allow–and even encourage–oil companies to cut corners all in the name of our lord, The Dollar, without the risk of criminal prosecution.

    Is it really beneficial to us for Obama to open our shores to drilling?

    May 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Can I add word or two here on the proposal. Do a low-yield nuclear on the well sight because I think the oil rig is sitting on top of it. It the price to pay now by the BP or at the pump if we do nothing. At the rate it's spewing, the entire atlantic basin is at risk and the cost will be staggering for generations to come.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pete

    Its nice of Tony Hayward to offer to clean up the oil spill. They will just raise gas prices and we will pay it for him! Thanks Tony! Thanks for this whole mess!

    May 3, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hopeful in Houston

    On one side, people keep wanting to blame someone, blame BP, punish BP, BAD BP. On the other side, its all Obama didn't react fast enough, Rush spent an hour on it at lunchtime today (probably more, but I had to get back to work). The talk was all how the government isn't doing anything.

    Everyone has agenda and no one is interested in the truth.

    The truth, of course, is in the middle. BP, the government, the Contractors, other Majors, are ALL doing as much as they can and have been since it first occurred. This is not good for anyone, including BP. Every effort possible is being made. The Transocean Drill Rig was state of the art, but at the end of the day, something went wrong.

    As the world's need for oil increases, the oil companies must go to greater depths to get it, the reservoirs become more complex. Anyone who claims "negligence" at this stage must be talking to attorneys or be they don't realize the extreme measures and expense the oil companies go to in order to ensure that things are safe. No one knows yet what happened.

    If you don't want oil companies drilling, then don't use oil. It's a risky business, and the oil companies do as much as possible to try to mitigate that risk. The oil companies DO NOT "cut corners".

    I desperately wish that the spill can be contained and that it will not hit shore. And I know that all that can be done, is being done. If it comes to it and I can be a help and not a hindrance, I will volunteer to do so. If we all work together toward a solution instead of just assessing blame, we'd be better off.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. florida one

    For all of you saying Obama isn't in bed with big oil, as a native Floridan, I cringed when he supported rigs in the Atlantic... He's in the club..

    May 4, 2010 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  7. picehere

    Just as in plumbing,retrofit/force a wider around the length of the leaking pipe,up to where it is ruptured;slip it on and tighten the end to lock unto the pipe.now u need 5000+ of super re-inforced flex pipe to run to the top.the western hemisphere is in big trouble,really.

    May 4, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. ROV Pilot

    Folks –

    For all the ideas being forwarded regarding ROV ops, while heartfelt and appreciated, the ROV's are only slightly negatively buoyant, which means getting them anywhere near the oil stream being leaked to the surface, blows them to the surface or at least blows them off course incredibly. ROV's are designed to operate under certain conditions underwater and have limitations based on how strong the water current is. Although useful, they are purpose built for certain tasks and the ideas I've read for having them carry balloons (lift bags) or anything heavy simply can not be done. They can assist in placing certain components of lighter weight, install shackles, cut cables, turn a valve if the valve was designed for an ROV to turn it, etc.

    Take it from someone that works in the ROV industry, these guys are pulling every rabbit out of every hat to do what they can to stop the leaks. The best approach I've seen so far is exactly what BP intends to do with the large scale diverter. Other than that it will take considerable ocean engineering to come up with a physical device that can be lowered and secured to the seabed with enough anchoring to completely seal the leak.

    It is certainly a horrible situation, but unless you know what you are talking about, best to just see what experienced ocean engineers come up with. This will take considerable equipment, such as suction pile anchors, deep water lifting vessels, etc. just to name a few, and even in ideal situations, this equipment takes time to coordinate and execute the work.

    Hope for the best and hope no more life is lost –

    May 4, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. John F.

    Drill baby drill! Apply this concept of a leaking oil well to a leaking nuclear reactor...the future of America is grim...our beaches will be covered with burning oil, and clouds of poisoned nuclear gasses will be floating around killing us all. I am more afraid of the energy industry then I am of terrroists.

    May 4, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    ROV Pilot>>>>>>>>Thank you for the post and shedding light on the technological difficulty involved. I'm concerned that people like you have not been adequately involved in the discussions. From the reporting of the national media, all the other types of options for helping with the capture and collection of oil are not being reported adequately. From the media, I'm made to believe that the domes are the only option. While they are probably the best option, I have to have hope that there are more options, in the event that this one does not work. It would be a tragedy if the dome technology failed a week from now, 2 million gallons later, and there is no backup plan. I'd like to assume that BP and the government have covered all the bases. But, we are in this situation partially because of bad assumptions. I want to urge anyone with engineering and technological knowledge on all the different options to voice them.

    CNN>>>>>>>>> PLEASE INCREASE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT DESIGNING POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS AND REPORTING ON ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO COLLECT AS MUCH OIL AS POSSIBLE---NOT ENOUGH APPEARS LIKE IT IS BEING DONE BY BP AND THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!! THERE NEED TO BE MORE DESIGNS READY TO BE EMPLOYED. IF THEY EXIST, WE ARE NOT HEARING ABOUT ANY OF THEM. THE NATIONAL MEDIA MUST DO MORE THAN SIMPLY REPORT. THEY NEED TO STEP UP AND FACILITATE DISCUSSION TO DESIGN WAYS FORWARD. FOR INSTANCE, A PROFESSOR THAT WAS INTERVIEWED ABOUT THE DOME TECHNOLOGY WAS SKEPTICAL THAT IT WOULD BE SUCCESSFUL WITH THE DEEP WATER CURRENTS. CNN CAN HELP FACILITATE DISCUSSIONS AMONGST APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGISTS AND PROFESSORS TO DESIGN POSSIBLE WAYS FORWARD, RATHER THAN SIMPLY REPORT A PERSPECTIVE. IF ANY READER AGREES WITH THIS PLEASE MAKE SIMILAR COMMENTS TO THIS MEDIA WEBSITE AND OTHER NATIONAL MEDIA WEBSITES.

    For instance, BP has lowered pipes from a ship to spread dispersant near the plumes of oil from the leak. Why don't they have additional ships/tankers/vessels with piping that can be extended near the leaks to suck up some of the oil as it is leaving the pipe. This wouldn't collect all the oil like the dome technology is designed to do. But at least it will collect some of the oil, and it will collect the oil at the point of greatest concentration. Perhaps a few hundred thousand gallons of oil could be collected before the domes are lowered in place. Another estimated 1 million gallons of oil will gush out into the Gulf before the domes are lowered. At least collect some of the oil until that time!!!!! Also, if the dome technology fails to work for some reason, then there need to be backup plans in place. So far, it sounds like BP is placing all of their eggs in one basket by placing all of their hope on these domes. Hopefully they will work, but if they don’t, it will be a catastrophe beyond any reasonable person’s worst nightmare. Backup plans should be in place. The media can help ensure that this happens.

    CNN, please invite experts and technologists to your programs to expedite discussions on how to collect as much oil as possible to reduce the magnitude of the damage. You have tremendous power to force these discussions and help solve the problem. Now is the time for the nation news programs to step up and help design a way forward during this time of national tragedy. Simply reporting what BP and the government is doing is gravely underutilizing your power, at a time when the Gulf coast and teh nation needs you to do more. Please use your power to ensure that as many designs as possible are being discussed to reduce the damage!!!!!!!!!!

    Also, there is a lot of other pressing news for sure, but this the news that will unfortunately continue to give over the next several decades. Please don’t let it slide from the very top of your news priority!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rod buller

    how to stop oil leak: remove boom from trackhole that has the jaws of life type tool on it, lower to the bottom with cables and hoses, clamp on to pipe and smash off the pipe, will stop leak or at less slow it down.

    May 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • friend

      Brilliant now how do you stop a man from abandoning his own children Rod?

      March 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jjoshuajj21

    That Dome Containment device appears to be the solution to stop the spew of oil into the Gulf >>> http://worldresarchnews.wordpress.com/ <<<<<

    May 5, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tony

    We need to drill a deep hole into the seabed as close as possible to the well,, insert a tactical nuke into the hole and detonate it. This will fuse the seabed and plug the leak without any release of radiation into the water or air

    May 7, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  14. dan

    I have been trying to find an email adress for BP suggestions to the efforts of containing the oil spill. These methods have worked for centuries in the industry. Many problems have been solved by just opening death eye to suggestions to help with this type of problem. I worked for 18 years with the National weather service and have been at sea for a number of years in deep water mooring situations. It is apperant to me that the method that they are aproaching with the dome effort will work but not without some adjustments made to how they are planning on sitting on ththis mooring station. Their is an inverse catenary mooring that NOAA Data Buoy Center uses to moor its deep water stations to and those Bouys see some very rough conditions that survive and this method would keep them positioned on station while pumping the crude oil inot a containment ship. Otherwise this effort will not work. If they would make themselves readily available to these types of suggestions they would be subject to listen and implement ideas that would work. Or at least consider the expeirenced people talk.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tony

    I AM FRUSTRATED. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY MY SUGGESTION IN POST 148 WILL NOT WORK?

    May 7, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
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