[Updated at 9:20 p.m.] BP says it will continue to provide live video feeds of oil gushing from the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico while it attempts to seal the damaged well in a procedure known as "top kill."
"BP agreed to make the live feed of the top kill attempt available at the request of the President and the National Incident Center," an administration official told CNN.
Preparations for the procedure are continuing with the expectation that it could be activated on the morning of Wednesday May 26, 2010, BP said in a statement Tuesday night.Throughout the top kill procedure – which may take up to two days to complete - significant changes in the appearance of the flows at the seabed may be expected, BP said. The changes will not provide a reliable indicator of the progress of the operation as a whole and BP will report on the progress of the operation as appropriate, the company said.
[Updated at 6:10 p.m.] BP told the chairman of the House subcommittee on energy and the environment that it will be killing the live feed video of the spill at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico while it attempts to seal the well using the "top kill" procedure, Rep. Edward Markey said in a statement.
“It is outrageous that BP would kill the video feed for the top kill. This BP blackout will obscure a vital moment in this disaster,” Markey said in a statement. “After more than a month of spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP is essentially saying to the American people the solution will not be televised.”
But BP said no decision has been made yet on whether to temporarily suspend live webcam coverage from the sea bed during the operation.
"Any statement that a decision has already been taken to stop the feed is both inaccurate and premature," BP said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “As we have been throughout our response to this incident, BP remains committed to full transparency in all our actions.”
Markey's said BP was expected to terminate the live feed Wednesday, but BP said it's still considering its opti0ns.
“We are working extremely closely with multiple agencies across the Government and the Unified Command in considering how best to continue to provide access and information throughout the ‘top kill’ procedure. Over the next few days we will be carrying out a sensitive and complex procedure involving multiple simultaneous operations, and we are in active discussion as to whether the live feed from the sea bed that we have been broadcasting will continue to provide meaningful information through this complicated and unpredictable procedure.