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.]'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. William

    With every pack of shrimps you get a free can of oil

    May 3, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gulfmad

    Are there any updates on this situation? Is BP actively doing all they can to stop this fiasco?

    May 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peter

    What's with all the comments about blowing it up? Too many movies where blowing up a well stops a well that is on fire? That takes away oxygen and therefore stops the burn, but doesn't stop oil flow. If you had a burst pipe in your basement and I don't think you'd suggest using a stick of dynamite to stop the flow.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bonnie Anthony

    This is the most horrendous catastrophe, and very upsetting indeed. It is amazing that BP uses a safety valve, which costs a total of $500,000, in Europe, at those rigs, but doesn't iuse the safety valve in the US, as we don't require it. Had the safety valve been installed, this horrific sinking rig and temendous oil spill would not have occurred. I have a suggestion for BP...
    They should offer paying jobs to all of the unemployed residents of the counties to be affected by this spill, in relation to all clean up, restoration and wildlife and marine life assistance and efforts in saving the animal and aquatic species lives.

    My 3rd suggestion is, Install safety valves on all existing US oil rigs, and do not construct or allow any new oil rigs in the U.S. WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS BLATANT ASSAULT TO OUR OCEANS, WILDLIFE, MARINELIFE, AND well as the devastation to businesses, commerce and people living in this area.
    Sincerely, Bonnie Anthony

    May 3, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Theresa

    Can you please post a diagram of what happened, and explain why it is so difficult to cap. All we see in the news is photos of the 'effects'. I can see on the internet there are 4 different types of rigs, which type was this and how did this happen? where on the rig is the leak occurring. What is the method by which it will be stopped.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bene abegglen

    tschernobyl in the gulf! unbelievably!

    May 3, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sarah Palin


    May 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. not the ref

    its obviouse from the remarks here we're all as clueless as those in charge of fixing this

    May 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    There are not enough ideas that have been put forth for how to solve the problem, whether it be stopping the oil or collecting the oil.

    One general design concept is as follows. CNN, please engage you guests in discussions regarding this design or any other possible design for reducing the flow of oil. CNN viewers, if you are able to help design solutions or know of somebody who has experience in designing solutions, please take appropriate actions. Collecting some oil is better than not collecting any at all.

    A potential design to start collecting oil at the leak source, in conjunction with BP's dome technology, which is another 6-8 days away. This approach is kind of like setting up a "vacuum cleaner" on the ocean floor and having remotely operated vehicles position the "vacuum cleaner" over the leak points on the pipe.

    1. Obtain a large, concrete block of suitable size and attach a piping elbow. To the elbow, attach some type of flexible hose/piping connected to the bottom end of the elbow.

    2. Lower the block/piping elbow/flexible hose assembly to the sea bed at a suitable distance from the leak.

    3. Attach an oil riser/pipe from a ship or rig to the top of the elbow.

    4.Use a remotely operated vehicle to maneuver the flexible hose over the leak, where the oil is at its greatest concentration.

    5.Pump the oil/water mixture to the primary ship.

    6. Employ additional ships to pump oil out of the primary ship while it is collecting oil from the leak, so that the primary vessel can stay attached to the oil riser/piping at all times.

    7.When BP is ready to lower the domes, the remotely operated vehicles can move the flexible hoses out of the way.

    8. For each leak point, at least one concrete block/piping elbow/flexible hose/riser setup and one or more remotely operated vehicles from BP or from other oil companies should be employed.

    This design may not capture all of the escaping oil. Hopefully, the dome technology will provide that complete capture of oil. However, in the days before the dome technology is employed, this is a fast solution to help capture a large amount of oil at the point where the oil is at it's highest concentration. In addition, this is a solution that relies on standard technology that should be readily available. In addition, this is a flexible solution. If there are additional leaks from the pipe in the future, this design can be quickly employed.

    Please discuss this design and create additional design possibilities. If there are delays or complications with the dome technology, this will be a disaster beyond all comprehension.

    The disaster response website is

    May 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Missy

    I find this very sad and a complete catastrophe. It amazes me that so many people are more worried about the money side of this instead of the effects this is going to have on our environment for years to come. By the time they get this under control, our kids kids will still be cleaning up this mess. This is an absolute horrific situation and no fingers need to be pointed, everyone needs to band together and help in any way possible. We all share the same planet. Shame on you who thinks this is funny.

    May 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. USCG

    Theresa, here is a pic from US Coast Guard showing the current status

    On the left is the "proposed" relief well that BP may have to drill since they cannot shut off the main line.

    on the right is the existing well that Horizon tapped

    the Horizon Rig, is where the exploded rig has sunk

    the ROV's are the undersea units trying to shut off the oil line

    May 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chuck

    No more gasoline will be purchased from BP by this cowboy. Anyone else with me?

    May 3, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. USCG

    It is leaking from the bend in the riser (pipe) right above the BOP (blowout preventer), and from the end of the riser pipe (thousands of feet away)

    May 3, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sarah Palin

    Spill, baby, spill!

    May 3, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Richard

    I love the comments that ocean will take care of it on it own. 🙂 Sure it will, but human will not be around by that time. Our technology is too powerful; the present is not comparable with human past. We have many technologies that can easily make this planet inhabitable.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
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