May 25th, 2010
09:32 PM ET

BP will continue Gulf oil feed during 'top kill'

Rep. Edward Markey said his office was notified the feed of the oil spill will be shut down while BP tries the "top kill" procedure.

[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.

soundoff (449 Responses)
  1. Chrsitina

    I don't know anyone working at BP. I don't support big oil companies in any way, shape or form. I just think that people believe they have far more rights than they do. People demand instant access to everything and then complain when they don't get it. And still no one can state what "right" there is for everyone to see this live feed. Is there a law? Statute? Government order?

    May 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zeppelin

      Their negligence caused an ecological disaster. They deserve to be scrutinized and pressured. If nobody's watching, they won't be compelled to behave.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      "You don't support BP in anyway"??? You thinking that BP has the right to block live coverage is totally supporting them. How much do they pay you??? It must be a boat load, errr an oil tanker full of money...

      May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aubrie

      Christina, it's called a human right to a clean environment, a livlihood, and good health. It also a birthright to be free to enjoy clean water, a place to live and clean air. You seem to be one of those Ostrich people that thinks if you put your head in the sand it will all magically go away. It WON'T. Grow up.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alioops007

      Chrsitina, again you are an idiot.

      May 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    When they cut the feed and maybe for good how will we ever know if it's ever stopped if someone else doesn't put a video camera down there?

    May 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Brett

    @Chrsitina, What right do we have to this video feed? We have every right. BP had the rights to drill the well, not pollute the entire gulf coast. It is astonishing that you think that the public should be in the dark about this issue.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Michael McGarry

    I agree with BP's decision to turn of the live feed during the "top kill" procedure scheduled for tomorrow.

    With the entire world watching, it's important to remember that those performing this procedure are not BP executives or public relations people, but ENGINEERS, who, will be under extreme pressure from all sides to carry out a procedure that's never been tried before under water, let alone on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

    The engineers' jobs will be tough enough without the entire world gawlking over their shoulders, and there will be plenty of time afterwords for kudos and/or finger pointing depending on the outcome.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • rtica

      Having a video camera down there is not quite the "entire world gawlking over their shoulders"
      "and there will be plenty of time afterwords for kudos and/or finger pointing depending on the outcome."

      Seriously! – How would we know that if there is no video!!!! Man, people need to think through their statements.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      What about the engineers at NASA during a shuttle launch, mission and recovery? Ya think they're under a bit 'o pressure, with the whole world watching? Leave the feed ON, and let the world see what's going on.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mario

      I agree, I wouldn't want possibly millions of people watching as I try something that hasn't been done before, and criticizing me as I do it. I mean it would be nice to see it as it happens but I understand why they're doing it.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • InTheLoop

      O you are so on point and correct. The scientists that worked for big tobacco never felt the need or pressure to lie or mislead the general population either.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • bob

      BP? BS They should never have drilled without being absolutely prepared for something like this!

      May 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fred

    Three words: Proprietary Business Practices

    That's what they are hiding, and they should be allowed to do so.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serge

      Then move the camera back 200 feet, will still see the oil, and, will see it stop. But I do agree that if there was some special technology going on it is thier right. But this article sais nothing about that, and, the "mud" they are using has been used for this before nothing now, just the depth. So I would not assume that they are protecting technology, but I am sure that after pressure to show the video, that will be what the claim will be =)

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • InTheLoop

      Before they took away my towns means of feeding our families I agreed with you.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. take charge!

    Why is our government P*ssy footing around with BP? I understand our elected officials don't want to be linked to this mess as well as being in BP's pocket.....but this is an EMERGENCY of the highest priority!

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark Riddle

      Because our government doesn't have a clue as to how to solve this problem.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • NorCalMojo

      You aren't even willing to name the name.

      There's only one person who has the power to get this under control: Obama.

      Blaming BP at this point is futile. They've been releasing massaged information from day one. We're well passed shame on them.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anthony from VA

    Call me crazy here or something but who do they think they are for deciding whether the solution should be televised or not? I'm not exactly sure why BP thinks they're untouchable. Just because there was an oil spill does not mean BP should have the utmost authority to be the judge and decide everything when they should be focusing on stopping the oil leak in the first place. I seriously would LOVE to see BP CEO's to be brought to justice EVEN though that will never happen in this lifetime. I'm getting so sick and tired of seeing CEO's get away with everything. BP, you disgust me. And as for "transparency", where is the announcement that includes your company (BP) that decided to cut off the feed while "top kill" takes place? Seriously, screw you BP.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Bednarik

    Oh yeah!! Let's hide this so the public cannot see if they are even doing anything. I think the Costeau Society should watchdog the effort to keep BP honest (as their track record certainly says otherwise). These guys are the worst of the worst, and I am not sure the Obama Administration is much better (can I take my vote back Mr. President?).

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Aaron

    Maybe we should just put another camera down there and run our own feed. Paging James Cameron .....

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • yodaspeaks

      ...sorry...Mr Cameron Is currently on Pandora checkiing out sites for the Epic 'Avatar2"!

      May 25, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    Has it occured to anyone that there may be a benefit to giving the people who are plugging this leak an opportunity to mitigate some distractions? Not that it will eliminate the stress, but I would feel more comfortable with the fate of the Gulf in my hands if I knew the whole world wasn't watching. We clearly know this is BP's fault/responsibility, but as anyone who is good at crisis management will tell you...fix the problem now and point fingers later. Who cares if you can't see it? Now, if they don't tape the procedure at all, that would be downright silly.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ripper

      They could tell the engineers the feed is off off and secretly leave it on. Or tell them the the Video Feed Preventor (VFP) failed to function properly.

      Come on. Corporations lie to their employees all the time. 😀

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • InTheLoop

      Dont screw it up to start with and we will let you do your job in private. Lay to waste public beaches then we want to "SEE" that it is fixed.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stony

    its because alls they have to do is turn the shut off switch. jokes on us.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bill

    I don't plan on watching the feed either. Who really wants to watch gushing oil online anyways? I have better things to do with my time... like leave this comment saying I don't care.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rachel

      i care and so do all of the other loved ones of the employees that are out there trying to stop it .we want to know everything thats going on considering that i havent heard from my husband since may 14th not knowing what the hell is going on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh and 1 more thing the last thing my husband said its so quiet here the only thing you can hear is all of the men telling there wives and children to pray for them and i love u and make sure you tell the kids that they are my world!!!!!!!!!!!! so next time you have the i dont care thaught in your head think a little bit before you post such an insensitive comment

      May 27, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chrsitina

    Brett – just because you believe you have the "right" to see the live feed doesn't mean you actually do. Are you providing the live feed? Paying for it? Administrating it? The person who owns the equipment is the person who decides who has the "right" to see the video being produced. Not you. Not me. Not the rest of the people on the planet with the idea that it is their "right".

    May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • WW

      Because it is our ocean and not BP's. Once they pony up the money to purchase the entire gulf of mexico then they can do whatever they want to in it. They have the rights to drill, not pollute. Once the spill occurred the situation changed. Americans have the right to view the feed because this is our ocean, not BP's.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathyx228

      This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aubrie

      What about our human rights and birth rights to clean water, food, a place to live and a livlihood in a free market? I think BP just squashed all that for a lot of people and I think those are the most important rights of all. Sorry you don't value yours....

      May 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mark Riddle

    I don't think that B.P. wants the public to see 50,000 tons of trash spewed into the Gulf when the top kill procedure fails.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liza Heider


      May 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. A

    I agree with Christina... why is the video feed important. Shouldn't we be more concerned about the fact that they STILL have not stopped the oil from leaking into the environment and destroying not only animal and plant life, but also thousands of people's livly hoods?! Get your priorities straight people! Shut the cameras off if that's what you think it will take to stop the oil, I don't care... just get it done!

    May 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dino

      I disagree. supervision is needed. If the containment was as simple and had effect, it would have been done within days. main reason people do not want to see someone fix something, it's because they will not do it the correct way, and walk away from it. If a neighbor was to damage your property and wasn't sure how to fix it for a month, and all of a sudden started doing the work, would you want to be there and see it done correctly??? if not, you are easily overtaken.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
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