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. Martin P

    I'm no fan of BP, but I imagine the humans who are engineering the operation cannot withstand the pressure of the world watching their every movement. Can you imagine the number of back-seat drivers who will say the robot should have moved it's arm left, and the other robot should have moved the tool like that, and the pipe should have been lowered faster or slower? There is already enough finger-pointing among well-intentioned folks under pressure.

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

      Well intentioned folks? Whom would that be? BP????? I think BP should face criminal charges. Murder charges for the 11 men who lost their lives and criminal negligence for what they're doing to the environment.

      May 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yodaspeaks

    its no small wonder the feed will be termiated...all we have gotten from Bp officials is sugar-coted lies...what i dont understand is why th fine folks @ the WOods Hole have not been asked to help...

    May 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Adam

    Why doesn't an appropriate agency set up its own camera? That should probably have been on day two of this catastrophe.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Hmmm what agency would that be? Perhaps the Navy? But you want to spend tens of millions if not hundreds of millions dollars to 'see' what's going on? Plus possibly put the lives of people at risk? Our government knows ZIP, NOTHING, NADA, about deep sea oil drilling.

      Captialism is a great system, but it is not perfect. America is proving that as a government and as a country we do not have resources for a very serious problem. Some people long for a weaker central government. I have a lot of positive thoughts on libertarianism... but you can also see from accidents like this having a 'smaller' or 'weaker' America and putting all the resources in the hands of a few companies is unsettling and possibly dangerous to our national security.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Troy Gomez

    Chrsitina, "Who cares" you ask? I do! I'm watching our state go to crap right now and these people (BP) continue to blow smoke to make themselves look great. This is going to be disastrous for our people and state. This live feed will allow plenty of people to see just what the hell is going on! All they are trying to do is limit their liability if something goes wrong on a "live" cam. Get with the program and read between the lines if you can.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Loyd

    They want to hide the "Top Kill" because BP are going to do everything in their power to insure it doesn't work. They can't allow it to be successful or they stand to lose enormous amount of money because they won't be allowed to produce this well afterwards. Come on people, think about it. The government would be a fool to let any company including BP attempt to process a well this deep again.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      But by drilling this relief well will they not essentially be removing the oil from the well which is currently causing these problems?

      May 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Loyd

      The relief well is what BP wants but they have a problem and that is if one of their attempts to stop the leak is successful before the relief well is completed the governement might make BP stop drilling and BP isn't going to take that risky of a chance.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eli

      That's an incoherent arguement. BP isn't stalling so that it can produce from this well. Those of you making that arguement don't know the first thing about the petroleum industry. BP can't produce this well, it's been irrevocably damaged. The casing came out of the hole, there was an explosion, the cement job didn't take. It would be MUCH cheaper to drill a new well than try to fix this one even if it was possible. The relief well won't be used to produce any oil either. It's not on BP's leased acreage. ConocoPhillips leases that parcel of "land" and BP can't put a producer on someone elses acreage. Besides which, for the relief well to work it has to drill into the old well & then pump cement into it to plug it up. That wouldn't make much of a producing well. If BP wants this oil, they will have to drill a completely new well on their own acreage. That's not happening anytime soon!

      May 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jason

    I'm so sick of hearing people slam BP. Guess why they're out there? Because we apparently can't live without a source of cheap, plentiful oil. If there was no demand there would be no need for a supply from the gulf. This is a mess, no question. But the U.S. government has no idea what to do. As long as BP is working on the problem leave them be, they're the experts. There will be plenty of time for inquiries and new regulations after this problem is solved.

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

      We slam BP because they failed to follow procedures and have a workable plan of action in case of extreme failure at this depth. They failed and now they are going to pay. The problem is you are right about why they are there but because of there incompetence they have probably ruined it for all companies in the future.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob Dole

      Are you stupid? We are slamming BP specifically in this case because they are stopping the live feed while they attempt to carry out their ultimate solution. How do we know if they even tried if we can't see it? It wouldn't be such a big deal if the camera wasn't there in the first place, but the fact that it is and they are stopping it just for this is fishy and downright wrong. BP should be dismantled and its executives should be drowned in pools of oil.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Randy

    None of us should be all that surprised by this. Afterall, how long did it take BP to provide the live feed in the first place? I would not be surprised if BP claims to be doing this in order to "protect trade secrets." After all, this has never been tried 5,000 feet underwater. In my opinion, this is just one more thing that clearly shows who is truly in control of this situation, not our government or our people; a corporation.

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

      Some people keep demanding a smaller/weaker American government and wish to put all the trust into corporations... not going to say which party that is. I think we all know!

      May 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ashwin

    Fred, what does Proprietary Business Practices have to do with this? Sure, if you're conducting business in a safe and responsible way, you have a right to keep your dealings secret. But not when your dealings have caused the greatest leakage of oil into the environment in recorded history.

    I don't know that seeing this feed is very important, but if they are trying to show the American public that they are an open and honest company, this is not the way.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Matt

    BP is so unprofessional in the way in which its handling this situation. In a world where corporate accountability is common place in business. This is beyond criminal these idiots are destroying an entire section of our great nation and they are worried about people seeing them succeed or fail?

    May 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin Paquin

    Exactly why does the U.S. not have it's own monitoring camera's in place , maybe NOAA or the Navy, to determine how severe the problem is? After the low-ball estimates offered by BP on the size of the leak, we have a right to the whole picture of this as it happens. They will never cover the clean-up cost. They'd be bankrupt. Time to set bail and put liens on them.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      With all due respect, America may have a powerful military... but our real power ends there. What sort of 'resources' do you think America really possesses??? Knowledge and resources are for the most part the assets of multi-national corporations, not America. America is weak in countless ways... unless it comes to war.

      We must accept their is risk in capitalism as well as any other system. You allow companies to maintain all the knowledge, resources, technolgy, and experts and leave your central government weak and the knoweldge locked in the companies... well that is a product of a non-socialist system.

      BP is our only hope because we have not empowered America as a government/country to understand this problem. It's all free market baby. Nobody said there would not be consequences to a weak America.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Nate

    How 'bout you stand up, government, and tell them they're going to show it?

    May 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oh Boy

      Quick – everybody drop to their knees and open their mouth. The government has walked into the room.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      And how would you react if the government said they were going to require your company to put all your work as a live feed on the Internet for all to see. I think BP should show the video. But the government forcing private companies to provide live video feeds of their workers...hmmmm sounds like a pandora's box of privacy issues and government intrusion.

      I understand frustration with the problem. But what may seem like a sensible use of government action here maybe abused in the future. I don't want Obama (or any president) saying that the government has a right to tell my company to put live 'whatever' on the internet for all to see.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LeeH1

    The government should just get out of the way. Business always does their work cheaper and faster than the government. And we should let the businesses regulate themselves. Let them do what needs to be done.

    And for heaven's sake, give them some slack from all these annoying lawsuits. The people of Lousiana should just leanr to understand that accidents like this are just part of doing business. BP isn't responsible for accidents. If you lose your business, then that is your problem. Let BP and Transocean get along with their work, and man-up to your own petty problems.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dean

      Fart Smeller There arent you?

      May 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • OceanGirl57

      Seriously? Since they've done such a bang up job of regulating themselves we should just let them continue? This "accident" threatens the wildlife in the entire Gulf, including 1,400 sperm whales but we should just suck it up? And if people along the Gulf lose their jobs, their property, their lives it's okay with you? Accidents "like this" are NOT part of doing business. They are part of cutting corners to the extent of having NO working safeguards and no regard for the environment or the wildlife that depends on it. The oil companies are raking in record profits. Why? Because they're so good at regulating themselves. Uh huh...

      May 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. uva1979

    Where does BP get off telling the US goverernment what they will and will not do. What the h**l is wrong with our govnt? We should be telling them what they will and will not do. This is ridiculous !!!

    May 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      You have it backwards.... how would you feel if federal agents showed up tomorrow at your work and demanded live cameras in all offices? Fact is that I don't think the US government has the authority to order a business to put their work live on the Internet for all to see. If you think about it, that is probably a good thing. And I'm a liberal for the most part but it's ridculous to give the government the power to force American workers to have their companies broadcast live streams. Today BP, tomorrow Toyota, next it will be where you work possibly.

      May 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eli

      BP can get off telling our government what it will or will not do because it OWNS the equipment. There are no laws specifying that they are required to provide live video feeds of their work so, like it or not, they have the right to terminate the feed if they so desire. Does it make good public relations sense? No, but BP has never been all that good at that anyway.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brian Wilson

    The reason they haven't used topkill yet is obvious. BP still wants to try and get the oil. And if they use topkill they can't. So they are really trying to cap it and continue the oil flow so they can sell the oil. Anyone thinking that BP is trying to help the evironment by stopping the flow is a fool.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. seriously??

    the lack of urgency in these comments is quite unsettling....this will turn out to be one of the greatest environmental disasters of my young generation. If you don't think those responsible for it should be held accountable to the highest degree then we may be doomed after all.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adriana Birmingham, Al

      It must be Obama's fault. Large corporations can do no wrong and are obviously more competent than the government. Look at health care. Large insurance companies take better care of all of us than the government could with their death panels. Good thing there was no public option there.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      All I see here is the same finger pointing and bickering that the Government has been doing at BP, BP to TransOcean, and so on. The fact still remains that oil still flows daily, slicks and tar wash up on the beaches, and this disaster will probably affect the lives of my grandchildren. Even if the "top kill" works, the earth still has to try and recouperate from the oil which no one has any idea how long and the effects of that. I agree that I would like to see what is going on instead of them turning the cameras off. Reality is though, that is not my call...I am not directly associated with anything that has to do with this disaster except for seeing it on the news and reading about it online. Who am I (and all of you on this thread) to offer my expert opinion on whether they should leave the feed on during the "top kill" procedure? JUST FIX THE LEAK!!!

      -There I have said my peace...

      May 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
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