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. Catty123

    What is BP trying to cover up now? The hell with what BP says, they don't own the ocean or do they....this really sounds like an attack on American soil to me and we are just standing idling by watching it happen and we are worried about North Korea, right.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      The above comment is exactly why they are turning off the feed. ZOMG TEH UNIVERZE IS AFTER ALL OF USSS. Next thing you know you will be blaming all this on N.K or something. Calm the F down. the end result we will know whether there is a feed, lack of feed, or tom jones personally tapes it himself covered in cornflakes. People watching is NOT going to change the outcome. It is better to work in private to get this accomplished anyway.

      May 25, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Liza Heider

    It's because BP knows there's a good risk this won't work and god only knows what's really going to happen. Just a dreadful mess really. If the public sees the bottom of the ocean floor get stuffed with golf balls and tires and concrete and all goes haywire, I want to see it live for sure. I think we deserve to see it.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick

    Doesn't seem like there is any good reason to not show us what is happening.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Travis

    Nah I wanna see every bit of footage. It'll be really interesting especially for those who aspire to be an engineer

    May 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. steve mcbryant

    Why is this a problem. There are plenty of govt and private agencies in the US with deep sea submersibles with cameras, just drop one down. If it is international or US waters, we ought to have access without incident. Obama needs to grow a pair and stop being such a pu$$y to the UK and BP.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maggy

    The fact that a company can tell the government what it will and will not do...Just watch the movie Network and fast forward to the part where Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty) gives his speech on the New World Order. Indeed, there is no US of A. We are all citizens of BP, Pfizer, GM, and Goldman Sachs. Corporations running our country? Really?

    May 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rick

    They need to open the papers between Cheney and the oil companies had in their secret meetings.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mason Bryant

      IT doesn't seem that B.P. is on fire to get this oil leak stopped. I think the EPA should set a deadline for this gusher to be stopped beginning with the day that it happened and a fine of so many thousands of dollars a day.If the deadline is not met then the fine goes up a certain amount each day until the gusher is stopped. Their gas prices should be capped or a price freeze put place at the current price so the customers will not have to pay for their screw up. It seems that they come up with these ideas to stop the gusher and then say we will try this next week while oil continues to pour into the gulf.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    Why isn't the Navy down there? They have deep sea subs and plenty of experience. BP doesn't own the ocean. This disaster is threatening US. Therefore the US should have a presence down there at least to monitor the situation.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • otbricki

      The Navy? Since when do they have oil drilling experience? Have you noticed any robot arms sticking out of their subs? Give me a break.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck Roast

      He said to MONITOR the situation numbnut!

      May 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don

    How many of you out there know that BP is British Petroleum? A company that isn't even an American company is totally screwing up the Gulf of Mexico.

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

      And Occidental Petroleum, an American oil company, was entirely responsible for the Piper Alpha disaster in the UK North Sea that killed 167 people. What exactly is your point Don?

      May 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jack Smith

    Not to scare anyone, but from someone familiar with spills like DH, including the magnesium blocks, risers and dive bells, this is the way I see it. First, the problem started when an axial drill bit system was moved while the seal was in a "closed" position. This damaged the rubber seal and pieces of that seal came to the top in the mud used for drilling. When the engineers saw that, the tested the blowout preventer with a pressure test. OK, no problem, but the test they used was based on a 1960's patent using an algorithm that never though humans could drill 5,000 feet underwater. Took 8 hours for pressures to equalize, BP rushed everything, and the top blew off. Whooops.

    They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it. Pressure estimates for the 22" cracked pipe range from 11,000 psi to 25,000 psi. A junk shot or similar mud/heavy cement measure might bust open additional weaknesses they don't know about (or blow the thing wide open), hence their attempt to x-ray the remaining visible pipe before attempting the next "guess." Even the "relief" well is not a sure thing, that's why BP is drilling TWO reliefs in case the 1st doesn't work.

    If we can't cap that hole that oil is going to destroy the oceans of the world. It only takes one quart of motor oil to make 250,000 gallons of ocean water toxic to wildlife. Not toxic to whales, but the smaller organisms that begin the food chain. Are you starting to get the magnitude of this?

    Imagine what happens if that oil keeps flowing until it destroys all life in the oceans of this planet. Who knows how big of a reservoir of oil is down there.

    Not to mention that the oceans are critical to maintaining the proper oxygen level in the atmosphere for human life.

    The only piece of human technology that might address this is a nuclear bomb. I'm not kidding. Google "russian nuke oil spill" I pray the 1st relief well works in August! By then the Gulf will be black, but hopefully the east coast can be saved. If they put a nuke down there in the right spot it might seal up the hole. However, the nukes worked to seal the oil channel from a LAND rig, it's never been tried under 5000 ft of pressure on a sandy bottom, but still, nothing short of that will work. This is very serious, and BP and the Obama administration know it. Having been a huge proponent of offshore drilling, I'm quickly changing my mind; it appears our tech limits have been reached. I guess when congress was spouting off about "Energy Independence" 50 years ago, maybe they should have done something about it.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate D-O-double-G

      Have any sources for the technical aspects of what actually happened??? Not that I doubt you by any means, but because I would enjoy reading a write up of the actual events leading up to the explosion and eventual sinking of the DH.

      May 25, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aubrie

      Nuclear??? wouldn't that foul and poison the oceans too???? Ummmm..... Chernobyl and such......

      May 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eli

      Few small problems with this story (besides it not being true).

      They weren't drilling at the time of the explosion! The first cement plug had been finished prior to the explosion. That means they were done drilling, they had finished putting in the casing, they had put in the bottom cement plug, and they had cemented the casing. The only thing left was the second cement plug and the well would have been ready leave.

      Also, the well doesn't extend down 30,000 ft below the sea bed.

      May 25, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff

    One month ago 99% of Americans had no idea what a BOP or an ROV or a MODU or a topkill, or hydrates or a relief well were. Now they are much better educated as to the challenges of supplying oil to the American public from the difficult operating environment in the Gulf of Mexico – so we can all drive our SUV's and use all the plastics and petrochemicals that help meet our daily needs. We are all now also acutely aware of the risks that come with offshore drilling and production. Markey's demands about the video feed are politics as usual from someone who seems more concerned about getting TV time than about giving BP the space to solve the problem. I wish someone would put a "boot on his neck" to shut him up for awhile.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chuck Roast

      Do you think the device you typed out your blubberings on is not made of any petroleum based products and natural resources? What about where did the electricity to power it come from? How comcially hypocritical you are.

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

    If the "Top Kill" procedure works, BP is out to patent it and make $$$$$$$$$$$ on future oil leaks. They will have a different name or spin off company to perform this. This is why the live feed will be terminated. They don't want "other" to learn how they did it. It is called Proprietary Information.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul

    @Christina
    The American people ARE paying for this live feed because our taxes are subsidizing the oil industry with massive tax breaks, lax/non-existent regulations, and the loss of natural resources. It is my right, and the right of my childrens' children, to have a transparent response to this crisis since it is ruining natural resources which belong to the American people, not BP executives. What right does BP have to drill oil wells in the U.S. without any knowledge of how to mitigate a natural disaster when a pipe breaks? Who was concerned with my rights when BP was granted permits to poke holes in the ocean without any concern for consequences on the environment or the commercial fishing industry? You sound like a paid shill for the oil industry (and an amateur one at that).

    May 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Doug Frady

    I would like to see the Government use a weighted "Curtain" to direct to oil spill TO land .
    To the closest/ most logical location and pump it out from there.
    Even if bp has to pay the fisherman/ residents to use their boats to steady the "curtain" That would allow bp to "catch their breath and figure out the RIGHT way to stop the leak.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kathyx228

    Chrsitina is a troll stop responding to her please.

    May 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
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