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Oil FAIL: BP to shut down live cam during "top kill" attempt

[Welcome, Naked Capitalism readers, and check the updates below. --lambert]

[UPDATE As of 2:00PM, the "top kill" operation has started. Oil Barrel live thread here. CNN live cams here; eight ROVs. --lambert]

Gee, I wonder why?

I mean, wouldn't it be simpler just to swap in a new loop?

Kidding, but when you've got video that isn't time-stamped and isn't archived, you kinda have to wonder...

Move along, people, move along. There's no story here.

NOTE You mean the same guys doing the animations aren't give BP a break on the loop work? Kidding again, but when you've got a smart, rich company executing a flawless public relations FAIL, you've got to wonder what's more important to them than a functioning PR effort ...

UPDATE And now we hear that the top kill may be delayed, no doubt to buy more time, as day by day the relief well solution assumes more prominence as the only workable "solution."

UPDATE BP backtracks:

The company had planned to turn off its live video feed of the leak during the procedure, but at the request of President Obama and the National Incident Center has decided to keep it on

UPDATE Apparently, going ahead with the "top kill" is CEO Tony Hayward's call, and should be made this morning -- like, about now -- based on "tests" (that is, the impact on BP's bottom line). And yes, the cam will be on (though no doubt still with no time codes and no archival footage available, making the video nearly useless for analytical purposes. Odd, that). [UPDATE The AP story at that link has now changed, and there's no mention of the cam. Here's the original version of the AP story, at NOLA [7:07AM] . This Pravda story at 10:45AM seems to be another take on the same story from AP; it too says the cam will be on. Online WSJ [10:12AM] says the cam will be off today, but their latest link is to the Markey quote I linked to yesterday. ] The authoritative coverage is, as usual, from the Oil Drum: "Waiting for Top Kill" [9:30AM]:

And, after some debate today, BP has announced that they will continue the live feed from the seabed during the time that the top kill is initiated.

"After some debate..." I thought only the Brits had that dry humor thing going...

UPDATE A Louisiana perspective from a radio host. Guy's right that the main Dead Zone in the Gulf is not from oil but nitrates from Big Ag. Has NOLA been totally fucked over by the Powers That Be? Absolutely no question. Unfortunately, that's not a regional problem, though the host experiences it that way (as do most of us, locally). To me, it's yet another legitimacy problem ("Your government will do whatever it takes..."). What do you mean, "my" government? It couldn't be more clear that the government isn't mine at all, not one single shred or bit or mote or atom of it.

UPDATE The Oil Drum links to this story (Reuters, 11:03AM), where the cam will be on, but BP cautions that it may not be "reliable indicator." Well, we're all a bit short on reliable indicators, these days, aren't we?

UPDATE Oil Drum comment thread live on the "top kill" -- which has not [12:39PM EST] yet started. Although see here!

[UPDATE The top kill may have started [12:13PM EST]; Salazar just left a hearing to go watch. --lambert]

[UPDATE USCG officials have approved the top kill, but nobody knows when it is to begin. (This AP story is all messed up. Here's the headline: "Coast Guard OKs 'top kill' plan to stop oil geyser." But there's nothing about the CG until paragraph five. The rest of the story, including the lead, is all about BP malfeasance. Can't anybody here play this game?)

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carissa's picture
Submitted by carissa on

Again? Beyond tomorrow?

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Sorry to disagree here Lambert, but in this case I think the "they aren't really trying to shut this down" argument is too foily. They have no problem drilling a new well (hell, they are already drilling two more even now), and the costs of repairing/sealing this thing have probably already exceeded by ten times what it took to originally drill.

Plus, this is costing them WAY more in liability every day it goes on compared to the (relatively) small cost of drilling a well. This will be a multi-billion dollar charge-off which will get worse every day-week it goes on.

Now, the real foil is in their "estimate" of how much was released, as that will be determinant in what kind of damages they are on the hook for. If they are hiding any info, that is it.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

BP aren't taking advantage of expert advice and past history of oil disaster response in taking action. That alone says they aren't really trying to shut this down.

Here's at least one thing BP should be doing instead of further contaminating the Gulf with Corexit, via a Shell exec. Suck the surface oil into tankers.

Due to their lack of action, I'm almost wondering if their own experts have already told them stopping the leakage is likely a lost cause - based on the depth of the leak and the likelyhood of a 'sinkhole' type collapse of the area. Just my guess.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

the well. If you read through this thread at gCaptain (which seems to have a huge amount of experts posting) [and a million thanks to Lambert for finding that link], one of the first things they mention (back in April) is getting another drill rig there to drill a relief well so they can relieve the pressure and seal the well.

They got that going in a matter of days, which is as fast as possible. Apparently that is the first solution that the experts thought would be workable.

Now, like I said, they are going to try to limit our understanding of how much was released, and hence, their liability, so that is totally not foily, but I am now of the opinion they are not going to bother trying to rehabilitate this well. They are going to try to seal it as quickly as possible.

If we are going to bark up trees, it's best to bark up trees that have a something in them.

Submitted by hipparchia on

the natives are getting restless here:

An angry Pensacola City Council abruptly ended the presentation of a BP spokeswoman on Monday and demanded that the oil company send someone more knowledgeable to answer council members' questions.

"I would like to see someone with more qualifications than just public relations to come and address this council," Councilman Larry Johnson said.


"This oil spill issue is going to be going on for a couple of decades. I just want to know, do you feel you are qualified?" [said one of the other council members]

[BP spokeswoman Liz] Castro responded that she was BP's director of civic affairs for the United States, and she was brought in "because I have skills to work with the community."

nomnomnom1's picture
Submitted by nomnomnom1 on

cost? when the Gulf is useless except for drilling, for what will it be used?