Lookin’ Ugly at the Deepwater Horizon Live Cam?

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This is just a snippet (and this message is per the request of Lambert Strether, who has a post of his own up and trying to get further information from other Deepwater Horizon live cam bloggers or watchers):

Major changes happening at BP Disaster site:


There have been several major eruptions of the seabed under riser pipe. I’ve been watching and live-blogging all day. Some screengrabs. Whatever happened is very serious, and I am sure not good news for BP or even Republicans. Seabed dropped several feet, Spillcam covered in oil, Spew increased. New leaking hole in seabed. Possible casing failure.

NOTE Seabed dropped several feet???? –lambert

Thu updates from monkeyfister (see comments) are not encouraging:

Right now, as I type at 5:45pm CDT, there is ANOTHER eruption event happening.


Current Eruption is WAAAAY Worse than Earlier Ones…

By Monkeyfister on Sun, 05/23/2010 – 7:25pm
I think this may be a “Main Event” situation. When the water clears, if it looks like the riser flow is less… it means the BOP (which BP has been keeping the ROVs away from all day long) has probably totally blown out.

Bad. Bad. Bad deal.

Yves again. Anyone who has current intelligence is encouraged to weigh in.

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  1. lambert strether

    Yves, thanks for the link. It would be nice to move this from the realm of viral propagation into real-time reporting, with more than screen grabs, ideally links to a video archive, with time codes. Unfortunately, at least on my OS, screen capture of a live feed isn’t at all easy to do. So it would be great to have some kind of list of all the people tracking the oilcam, so everybody can compare notes.

    However, there’s one data point: A BP VP post-poned the top kill, and with no explanation (CNN). That’s not inconsistent with the view that something went very badly wrong at the wellhead; but it doesn’t prove it, either.

      1. LarryE

        Just FYI in case it’s not clear, that’s not a live feed: The date and time stamps do not match the present moment.

        In fact, that site send you here for a live feed.

  2. psychohistorian

    It continues to amaze me that the world governments are all standing around with their heads up their ass as a private corporation destroys the ecosystem. This is what you get from “FREE MARKET” capitalism.

    Regulation of business is as necessary as the laws controlling interpersonal behavior in a “civilized” world. Any attitude to the contrary is utter BS, IMO!

    Welcome to the fruits of fascism.

    1. Timmy

      This is going to be the biggest environmental disaster the size of chenobyl.

      You DO NOT want US gov. taking over the clean up and liable to all the lawsuit following botched clean up. Tax payers are going to pay for all the damage as a result.

      BP should be responsible. (There is almost NOTHING gov. can do at this point, short of creating deep sea emergency team to build massive underwater operation to stabilize the collapsing well.) The big spill on the surface is secondary concern at this point. The well itself is collapsing.

      1. Tao Jonesing


        That’s insane. Continuing to allow the criminal to “manage” the crime scene is the surest way of letting it off the hook.

        At this point, the Obama administration has to take a page from tort law and start mitigating the damages by taking charge. Doing so won’t let BP off the hook, and it will likely preserve evidence that might otherwise have been disappeared.

        But Obama doesn’t have the spine to actually match his actions to his rhetoric. His job is to maintain the status quo that Dubya set, and he knows that.

        1. Timmy

          as long as the well is not shut down, oil will keep gushing. The best one can do is watch the weather and prevent oil spill going here or there. There are procedures and steps in place. Clean up can’t begun since oil will keep coming.

          So it’s back to the problem of shutting down the well. There isn’t much “government” can do in that department. except maybe lending shipyard construction or various other facilities.

          Right now, the best is to stop finger pointing, stop fighting, no hearings, etc. Nothing except daily technical report and put all the experts in one single room.

          You want that well shut down quickly and safely. You don’t want to have inter agencies fight, army of lawyers, and PR agents taking over this operation. If the well collapse or the sea floor crack. Say goodbye to entire gulf coast. And if t happens under government supervision. You can bet BP say, we didn’t cause the well collapse, you did. cya later.

          btw, there was similar oil spill 1979 Pemex Ixtoc . (It’s second biggest oil disaster in history. next to Saddam blowing up all Kuwait oil wells.) It took 9 months for Pemex to drill another well to shut down the broken one.

          1. Timmy

            yeah well. That’s the $64million dollar question isn’t it? Why did the blow out preventer,the last emergency shut off valve, failed..

            I am no expert of deep water welling. But my wild guess this is the scenario:

            1. people are rushing and cutting corner. (The rig alone cost half a million buck of lease a day, fyi)

            2. some idiot is said to change the blow up preventer design.

            3. this is deeper than any other offshore operation. (I think this is a record.)

            4. they didn’t take into account the frozen methane. Because it’s so deep, no one understands how hydrate behave at that depth, nevermind being transported up via pipe. (Obviously, now we know, it exploded) They suppose to research this stuff first. They also again fail to take this into account while attempting the use of top hat. (Which was my hint) the frozen gas is clogging the pipe.

            5. combined with rushing stuff (pumping the mud out quickly, etc) the whole thing just turn nasty.

            bottom line, this is in very deep water, let’s hope serious people are in charge instead of hacks and clowns.

  3. lambert strether

    Since Congressman Ed Markey’s the one who got BP to release its feed, he might be interested in getting to the bottom of this:

    5 High Street, Suite 101
    Medford, MA 02155
    Dark Div
    188 Concord Street
    Suite 102
    Framingham, MA 01702
    TTY Line: 508-820-1802
    Dark Div
    Washington, D.C.
    2108 Rayburn House
    Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20515

    Also, there’s a BP feed, the CNN feed, and the livestream feed. It would be interesting to see if they differ.

    1. Tao Jonesing

      Obama’s choices don’t arise from a failure in judgment but from a failure in ideology (that’s what defines the pattern). Stop listening to the liberal-sounding things he says, and start focusing onwhat he actually does. You’ll see that he’s just another Dubya.

      The difference is that Obama can actually succeed in gutting Social Security because he affiliates himself with the Democrats. Never mind the fact that his actually policies are to the right of Ronald Reagan’s in many cases.

      1. Francois

        Hey Bro!
        I dunno where the misunderstanding come from, but I’m with you 100%.

        I look at his deeds AND the people he chose, and I don’t like what I see.

  4. Dean

    I wonder if this will put an end to the us/uk special relationship?

    Will the uk allow its crown jewel to be liquidated to pay for cleanup costs?

    1. Bert

      Invade Argentina (falkland) to get the oil to pay for it of course. It’s a brewing conflict US will get caught in the middle for sure.

    2. MindTheGAAP

      Will the uk allow its crown jewel to be liquidated to pay for cleanup costs?

      No, it won’t. That’s why if BP drops far enough, it’s worth buying.

  5. alex black

    I’m confident that the White House is in full disaster-response mode – and are working hard to do whatever it takes to…. “TURN OFF THOSE LIVE FEED CAMERAS, DAMMIT!”

  6. Jojo

    But full speed ahead anyway! Neither rain, nor shine, nor environmental disaster shall stop the flow of black gold…
    May 23, 2010
    Despite Obama’s Moratorium, Drilling Projects Move Ahead

    WASHINGTON — In the days since President Obama announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells and a halt to a controversial type of environmental waiver that was given to the Deepwater Horizon rig, at least seven new permits for various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted, according to records.

    The records also indicate that since the April 20 explosion on the rig, federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon shortly before it exploded, pouring a ceaseless current of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

    Asked about the permits and waivers, officials at the Department of the Interior and the Minerals Management Service, which regulates drilling, pointed to public statements by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, reiterating that the agency had no intention of stopping all new oil and gas production in the gulf.

    Department of the Interior officials said in a statement that the moratorium was meant only to halt permits for the drilling of new wells. It was not meant to stop permits for new work on existing drilling projects like the Deepwater Horizon.

    But critics say the moratorium has been violated or too narrowly defined to prevent another disaster.


  7. Iok Sotot, Eater of Souls

    If BP was a Chinese company and Deepwater was wiping out the Chinese shrimp industry the CEO would be facing the possibility of execution.

    1. Whit

      When Britain faced questionable behavior from the Icelandic banks, they quickly invoked terrorism laws to impound Icelandic assets in Britain. If hosting a few insolvent banks is equivalent, under British law, to being a terrorist state, why is the US hesitating to impound all of BP’s assets in America? Are they being allowed to shift accounts out of country? Are we making clear to Britain’s government that they, that all the British subjects, are responsible for covering the losses from BP’s criminality? Britain was not shy in insisting the everyone in Iceland be personally responsible for paying back British bank depositors. If there’s any moral difference here, it’s against BP.

      1. fajensen

        Britain was not shy in insisting the everyone in Iceland be personally responsible for paying back British bank depositors

        … While allowing the perps to keep their residence in London and their stolen assets!

        The British government is just bullying scum. I am glad that they will achieve nothing and that they will have riots already this summer over their “austerity measures”

  8. Pele Priest

    Seabed dropped several feet, Spillcam covered in oil, Spew increased. New leaking hole in seabed.

    This is a favorable signal. It is the sign of the lava tube cooling. But will the magma return?

    Stay tuned

  9. Daniel


    Who’s BP main insurer for these kind of incidents? Could it be AIG? in which case taxpayers are footing the cleanup bill anyway and may explain why the government is so soft on BP. Anyone with info on potential insurers involvement?


  10. Cullpepper

    Hmm. The “live” feed has no timestamp. The feeds that have a timestamp are from 15/5/10 and 8/5/10.

    What a crock.

  11. doggyDish Party

    AIG? in which case taxpayers are footing the cleanup bill anyway and may explain why the government

    The fat cats have the game rigged. When our taxes don’t buy their gourmet food stamps, our inflation does.

    Prepare to die

      1. Cullpepper

        I think I lack the gene that detects sarcasm, so I’ll assume that was a genuine question. In my region (Maine) the phrase “that’s a crock of shit” or “what a crock of shit” or in the shorthand, “what a crock”, is used to denote an experience where the container is used to hide the contents. (A “crock” is literally a large ceramic jar.)

        So, it can be literally: “This jar of tomatoes looked great, but it turned out to be a crock of shit.”

        Or figuratively: “The paint job on this used car looked mint, but it turned out to be a crock of shit.”

        Most often it’s personal: “His election speech was full of promises, but he turned out to be a crock of shit.”

        In this case, BP is providing a “live web cam” of the site. A rover cam with no time stamp and no geo-location data? What possible use is that to anyone, except for nebulous p.r. purposes?

        I’m suggesting we have been handed a crock of shit.

        1. lambert strether

          Yes, it was a genuine question! You write:

          A rover cam with no time stamp and no geo-location data? What possible use is that to anyone, except for nebulous p.r. purposes?

          I agree, though with this particular PR effort BP seems to have shot itself in the foot.

          And see here.

          1. Timmy

            direct result of political circus and jurmamalism. If somebody doesn’t take charge and put down rules this disaster is going to end badly.

            My take:

            1. call national emergency on the coast. Objective: prevent as much oil from reaching economically and ecologically important areas. With disaster this size, can’t save everything, but at least start early and methodical and control the damage. General public has to accept there is going to be some nasty coastal destruction to run heavy equipments soaking up oils. Can’t save every birds and fishes. This is several times bigger than exxon valdes and growing.

            There should be a command centers along the coast to coordinate spill/clean up. Put competent people in charge, not hacks. coastal engineers, oil spill experts, oceanography. Update sea current and weather information continuously.

            The entire coastal population should be made to prepare for the spill. (education, volunteer, preparation for various issues) This is a regional emergency.

            2. Isolate the deep water engineering team from media/legal/managements follies, they are going to have to make very difficult engineering decision and some of them might lead to mishap with disaster this size. Shut that broken well safely and quickly.

            3. video stream and technical report cannot be stopped or fudged. It is very important to inform public promptly. On the opposite side, stop the hysteria. This is a big disaster about to turn into massive folly.

            After the broken well is capped and clean up operation is in progress, then … who cares. the usual idiots take over. (lawyers, ambulance chaser, politicians, scam artists.. same stupidity different days.)

          2. Rex

            “If somebody doesn’t take charge and put down rules this disaster is going to end badly.”

            Unintentional gallows humor?

            There is the matter of degree, though.

  12. zone of exclusion

    Hey, look on the bright side: five years after Chernobyl the Soviet Union was dead. Maybe in five years the northeast and west coasts and the interior will be separate countries under UN administration, getting EU civil-society assistance and Asian Development Bank reconstruction aid. That’s our best shot for rejoining the civilized world.

  13. Guest

    Perhaps some are wondering about the current delays in the so called “Junk Shot” or “Top Kill”, and why this technique was not used much earlier. The Santa Barbara spill in 1969 was sealed in February of that year after 12 days by means of a type of Top Kill involving 8000 bbl of drilling mud followed by 800 sacks of cement followed by more mud and more cement. When it was all done a 3400′ column of cement plugged the leak. By December of 1969 smaller leaks were detected from cracks in the seafloor around the plugged well. These micro leaks were flowing at a rate of 10% of the original 20,000 gallon per day leak. There are still micro leaks to this day that impact the coastal areas around Santa Barbara.

    The flow rate of the BP Gulf spill is 10 to 50 times larger than the Santa Barbara spill. It may well be that there has been damage to the shaft between the seafloor (@ -5,000′) and the oil reservoir (@ -18,000′) resulting in a deterioration of the surrounding geology. It would be of value if the journalists covering this story would ask some probing questions about the local geology and the risks of the Top Kill tactic.

    Separate topic: The original lawsuits (filed by various levels of government) for the Santa Barbara spill were for $500 million. They were settled out of court 4 years later for a staggering $9.5 million.


  14. Scott

    Calling Craig Venter. We need some oil eating bacteria fast.
    Also, some new designs for more ‘oil resistant’ turtles, birds etc.

  15. Dan

    Well I was interested until I read this…

    “and I am sure not good news for BP or even Republicans.”

    Really? sigh… You libs have had control for how long now? Yet this is somehow bad for the republicans. OMFG. Give it up.

    This is a complete disaster and the fact that you want to somehow pin this on Republicans shows you have an agenda. Grow up you idiot.

    I can only assume you are one of those left fringe idiots that is so delighted to see this disaster happen because it helps your agenda.


  16. Bernard

    shows how partisan you are, Dan. this is my home, i live in New Orleans, so stuff it, please. No regulations are St. Ronnie’s legacy, and now BP’s legacy is the rest of the Rpublican Free Market/Government is Bad mantra. so i hate to be the one to tell you, but it’s doesn’t work, never did. proof positive here, honey.

    problem is this is beyond Parties, this is the Oligarchy in control here. Versailles kabuki that went horribly awry. Obama is a Republican is Democratic veneer.
    and the Democrats are co-conspirators in this Alice in Wonderland reality.

    With Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu, who has been mighty quiet lately, pushing the Democratic side to Drill Baby Drill, who need Caribou Barbie from Alaska.
    we in La. have our own traitors to the American experience.

    this is all about exercising control over GREED. As Gordon Gecko said via “Republican theism, get government out of my way”, GREED is GOOD!

    Good is an understatement to what is going on here. The Government is so corrupted now, there is no Difference between Democrats and Republicans.
    though the History will show the Republican St. Ronnie was the shining light that helped sow the wind that has given us this wonderful Whirlwind called Deepwater Horizon. and to think Halliburton is involved.

    couldn’t have written such a horrible “accidents happen” script like this, could we.

  17. Sir James

    With the top of the well torn up like that, the only way to stop it is to drill at least two other wells on an angle to intersect with the existing one. How that could be done at such depth , if at all, is difficult to conceive. A new BOP needs to attach to something and be bolted on.

    There should have been stacked BOPs in the first place. I suspect they hoped originallt that they had hiy a bump and it would exhaust itself. If they are in a major deposit, I cannot imagine what they can do. I’ve never heard of a cassion that deep – the pressure there is extremely high and a cassion might be crushed.

    Criticism of anyone for not acting under these circumstances is pointless. There would seem to be no off the shell solution. A blowout like this on land is a monster to contain. But there are ways. At that dept, with the metal torn to pieces….ideally they would attach a BOP to the existing damaged one, but I see no way to do that on the videos.

    People can stop ranting though. This requires a solution that may not exist. Panic will be counter-productive.

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