Big Oil and Suspicious Behavior
British Petroleum CEO Doug Suttles and U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry announced this afternoon during a 4:00 p.m. press conference that the “Top Kill” maneuver it began Wednesday to try to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico failed.
When asked by a reporter from the Associated Press when BP decided the “Top Kill” procedure was not working, Suttles said his company had made the conclusion only an hour-and-a-half before.
However, news of the failure (which was attributed to “sources close to BP”) had already been reported by several media outlets as early as two to three hours before the press conference.
The premature news reports were not the only signs that something may have been amiss. During an earlier press conference, shortly after noon, in what could be construed as as a preemptive strike, Suttles told reporters that the “Top Kill” maneuver was still being monitored, but that BP was already considering a secondary strategy for dealing with the spill.
The next procedure will involve placing custom-built cap to fit over the lower marine riser package, which is located on the blowout preventer.
Suttles said the cap should be able to capture most of the oil. However, he prefaced this by also noting the new cap may not form a complete seal. He reported that BP will be ready to execute the latest plan in approximately four to seven days.
At the outset of the “Top Kill” on Wednesday, BP officials only gave the procedure a 65 to 70 percent chance of success.
Late Friday night, the live and televised camera feed that was documenting the Top Kill maneuver, went blurry. Shortly after, BP officials attributed this to “routine cleaning” of the camera’s lense.
The Top Kill failure comes on the heels of President Obama’s visit to Port Fourchon on Friday.
During his visit, Obama pledged continued support to Louisiana state and local government officials.
The visit, however, was not without some controversy.
Following the visit, Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told the media that 100 cleanup workers on Grand Isle that were bussed in that morning was a “dog and pony show” put on by BP officials to give Obama the impression that the cleanup wok was well under way.
Roberts said that prior to the visit, he had never seen more than 20 workers on Grand Isle. The workers, Roberts said, left shortly after Obama’s departure.
BP officials denied the accusations, saying that more and more cleanup workers are being brought in on a daily basis.