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June 3rd, 2010
10:54 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Attempt to Cap Oil Leak

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

We're staying on the air live until 2 am ET to bring you the developments in the latest effort to cap the Gulf oil spill. Right now, BP is trying to lower a dome on top of the damaged well. Anderson and our team of other reporters have the breaking news  from Louisiana tonight. The big question: Will it work?

Anderson and Gary Tuchman got an up close look at the wildlife suffering due to the spill. The images are hard to watch. There are birds and other animals covered in oil. It's a serious problem that won't go away anytime soon, no matter if the oil leak is capped tonight.

A lot of you are wondering what you can do to help the animals. A team of bird rescue specialists from International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) has been deployed along the Gulf Coast. That's one way to get involved.

It's a busy night here in the newsroom and along the Gulf. We're working to bring you all the developments. Stay with us for our special coverage.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. The Stickler

    I keep wondering about the consequences of this disaster, and what the outcome will be, along with the rest of the world.
    My biggest question is: If pressurized water or other liquid isn't pumped into this huge oil field as all this oil spews out (to replace the lost volume of the oil released), won't the combination of tremendous pressure at that depth along with other factors eventually create a sinkhole so massive in the Gulf that tidal waves or earthquakes will result?

    June 4, 2010 at 1:29 am |
  2. Dr. Joe

    I am watching your program and Dr. Gupta and others were pouring what they collected in the marshes and identifying it as crude oil. What they were looking at appears to be a weathered "water in oil emulsion" referred to as "mousse" that forms when dispersant is applied to the oil when the oil is too thick. This was first observed in 1968 at the "Torrey Canyon Oil Spill in the Engish Channel. We (I worked in EPA's Oil and Chemical Spill Program for 36 years) saw similar "Mousse" at the IXTOC 1 spill in Campeche, Mexico in 1979 and other spills.

    June 4, 2010 at 1:26 am |
  3. Mark Davis

    BP's liability will be tremendous. The feds need to lock down whatever BP assets they can now before they're moved offshore. The citizens of this country need collateral - not worthless BP IOU's.

    June 4, 2010 at 1:22 am |
  4. Michael

    I bet it will be at least 12 hours before this failure is actually called one..............

    June 4, 2010 at 1:15 am |
  5. Linda from Florida

    Please find out who voted to allow off-shore oil drilling in US waters. GET ALL THEIR NAMES! We need a list of our government leaders who thought this was a good idea. Add their names to the list of BP employees and others invoved in off-shore drilling (and make sure you have the CEO's of these companies) and then send them out to rescue the birds and other wildlife they are killing. They should also be responsible for doing the clean-up. Let them suffer along with the poor innocent wildlife they are killing.

    Also, should we allow dispersants to be used? Why? Do we need more poison in the water and air? Who says using them is a good idea? Have we consulted the proper experts or have we relied on BP?

    I don't think our leaders or our president should be doing anything but working on this problem. I find it disturbing that they are vacationing and going on t.v. shows instead of working on cleaning up the oil!!!
    We need all of our govenment leaders to get involved. We cannot leave this national disaster to BP and the Coast Guard. IT IS TOO BIG!!!

    They should have been working on this from DAY ONE! I don't believe they were. It reminds me of when George Bush sat in the classroom in a daze. They need to get every expert in the field from around the world working on this.

    June 4, 2010 at 1:03 am |
  6. Gilberto Hernandez

    I know that BP has been struggling to stop this oil spill unsuccessfully. Well my suggestions are the following: a big vaccumm attached to a pipe and direct to a recovery deposit or also a attach a big sleeve on the existing pipe and direct to a recovery tank, trying to work around it to contain it. I know that they have a good epertise trying to stop the spill but obviously they have not done enough. It comes to my mind that this two suggestions may help.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:58 am |
  7. Rose From Muscoy, Calif

    Hi, Anderson...Happy Birthday to my birthday is tomorrow.

    Anyway I have been watching how much oil is coming out, can anyone from BP tell us how much oil is coming out an hour?
    If BP had so much warning about there none-compliance maintenance of BP.
    *BP refinery explosion that killed 15 and injured 170 in 2006.
    *Gulf oil rig workers warned BP to slow down drilling, BP ignored that killed 11, 45 million gallon spill.
    How much damage's will it take to get anyone to do something about BP? Even people who work and live in these area with BP are afraid of repercussions and consequences from BP.
    Graham MacEwen a spokesman for BP say that the air monitor shows no health threats to these workers. Why can't we take away BP contract and put an "Corp. Death Sentance" on BP as a punishment?
    I believe that the govenment should sue BP for $94 million dollars for every day the oil is pouring out plus another 1,128 million for each lawsuit that is brought forth by each person who had lost something from this oil spill. And put that money to good uses, and help the wildlife and jobs that are being lost each day. And now we found out that some of these judges where and might now be associated with the WHITE HOUSE. What the Hell!

    June 4, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  8. Douglas Emmer

    Happy Birthday Anderson....The real problem is that B P engineers are trying to force an oil/gas/water mixture eminating from a 9' to10' diamater pipe, I.E. the Marine Riser "stub" which sits atop the BOP, into what appears to be a 4' to 5 ' collection pipe attatched to the "cap". Anyone worth their salt will tell you that only 50% maximum of the oil/gas/water flow would be collected. However, attaching a riser pipe LARGER than the Marine Riser pipe stub would collect nearly ALL of the flow. Separating the oil/gas/ water mixture at the surface would be a difficult task, but can be done.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  9. Chris

    I have to comment one more time on this. I have been watching this and am sickened and saddened by the images on my T.V. I have had some terrible things that have happened in my life and I have been alive long enough to have seen so many terrible things that have transpired on the Earth. I know from experience that there are times when a person has to rub their eyes and hope that it is all a bad dream and maybe if they just take a moment they'll wake up and it won't have been real. That is the way I feel about the oil spill. I live far away in Colorado, but I am not a completely stupid person and I can understand to some extent the devestation that is taking place. This is all so sickening. Again, I think that more than BP bears the responsibility for all of this. Who issued the lease for the well? Who were the investors and the shareholders? Not to mention the people at the regulatory agencies that were literally in bed and drugged with the people that they were in charge of. I really think that playing the blame game right now is not the right thing to do. In a way I think that we are all guilty as a people that are dependent on oil and waste it freely and greedily as we speed down the road in our cars and every other way we use it. With all my heart and soul I hope that BP finds a way to stop this and that somehow the Gulf can be cleaned and that the computer forecasts that you at CNN have for the spread of the oil don't become a reality. I don't know what else to say. In spite of my anger at the people that are resonsible for this they also have my full support in their efforts to stop this and the last thing that I would do given the opportunity to talk to them would be to scream and yell or lash out. The first question that I would ask is " What can I do to help?" Let's deal with litigation when the time comes.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:44 am |
  10. Shane Grand Forks ND

    In My Opinion,, Go Back to the Colonial Days,,, Get rid of the Government!!!! Rely On State and Local Aid and Help!!!!! Example Look At Haiti Earth Quake On how many Milions of Dollars we sent there!!!! Now In the Gulf head who Knows where Else? We Dont need a Dead Beat government sucking the life out of us!!!!!!!!!

    June 4, 2010 at 12:43 am |
  11. mich bob

    pls dont let up on this. i dont live there but live in a state where they want to drill. we dont need to drill more we need to move to other things to cover our power and driving needs. t boone pickens plan is a place to start. its not perfect but its a start. time for obama to make this happen and it wont if a reporter like you dosnt ask the hard questions. also on a personal not i feel so sorry for these people both workers trying to clean it up and ones that are trying to stop it.there life for most will be cut short because of this. its no different than chernobel where workers did what they had to do so others mite not have to die and so there kids mite have a life to live. last part is for the gov. workers to go home and noone to be there just goes to show that it dosnt matter to them. to bad it didnt happen D.C. cause i bet there phone lines would have people to explain what is going on and what you can do to help. keep up the good work and for everyone that cares we thank you alot.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:38 am |
  12. Don in Canada

    Hi Anderson,
    The gold tube you see with the oil comimg out is some sort of vent on top of the cap. There are 4 of them on top of the cap. The riser is hidden by the oil plume. Being just a lay person, (who has worked in the Canadian oil industry) I wonder way they just did not after they cut the riser pipe with the shears today, they could have just unbolted the sheared riser, and bolted on a large shutoff valve to the flange and shut off the well. With the well closed the relief wells have a change to work. It is only held on by 6 bolts. I think the guys running the ROVs could do it (if allowed). Just a thought this could have happened about 30 days ago. BP does not want the BOP to see daylight unless it is full of cement. Hard to test something if it can't work. There will come a time soon now that they have the cap in place, they will go back to the "Top Kill" and fill the riser and the BOP with the cement.
    Just a thought from the north, May God Be With You All, Good Luck.
    Don Bonnenfant

    June 4, 2010 at 12:38 am |
  13. Eric

    Anderson, please call BP out on this. I've been watching you for the last couple hours, noting how BP's poor PR is astonishing and how they don't seem to understand the importance of transparency. I'm sorry to have to disagree with you, but BP is extremely aware of the importance to be transparent; they are simply choosing not to be. Common sense and past history should tell us the cap did NOT work. Simply, if placing the cap had been successful, wouldn't BP have come out right away shouting at the top of their voices about the success they had just had? Of course they would have; they understand how important the PR is. You've said it yourself how much they are spending on positive PR and you've also noted how they seem to be providing updates which are completely off the focus of the cap placement.

    Come on Anderson, you're experienced, you have a great gut instinct, you know what's going on. You've been trying to get them to come to phone by constantly addressing their lack of communication, but they aren't taking the bait. So call them out. State what "appears" to be going on. The cap is in place and it didn't seal properly (your experts have noted this). Looks like the attempt "failed". Use the word "failed", tell the world, it "appears that placement of the cap has failed and BP is not responding to attempts to get an update". BP is spending a ton of money, with a lot going to PR, such as full page ads in major newspapers. Maybe you can get them to phone if you can make them so nervous about the PR, that they feel they have no choice, but to respond.

    Unfortunately, I don't think you or anyone is going to get them to the phone tonight. Simple reason. It DID fail and "hearing" the bad news from BP tonite, will not do anything different than hearing it tomorrow morning. Except one thing. Waiting until tomorrow morning gives BP time to consult with experts, lawyers, PR folks, etc. so that hopefully in the morning when they tell the world the cap failed, they will have another plan to try. I don't think they will have a new plan. I think while they may try to find another approach tonite with experts, come morning, the time will have mostly been spent on how to handle the PR, how to "message" the failure, and unfortunatley, show again, they are more concerned about covering themselves, then being open and honest. It's all about CYA.

    Thanks for the passion.

    Eric

    June 4, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  14. Kirk Hill

    Hello Anderson and crew:

    Happy birthday and thanks for staying up late everybody. Some comments from an aeronautical engineer with experience in physics and nuclear engineering and operations also.

    Basic info for viewers: Image of Dr. Wereley of putting nozzle on garden hose is good. Typical water pressure is 40-45 psi (pounds per square inch) so to stop flow with thumb or closed nozzle on 3/4 inch hose would take 20 to 25 pounds of pressure. The riser is approximately 20 inches in diameter so the force required to maintain a closed LMRP II in position over the cut pipe would be 314 times the well pressure. This is probably between 2,000 psi and 7,000 psi from the reports I have heard. So force on LMRP II is 628,000 pounds to 2.2 million pounds.

    It is much easier to attach an open nozzle to a running garden hose and also attaching an open LMRP iI to the well head is the only reasonable solution.

    The two videos are probably the view of the bottom section of the LMRP II with the dispersant injected per Dr. Wereley and the blue lines are probably the methanol supply lines. I believe the LMRP II is in an open condition with significant flow of well oil/gas leaking around the lower section of the LMRP II. I do not believe BP has the equipment in place to start oil production on the surface so the oil/gas mixture is still escaping into the Gulf at the same rate as after the final pipe cut was made. The second video view appears to be a venting of mostly gas and a lighter fluid which I believe is from a pressure relief/control valve above or on top of the LMRP II. This is probably a mixture of well gas and the methanol being pumped into the LMRP II to minimize hydrate formation. The light colored objects swirling about in the video of the black oil are probably dispersant and/or hydrates.

    The one thing Tony Hayward has said that I believe is that it will be quite a while before the situation is under control.

    Thanks again for the great coverage and I agree that an impartial commentation would be valuable to the public during the crucial operations.

    Sincerely,

    Kirk Hill

    June 4, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  15. Cliff Bailey

    Hi Anderson, the reason there is no-one to comment on what is happening on capping this oil spill tonight is" it failed ", if it was a success they would have been falling over them selves to tell you, but it wasnt so they all ran home and left it for someone to tell you in the morning.
    Happy birthday A.C.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  16. peter sanchez

    its not working the vale on top is a purg valve like on a cooker if that was not on it the cap the cap would just come off the well but the cap is not working there is no up flow this is bad thay need to turn on the pump thanks pete s.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  17. Lynn

    Thanks for being relentless in your efforts to get some A/Ccountability for this heart break! Sooner or later they have to answer for this.. so please keep leaving a message at the Bp!

    June 4, 2010 at 12:25 am |
  18. Alan

    Enterprise ROV 1 appears to be holding onto one of the 2 bypass valves on the LMRP. As shown in BP's LMRP6 June 3rd video, these will be initially open when the cap is lowered, then closed by ROVs once flow to the surface has started...if things go to plan!!

    June 4, 2010 at 12:23 am |
  19. Denise

    Anderson thanks for keeping them honest. Unfortunately however, keeping these type of people honest is a difficult task they all cover themselves with the same blanket. I would just like to know why BP is not being directed to use super tankers to suck up the massive amount of oil that is not being captured at the well head. Dispersments are just causing more problems to our coastal waters. Thanks again keep up the good work.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  20. Tim Gilbert

    Anderson, I have been watching the live bp feeds all day and agree with Tom above. I just wanted to add to his post that the bronze looking stub spewing oil in one of the rov pictures is actually one of four large ball valves. They were presumably left open for the startup of this device to give the engineers more contro over the pressure in the top hat . The rov is clamped itself onto the tophat with one robotic arm and has the other arm on the stem of the valve ready to close it. The riser is atatched to a pump skid about 100 feet above . They are probably working hard to establish flow in the piping as we speak. thanks for the awsome work your doing! Keep it up! God bless.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:18 am |
  21. ross collier

    happy b day... not to make light of this.... but geesh... it dont seem like they have the brightest minds working on this... a big steel dome that dosnt fasten its self to this pipe... call the guys from..myth busters... those guys can build anything... and i bet they can do it in less then a week... geesh

    June 4, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  22. Diane Scherich

    Although there is no doubt that the Fed Govt should head up the intensive investigation, I do not believe they should be involved in the relief/repair operation- leave the critical, highly technical decisions to the highly experienced and educated experts who know the most about what is happening down there. President Obama and his administration should be applying pressure to BP, but have no place sticking their noses in the physical aspects of the operation.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  23. Marion Baldwin

    Anderson –

    Why not start calling this what it really is, America's Chernobyl? This is far worse than Exxon Valdez, and the global environmental impact will be staggering, even if the well were capped tomorrow.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:15 am |
  24. Glenn

    What about welding a riser over the old riser with a valve on the new riser and then turn valve off

    June 4, 2010 at 12:14 am |
  25. SlopDog

    They can not have the cap attached with that pressure flowing it would be like pumping against a valve and the connection would break. I don't think they got the right cap funnel size to capture this pressure flowing they are going to need a much bigger union atop the funnel cap or it will be like pumping against valves and breakage everywhere and way to much pressure exiting pumping out on top going into the tankers and therefore dangerous. No they have stopped this to refit the funnel cap with larger possibly dual triple pipes atop a new cap fitting. My guess and they don't want to let it out until its sorted out. They got a pumping capacity pressure problem to sort out before this will work is my thoughts if it helps

    June 4, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  26. Terry

    I'm watching the live show and I'm also watching the live internet feeds from BP. I'm by no means an expert but, it appears the live feed from Enterprise ROV-1 is the top of the cap. The Q4000 – ROV 1 feed, appears to be the tube that is to be placed in the top of the cap. The tube is sitting at 3297 feet right now and has been there for quite a while.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  27. Robert Hasty

    Anderson, watching live here. 25 years in the drilling and pipeline business.

    Looks to me that they blew out a bunch of lines on the BOP from the back pressure of trying to cap it. My solution is this > Totally remove the BOP altogether. Stick the original drill bit way back down inside the kason pipe deep into the sea floor. This will hold back the oil and it will not be possible to "blow out" the kason pipe surrounded by thousands of feet of sea floor earth. Then fill that in with concrete trapping the drill bit. They can then cut off the drill bit at sea floor level.

    Right now it appears BP is not concerned about really "Stopping The Leak" but more concerned about stopping it only if they "BP" still has a way to get their oil.

    June 4, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  28. Chris Z

    Anderson keep up with the great work. Like you, I am still waiting for real answers and updates from BP, Coast Guard, and our President. I pray that this disaster does not fall out of the headlines like other disasters have had in the past. Maybe this disaster will enlighten our elected officials to start acting on our behalf instead of the special interests and BIG business.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  29. art boyle - OK.

    Anderson, tell BP to put the drill back on the stem pipe and run it down the hole.

    the stem pipe is hollow and mud can be pumped thru it. all the weight will hold the pressure.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  30. Jerry form Ottawa Canada

    Thanks for the extended coverage Anderson. What a way to spend your birthday..... working long hours. Seeing those shots of the birds is absolutely sickening and I fear it's just the tip of the iceberg.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
  31. Tom Cooksey

    I have been watching the video feeds all day, 5 ROV video feeds. I watched as they prepared the LMRP by attaching all the hoses. While watching I was guessing what was happening. The blue colored hoses I think carry the anti freeze, you could see it being pumped out before it was placed on top. The live feed Enterprise ROV 1 right now is at the top of the LMRP and the oil is coming out of a top valve. The top middle of the LMRP has it seemed like a hard pipe going up to a pump. You can see 12 feeds at bp.com, then on the middle/right side a link to view live feeds. It would be nice to see all 12 feeds on cnn, its hard to watch them all from my laptop. Its been real interesting to watch them move the hoses and then set-up the LMRP.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  32. Sari

    This is when we really get to see just how corrupt and greedy our elected officials are. When judges wont even consider being involved in the courts pertaining to this disaster....its pretty obvious that they are in the oil company`s pocket. Also, what happens when all the fishermen and peoeple that BP has supposedly hired...but not yet paid....start dying from all the toxins? I think these greedy oil companies may have just ruined the majority of marine life in the oceans. Its time they are taken down.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  33. Tony Caranna

    After watching the latest footage of BP's attempt to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico something caught my attention. They are trying to cap a 21" pipe with a device that will transition to a 4" pipe to bring the oil to the surface. This is only increasing the amount of pressure as you reduce the diameter of the pipe. At 5000 feet I would think that capping the 21" pipe with a device that also has a 21" pipe or even larget to bring the oil to or near the surface into depths that are manageble woule be a better option. Without reducing the diameter of the pipe you are not increasing the pressure of the oil escaping until it is at a depth where other options may present themselves at. Decrease the pressure coming out of the BOP by expanding the diameter of the pipe past the cap then gredually reducing the diameter as it rises to the surface.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  34. SlopDog

    I agree with plume team before now but at this moment now from looking at the rate of cubes per minute flowing out factoring the diameter of the pipe at this moment I would say at least 2 but really closer to 4 cubes/minute from observations and I've pumped a lot of wet crude or Slop we call it (3un1267) Let's do math now 1 cube =8.386414 barrel (us liquid) so say we use 3 cubes a minute that's 4,320 cubes a day x's 8.386414= rate of 36,229 barrels us liquid per day of slop coming out right now. If that is closer to 4 cubes a minute and it sure looks like it then that's 5,760 cubes a day of slop or 48,305 barrels us liquid per day. Depending on the cut of the slop that's still a lot of wet crude and way more than even the plume team probably thinks right now.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  35. Johnny Mac

    Your last guest, Steve Wereley, said that 50-70% of the gushing oil plume is dissolved methane gas. Once that reaches the surface, that "greenhouse" gas goes into the atmosphere. Is anyone monitoring the amount of methane escaping into the atmosphere, and if so, could you look into this and "keep them honest" about the extent of this tragedy? Keep up the pressure on all parties involved in this tragedy

    June 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  36. Luc Fortier

    The cap is on, but this well is a monster, more than 2000psi. It's obvious it's a fail again. They should insert some thick rubber airbag inside the well and inflate it to stop the flow.

    Bp worry more to save the well than to stop it.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  37. Victoria Missouri

    I just went to IBRCC website and for $500 is adopted a pelican. Of course they will be happy for any donation.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  38. Holly

    Thanks for the great coverage. This is both terrifying and tragic on so many levels. My heart goes out to the gulf coast residents and the wildlife there.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
  39. Marianne Upson

    Anderson and CNN, You are our information lifeline for this epic and life changing story. In the words of Tom Petty, "Don't back down". Keep the faith.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
  40. Brian J Franklin

    This is now reminding me of when Wolf Blitzer was reporting from that hotel at the start of Desert Storm. Fantastic job AC360. Keep up the great work!

    June 3, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  41. rick ekstrom

    Hi Anderson – I've been watching the feed (and your show) for a while now and it looks to me like a mechanical method of at least partially "plugging" this well is as good as any so I would like to propose a simple device that could be inserted in

    to the pipe bore, especially since the valves on top have now been eliminated, This is a device used in the automotive field to expand exhaust pipes when a new pipe has to be fitted into another pipe only this one would have a solid end and

    can be "expanded" with a hydraulic fitting on the solid end so as to just wedge and stick itself in the bore of the existing pipe casing. Use a check valve to hold the pressure. This would impede the flow from the casing significantly, maybe 80+ % .

    Maybe you could pass this rather basic idea along to the right people to consider. I have a feeling that it might actually work – simple be effective. Thanks anderson. It's very painful to watch these events unfold in the Gulf. Thanks again – Rick

    June 3, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  42. Stu Davis

    Anderson Cooper said that BP has hired 27 former congressmen and staff members to act as lobbyists. I think the names, former positions and political parties of these people should be announced on the air. Thne American people should know which former "public servants" are working against the best interests of the people of the US.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  43. Linda Adler

    WHAT HAPPENED in the last 1/2 hour?!? The oil has been coming out of the pipe but where is all the other oil/gasses coming from?

    I've been watching this live feed for about 20-22 hours per day for the last week. I have not seen ANYTHING like this.

    This must be a break in the seafloor. If anyone can find out -= Anderson Cooper can!!!

    June 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm |
  44. janet schroeder

    Good job of reporting Anderson! Happy birthday

    June 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm |