Live comment thread on the video link from the ROV monitoring the damaged riser

New thread started here, please re-direct:

Is there any way to independently verify that BP is showing us what they claim to be showing us?

Sorry if this has been covered already.

I have no idea (and am not remotely knowledgeable so that means little) but I have a related question: the image currently showing (4:21 am EDT) is not as clear or as close as several hours ago. It seems to be a different camera entirely or the camera has been moved to a different view. Is this my imagination or if not, does anyone know why? Is there any other live feed available to the general public?

The ROVs each carry several cameras with different lenses and different fields of view. When they are actually working on something you often see them switch cameras. Sometimes the annotation will change with a camera change or when they switch the feed to a different ROV. The pilot has one large screen in front of him and a number of small screen showing his other cameras, sonar, etc and he can switch any of those to his large screen. The remote video feed is normally the large screen.

Different ROV companies (I think there are at least 3 on site), have different definition cameras and feeds. Also the feed that is picked for the live feed may have different compression characteristics, etc.

For the conspiracy concerns, BP, assuming they are controlling this, can switch ROV feeds at any time so they can pick which of several ROV videos goes out over the live feed.

It is a different story with the MMS and the USCG. The ROV feeds come into BP via one of the ROV company's system and is shown on a series of screens in the war room. The MMS and USCG have a lot of people in that room.

Even more, I'm sure the USCG or MMS have a man, or two, or six, on each vessel and they will have access to the ROV control van where they can stand right behind the pilot and see what he sees. So BP does not have any way to control what the USGC and MMS see.

>Please be aware, this is a live stream and may freeze or be unavailable from time to time.
very convenient, if BP want to hide something.

My conspiracy theory:
I don't think bp share every information with MMS/NOAA/Coast Guard .

There is no way to verify that what we are seeing is what is happening in real time, or even the location.

BTW, there are time, geographical coordinates, depth, heading etc. in the image.

Give me 5 minutes with iMovie and I'll turn that into a live video feed from the bottom of a lake on Titan.

(I don't believe this is faked, but do keep in mind that BP controls every byte of data on this feed.)

What is this image showing exactly ?

Looked at the animation on the previous "top kill" thread and have a few questions, sorry if these have been answered already

1) the animation shows the "mud" being pushed from a surface platform through a pipe, then through a "piece of equipment at the bottom", then again a tube (or two) to the BOP, what is this "piece of equipement" and its function ? The manifold ? Part of the BOP ? Is it already there ?

2) are the pipes from this piece of equipement to the BOP also already in place ?

3) does the current image shows the end of the "down pipe" ? (the one going from the platform on the surface down to the bottom")

1) Yes, it is a manifold used to regulate the flow and pressure of the mud being injected through the adjoining pipes or high pressure hoses in this case, through the failed pipe, up from the bottom and into the bop.

2) The Hoses from the manifold going to the bop are already connected.

3) I do not believe the image shows this. During my time viewing the live? feed, I saw one of the ROV's go under this particular pipe. I also saw what appeared to be damaged cabinets for the destroyed Horizon rig laying on the bottom. This area currently being shown, is not the area of the leaks.

Thanks for the answers, English not being my first language only knew the use of the word "manifold" in the context of mathematics and was wondering what it meant there :) , from wikipedia I understand that it is a very broad term designating an equipement "redistributing the flow of fluids or gas". In the current case is there a pump also in there ? In general is there electric power being fed from the surface down to the BOP or other equipments ? (obviously for the ROV I guess, or are they operating on batteries ?)

I've been watching the live? feed since late last night. I saw some strange things happening. The current view as of this comment, has been this way since about 3:30 AM EDT. I have posted my observations on my site. Should anyone care to read.

I've also been following along here since this incident occurred. I guess lurking would be the proper term. I have been a subscriber for well over a year, and visit .. er lurk, just about every day.


Wonderful live feed here:

The BP feed is not working properly.

The BP feeds works just fine here. I even opened it in mplayer in Linux and have it on-screen all the time -- to keep eye on what the BP boys are up to ;-)

On the BP feed I can only see a yellow pipe for hours. Other feeds show much more. ?????

I checked the feed you linked and there was exactly the same thing as on BP's feed. Just now it is again back to monitoring the leak ("Plume Monitoring"). Before that one could see pretty interesting stuff, like other ROV's and even some large thing (possibly the "top hat"?) at which underbelly they poked with some sort of wire.

Have any of you guys monitoring the feeds seen fish, eels, or aliens swim by? This was brought up at the end of yesterday's DB, final sub thread. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Thanks for starting this thread Prof. Goose.

Any help from our experts here understanding what we are seeing is very much appreciated!

Yeah, a pelican swam by and I think it gave us the "finger" or more like a "wing". It seemed pretty angry. :)

I saw Daryl Hannah.

I heard from a very reliable source that Canada has a team of eels trained to plant explosives, and that's what caused the original blowout. I have been watching CNN all morning and they haven't mentioned a single word about Canada's trained eels. Clearly this is proof of a vast media conspiracy, somebody call Alex Jones!!

Greetings TODers: To introduce myself, I am a long time lurker, and I have gotten quite an education here which I really appreciate. I've been scared to post because the engineering and math here is way above me, just a plumber. I succeeded in business partly by not overlooking the obvious. The live feed, for as long as I could watch looks just like any other spewing pipe. I understand the pressure is huge, and the access is bad, but here are two of the standard plumbers tricks that might be possible to engineer up to spec for this: One, called a jet-sweat is a rubber expandable plug on a bolt in tube, with a cam at the top. It is inserted into a pipe and the cam lever is thrown to expand the plug and stop up the flow. If such a tool were passed into the leaking riser, because of the initial small diameter, it would only have to resist partial counterflow. Then the issue would be the amount of friction that could seal against the pipe wall, and what mechanical limits there are to pushing out on the pipe wall. Could a ROV have forward force and speed to do this? The other concept is the blow bag, basically a balloon on a hose or pipe, inflated to stop a sewer flow or with an exit valve, blow through a clog. If it can be gotten down the pipe, could it be inflated, and if so would it hold? What the the Techs on Olympus have to say?

Hi, LowPlumb. Multiple problems:

Pressures well over 5000 psi.

The oil/gas is hot

The pipe is severely damaged.

There are multiple leaks in the pipe.

They did succeed in placing a valve on the end of the riser pipe. Not sure what the status of that is. The initial result was that the oil/gas just came out of the other leaks. This is why they need to get a "kill pill" into the intact part of the well (below the BOP).

Yes, I've seen some eels yesterday. :-)

Tony Hayward on CNN now (looking kind of rough)...saying that the team is still reviewing the diagnostics and they all will be meeting later to determine whether or not to go ahead with the top kill.

Edit to add....this is actually a pretty good interview considering the kind we usually see. :)

First, thank you, Professor Goose, for sharing this very detailed and ::extremely:: helpful page and diagrams. Your team of contributors/correspondents are frankly astounding. I'm a lurker too, trying to educate myself and not fall prey to wild-eyed conspiracy nuts as this oil spill nightmare unfolds.

Simple question: there is an individual on Twitter (at)jgrindal who appears to be a fluid dynamics consulting engineer aboard the Q4000 as part of the on-site engineers on this 'top kill' mission. Can anyone on this page confirm that he is who he implies he is? Many very anxious folks from the Gulf have been hanging on his every utterance, desperate for any real progress in the absence of reliable information from BP_America. I believe his first name may be Jeremy.


His first name definitely is Jeremy, he's 26, has an engineering degree, works in the petroleum industry and is pretty good at photography. I did a quick search for him when I first found his twitter account, it turns out he's a frequent poster on Reddit.

It also turns out that he is a highly functional schizophrenic, did a whole "Ask me anything" post on Reddit a while back. Reading through his post, I've come to the conclusion that he's one of the saner people I've "seen" on the internet. I'd wager that he is on the Q4000, like he says he is, but I don't think he's a very senior engineer who's in charge of large decisions or anything.

Thank you, Vonkow, for your quick reply!
After I posed my question, I found a reddit entry of/by him. Another tweep said he worked for Cameron but didn't know details. Here's that reddit link I found, perhaps one of the ones you'd also seen? which is same as:
I've been fielding some rather nasty accusations about Grindal from what I'd charitably label a conspiracy-bent Australian news service go-getter and others who are now chiming in. Funny that I'm trying to defend someone I don't know. But I'm also trying to allay the fears of Gulf residents (with whom I Twitter-converse)as they hope for any good news and angry that an on-site person could be a fake.
Thinking we've all known some eccentric science/math wizards who also
fit that description. ;-)
Again, thank you, Vonkow, for sharing what you know!


No problemo, I find myself really liking the guy as well (then again, we Redditors are a bit of a hive mind and naturally defend our own, at least on other websites). Grindal just tweeted that the top kill's been delayed until more tests can be done, guess we'll see if he's legit if/when the media reports it's been delayed.

Btw, that link is to his overview page. is a direct link to his 'Ask Me Anything' post. If he is legit, I'm gonna try and get him to do another 'Ask Me Anything' about being involved in the top kill ops. One interesting thing about his recent reddit posts is that he has a number of quite informed posts about the spill, but nowhere does he mention that he's involved with the top kill. Seems a little odd, but maybe he didn't want to have to field questions from reddit as well as twitter. Who knows... Either way, I feel a little bad tracking down all this info about him, but such is the nature of the internet and everything I've found makes me respect his opinion and ethics. Seems like he went to hell and back a few years ago, and it's made him a stronger person. Anyhoo, I digress.

I hear you, Vonkow.
After I last replied, I and a few other geeks did some digging. Turns out that Aussie go-getter (and at least two co-horts) is a spammer who cued into the high-traffic hashtags 'oilspill' and 'blacktide,' and fed the outright rumor about JG to the folks following those tags, and to those who had briefly conversed with JG. Then the go-getter preyed on them, tipping the now-confused, JG-or-hashtag followers to links that auto-generate RSS feeds via Twitter:a fast delivery system for spam bot-borne viruses, et al. I and the others confirmed the go-getter's tack and outted him, and blocked and reported him to Twitter. And then we sent messages to those we saw had interacted with this crafty weasel.

For the record, you should know that my tweets about JG didn't 'ping' him so he wouldn't get wrapped up in the sleuthing and take him away from his tasks. And neither did the others who also routed out the rumor-go-getter. Obviously, JG has work to do.

Just now, I see that JG is conferring with whomever is staffing the (at)TheOilDrum Twitter stream:

# Wow, just got a scathing call from mgmt, requesting I tone down my twitter info... 27 minutes ago via web Retweeted by you and 8 others

.@esarlls3 There are readings on pressure, but flowrate is the major variable right now. This is what is giving engr's headaches. 31 minutes ago via web

.@Shoq Not being a mud engr, I couldnt say. I know that the mud being used is a careful balance of density and viscosity. #oilspill #topkill 33 minutes ago via web

@TheOilDrum Only if it is decided that the #topkill is too risky. In my opinion, #topkill is good option at this point. #oilspill 40 minutes ago via web in reply to TheOilDrum

Again, thanks, Vonkow, for your help and feedback! How weird? A Twitter intrigue in the middle of this critical path topkill.


I find it amusing that Reddit lead me to TOD and now TOD's led me back to Reddit by way of Twitter. I'm glad you figured out what the go-getter was up to. Nobody should be trying to maliciously interfere with those who are out there fixing the problem right now. Me, I'm just glad that there's a redditor on the rig, and that the people of TOD are so damn informative.

Vonkow, other than via Reddit, how do you know JG? Have you worked with him in the industry?
I used be up on Abuzz, and it was a little world unto itself. And yes, at times, it was rife with individuals who had created multiple logins, just to have arguments with themselves. Or to strike back and resurface as the same persona when a moderator had banished the previous 'version.'

Just curious. Do you know for which firm JG is a consultant?


I've never met or interacted with him before. I remember reading his "Ask Me Anything" on reddit a while back (there was a whole AMA craze about 9 months ago), hence his name seemed a little familiar when I saw the Twitter account, so I did a little digging.

Based on what I've found, I think he's an Integrated Services Manager at Houston Center Valve & Fitting, which is owned by Swagelok, which makes fittings, valves, regulators, measuring devices and whatnot for fluid system technologies.

At my old job in the refrigeration industry, we would occasionally order a few Swagelok products, but if I recall, most of the things they make are a lot more heavy-duty than we needed, so I never dealt with any of their reps.

Interestingly, back in 2002 Swagelok was selected as a preferred supplier by Cooper Cameron, the maker of the BOP at DWH. Also, it looks like the press release that announced this came from Swagelok's Houston office. So

I'd hazard a guess that most of the work done at Swagelok's Houston location is for Cameron. This is probably why he's pretty knowledgeable about the conditions of the BOP.

Based on all this, I'd say he was brought in to help determine what kind of stresses the BOP can take, what state it's in and to provide general info about the BOP and the valves inside of it (which I'm guessing are mostly Swagelok).

I don't know what kind of seniority he has, or how many other Cameron/Swagelok people they've got in on this operation, but it's interesting to see how much of this industry is connected. As someone on here mentioned earlier, there's about 6 companies in the world that can do this kind of stuff, and 5 of them have reps on-site.

Let's hope he is not distracting himself from his main job!!

Awesome shot. OK, who can ID that eel/fish in the top part of this picture?

Cool, looks like a hagfish.

A moon jelly floated by last night/early morning.

@ Lowly Plumber

The problem being if you stop the flow at the riser pipe lying on the sea floor, you increase the flow at the 90 degree bend in the riser pipe coming out of the BOP. You don't want to do that. Anything that increases pressure at the BOP increases the risk that it will fail.

Which is why the topkill option to pump high pressure mud into the BOP is a very risky venture. Hopefully it will work as planned. The thought of losing the BOP and having unrestricted flow is a nightmare that I'm sure BP engineers are thinking about.

The russians suggested that the best way to plug the hole, would be a "small nuke explosion" on the seabed.
I read something in a newspaper overhere in Germany a couple of days ago about the issue.

Would that be possible ? It doesn't have to be a nuclear bomb, what about a big conventional one, like the GBU-43/ develops a explosive force of up to 11 tons of tnt.

Doesn't that sound realistic ? what do u think of it ?



Because nuking the well doesn't solve anything as long as you have a somewhat functioning BOP restricting the flow. Using a nuke on the well would eliminate any possibility of shutting the well down by either topkill or the other techniques BP still has envisioned.

Are you going to stop drilling the relief wells(which is the permanent solution to stopping the flow) and set off a nuke in the hopes that this might work?

No. Been dismissed over and over for weeks by all reputable sources. Would do more harm than good.

Usually, you have earthquakes in the entire world, almost every day and they occur everywhere.
It is similar to a bomb explosion from my point of view. So far as I know, did an earthquake never cause an oil spill...Why ? Is it so unlikely that an earthquake occurs in a "reservoir zone" ?

i would assume that the boulder and debris that occurs during a quake/explosion plugs everything ?


There are no boulders or debris in the seafloor at this location, it's all mud and sand separated by thin layers of very soft rock. It can work in other places where the geology is different. It won't work here.

It won't work.

No nuclear bombs, please! What do you think would be in those many feet of oozy mud on the seafloor that could effectively stop up the borehole? The more likely result would be to completely demolish the BOP and wellhead, and then we would have full-bore flow from the reservoir, also spreading radioactive materials into the Gulf. Petrobras (Brazil) is the leader in deep water operations. I hope BP is consulting with them.

Knowing nothing else about the geology of the strata involved, a small nuclear explosion at depth runs the risk of fracturing more of the rock...leaving the possibility of creating numerous small but impossible to stop leaks over a very large area...

No I don't think that would help.

I can't watch the live feed 24/7, but I'd be really interested if people would post here with status reports on significant activities seen in the live feed. For example:

10:30-12:00 PM CDT, ROV left the riser plume, met up with another ROV which handed it a T-handled wrench. ROV went back to the riser insertion tube and started unscrewing bolts holding it to the pipe leading to the surface. Not sure if it managed to detach it, there were clouds of oil everywhere. Keystone Kops moment as the ROV tried to pick up and move a floating buoy and got entangled with it: another ROV had to assist. *lots* of turbidity at the riser outflow now, can't see a thing.

7:50 AM CDT, looks like they've completely removed the insertion tube, picture is back where it was a week ago.

The flow at 7:48 started showing more of a pulsation than what I had seen before - are they pumping now? This pulsation is similiar to what I have seen with onshore mud pumps, particularly when something is under one of the valves?

They just showed Tony Hawyard in CNN Europe, I'm sitting here in front of my laptop..very close..
I can tell you by looking in his eyes...They're going to abort, I'm pretty sure about that.

I would NOT want to be Tony Hayward today....

In addition to making what sounds like a 'damned no matter what you do' decision on the DWH, they just had another (relatively) minor incident on the Alaska Pipeline.

Just happened to look at the twitter feed for the jgrindal mentioned above...

Just got the call. Top Kill delayed for the time being. Additional tests requested. #oilspill #topkill
4 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone

Have not seen riser end flow for several days. Did flow abate during that time? Because looks like lesser flow as of about 8:45 a.m. when I began viewing. Also, are "eels" some of the (test?) junk shot?

Interesting.....CNN is in one of the Senator's offices. They are able to see all of the shots of the different ROVs.

Edit to add...... CNN live is also broadcasting the Kenner hearings today. I think some of the survivors are testifying.

Also distinct gray color - mud? Unsure if increase in dispersant would cause gray color.

Look close and you'll notice that the color changes when the plume moves towards or away from the ROV. This is because there's nothing down there but artificial light which does really weird things at those depths we're not used to up here on the surface.

White coming out of pipe is gas, fluctuations in shades of brown/black are result of 2 things (1) type of oil coming out (darker=heavier crude) (2) mixture of gas/oil as pressurized gas and hot oil hits cold water causes "ice" crystals in gas leading to tan/light brown shades

I truly hope I am not the only one to get this. :) ROFL.

HAHAHA!! Just realized what it is. Boy, I had to pull that up from deep in my memory banks.

Seem to recall they shut that down with a junk shot.

Windom-injected Constellation bomb.

Rahall just told Congressional hearing top kill process about to start. Sec Salazar left hearing to go watch.

Adm Allen signed off 10 minutes ago

And top kill officially began at 1:00 pm CDT.

Any idea what changes, if any, in color, consistency or flow we might expect to observe in the plume exiting the riser as some of the mud works its way out through the BOP?

They had the screen with all the different feeds up for a second, the top left feed, from "BOA 1" looked like a massive cloud of mud spewing out of the BOP. Then they cut back to the feed at the riser. It's interesting, you can see the reflections of whoever's staring at this command screen when they cut to it. Now they're showing what I think is some valves on the BOP, I think they're monitoring them for sings of leakage, but it looks okay right now.

Looks like the valves are moving now, no leakage though. Anyone know which valves these are?

ROV just backed away from the valves and is now inspecting the BOP.

The video link from BP is still feeding the ROV monitoring the riser plume.

CNN video is currently on monitoring the valves on BOP.

I'm stuck with the CNN feed, as mms feeds hiccup too much on my linux box, but I think the valve monitoring is pretty interesting.

How's the riser looking, it seemed like the flow looked the same, maybe a little more brown colored, but that could be the lighting?

I'm no longer seeing the riser plume ... the bp feed is now also streaming the BOP inspection.

I love how they have arrow labeled "kill" in what looks like chalk handwriting on the mud feed hoses (connected to BOP).

Here is a Yahoo/ABC feed that shows several ROV cameras

Looks like it's blowing mud out the top about the same as it was blowing oil out before.

Note the date - the abc video is from 5/25, showing the oil/gas leaks atop the riser as it exited the BOP.

#2 on top row is definitely live. I think they all are.

Here's the same ABC feed without going through Yahoo: Eight simultaneous screens, two of them blank right now.

There's live audio chatter in the background, no real commentary.

Coast Guard spokesman just said could take 3-4 days to know if top kill is working.

Well the PR team grabbed our attention for three weeks with that diddy, but I want 3D graphics for my next distraction please.

CNN is showing an "8-box" of video feeds. Does anyone know if they are streaming these feeds individually on their web site? Can't find it.

14:44 CDT on BP's Live feeds from remotely operated vehicles (ROV)

Monitor valves on BOP.

No leaks apparent.

No leaks apparent.

Alright!!! Yes, let it stay that way permanently.

watched it for several days and it made me sick. Now watching and what i see looks like my cousin Rube Goldberg put everything together. Got my fingers crossed hoping it is a real KILLER.

I know! Is that some jury rigged looking stuff or what? Of course this is a kinda one off scratch built setup. Find it kinda impressive. Even more so if it works.

yup, I spotted duct tape, hay wire, and super glue. this thing just might work. Let us all kneel in prayer.

yup, I spotted duct tape, hay wire, and super glue. this thing just might work. Let us all kneel in prayer.

I caught this shot about 20 minutes ago from the BOP feed, so this is look like the top of the BOP.

Best, Dan.

15:02 to 15:13 CDT monitoring one of the mud lines near the top where it curves and enters the yellow cylindrical adapter on the BOP. Occasionally a white speck passes through the field of view in random directions. Every few minutes one white speck appears to shoot from the yellow cylindrical adapter.

15:23 CDT ROV moves over to view the other mud line pointing in a direction of ~0 degrees azimuth. No apparent leaks. The yellow cylindrical adapter is not vertical on this side.

15:25 CDT ROV briefly looks up showing the leaks at the kinked riser still spewing gray looking stuff into the water.

15:37 Dive 3 ROV's camera goes black.

15:38 Switch to Dive 1 ROV camera monitoring the plume exiting the bent riser at the top of the BOP. Lots of grayish stuff exiting at least four leak points. Thylacine's photo in his comment on May 26, 2010 - 3:45pm CDT shows the view.

The ROV just panned to the top of the BOP -- oil still gushing...

Here is that shot

Can they really pump enough mud and cement to overwhelm what gets swept away?

I just don't see it...

Best, Dan.

Anybody notice that the coupler connecting the hose to the choke side of the BOP seems to be canted to the right now? I guess there's some tolerance for movement. Just an observation.

Please move new comments to the newest thread on top of the page. Thanks.

Comments seem disabled for that thread

The fluid that's gushing out of the BOP looks much lighter in color now...

What is this? Gushing mud?

Anyone hear anything about the current Top Kill status? Is it working?

16:!2 CDT Dive 3 ROV is monitoring the mud line on the BOP facing ~0 degrees azimuth. No apparent leaks. Fewer white speaks move through the field of view on this side of the BOP.

BT, hit this in the new thread, node 6511. (top of front page).

You are automatically streaming CNN's video feed in thread 6511 which wastes too much of my limited Internet connection, so I will stop posting.