BP Releases Four Disturbing New Videos of Gulf Oil Leak

Remember that 30 second video we posted last week of the main oil leak at the Deepwater Horizon site? That was just a teaser compared to these four videos that BP released after a request from Senators Bill Nelson of Florida and Barbara Boxer of California. And they're just a harbinger of what's to come—BP agreed this week to release all video footage of the spill. The bad news: the spill looks really, really bad. The good news: scientists might be able to use the video to check whether BP's estimated oil release of 210,000 gallons per day is accurate. Below, check out the videos of the main riser pipe leak. Note that the first is from May 8 (before any intervention), the second is from May 10, the third is from May 15, and the fourth, recorded on May 18,  shows the riser pipe with the insertion tube intended to siphon away oil.

Read more about the Gulf Oil Spill


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  • Tom G

    Is the slick fouling hundreds of other drilling platforms nearby? Can men continue to work on rigs in the middle of a slick?

  • Tom G

    Can someone give us the inside diameter of the pipe, the apparent speed or distance per second, so we can estimate for ourselves? If I had to guess, the size of the pipe is similar to a 55-gal drum (22" dia) and spewing 1 drum per second, so 86,000 barrels per day.

  • jeffzx9r

    Dave, I have no difficulty accepting responsibility for my own behavior. Consuming a product does not implicate everyone in the supply/demand chain. This is the same logic, or lack of, which is used in product liability lawsuits. If company X makes a product which I use to harm people, blame ME; not the company. However, if company X makes a product in which they, through negligence, harm people, blame THEM.
    I use the product "responsibly." This doesn't give a company the right to destroy life and property and blame the end user for creating the demand. It's easy to blame BP: they made the spill.

  • David Merkel

    All very interesting comments, interesting footage, making for interesting Grand Spectacle.

    I have as yet to hear anyone, on any "side" enter into meaningful debate suggesting that we stop utilizing the machines and mechanisms which consume the same liquid spewing into the water down there. Unless people (not the company giving the people what they want) make choices to stop their behavior, companies are only going to continue to provide goods and services to fulfill peoples needs, wants and desires. Everyone exuberantly points fingers, blames, and therefore lives in denial about who is really making the choices out here. But look in the mirror next time before you drive to the grocery store or flush your toilet folks. We all make the oil balls by proxy that wind up in The Keys every day through our choices, we just don't want to accept that responsibility, and sometimes horror. It's way too easy to blame BP, the government, or your neighbor you think voted for someone else.

  • Chris Curry

    That's a bit unfair... Obama's whole campaign on energy was about eliminating dependence on oil as well as creating green jobs.

    You can argue that enough wasn't done and that ultimately he started caving into the demands of oil companies and to the likes of McCain/Palin mantra of "Drill Baby Drill". However to suggest that it was never discussed or debated is a disservice to those that DO in fact bring up the topic every year.

    It's a big expansive problem that most people don't feel or think about regularly. The unfortunate reality is that without disasters like oild spills and war nothing would ever be motivating enough to address the real issue.

  • Otto Geiseman

    Obviously the leak is not a good thing, however, what's the big deal? It’s an accident and accidents happen. It will get fixed and cleaned up. Be clear, this is child’s play compared to the Icelandic volcano toxic additions to the atmosphere and ultimately to the oceans. However, there is no one to clean this up! Where is the outrage? Most importantly, this is not a testament to banning drilling. What if we find out that BP met government requirements? Does that mean the government is the evil empire and not BP?

  • jeffzx9r

    Why does the government make such a fuss over car and truck emissions, when one spill can undo it all? I cannot believe these tankers are (STILL!!!) permitted to run without redundant spill contingency procedures to eliminate this type of environmental disaster. BP, you're no better than Exxon. In any other business, heads would be rolling; and SHOULD. It is an act of domestic terrorism through negligence.

  • marcel rotteveel

    Fluid concrete could be an option (its also used as constructing material in underwater construction)


  • Shevonne

    Very disturbing. But now they have to focus on cleaning it up. These videos are not going to do anything, unless it's for people to volunteer to help.

  • Cliff Jenkins

    Alternative sources of energy NOW please. Anyone hear the "drill baby drill" voices?

  • Kashew

    You do know that the last video was filmed on the 17th(as evidenced by the footage itself) and was showing the addition of dispersant to the oil? It's right there at the top of the video.

  • Fernando 1958

    is this thing ejecting more oil than before?
    watched the 60 minutes special about the spill.
    Why isn't the person that ignore the pieces of rubber coming out in jail?
    Why didn't anybody went to the media (anonymously) to alert them that security issues were being ignore and a catastrophe was coming at any moment?

  • batmanana

    @Ariel, @Tyler:

    Almost instantly I got the identical sensation.

    This is really bad.

  • NoahRobischon

    Use the reply button (the circular arrow) when replying to someone's comment. It will help keep them organized, threaded and make things much easier to read.

  • Ariel Schwartz

    @Tyler -- Agreed. I never thought a video of a broken pipe could be so upsetting.

  • Tyler Gray

    Is it me or does this have a sort of snuff-film quality to anyone else? Maybe it's that it's, essentially carbon, fossil fuel, and that it's gushing like a severed artery, but these are really hard to watch, like in a human way.