Video: BP’s Suttles denies deep Gulf oil plumes

  1. Closed captioning of: BP’s Suttles denies deep Gulf oil plumes

    >> much.

    >>> doug suttles, good morning to you. i'd like to start out by talking about those comments you made to the associated press yesterday where you said that this spill should be down to a relative trickle by monday or tuesday. bp has since clarified that and said it is going to take longer than a week. so can you tell us where you stand now?

    >> well, meredith , this containment system, this cap we have in place, is actually working well. in fact, it's recovered another 15,000 barrels or so in the last 4 hou 24 hours . that's 15,000 barrels not in the sea. but early next week we'll have another system which is actually using those lines we've pumped top kill through to produce oil. that will give us another 5,000 to 10,000 barrels a day of capacity. we believe that should give us the capacity to capture the great majority, vast majority of its flow.

    >> when you look at the video of the oil leaking from the well-taken before the containment cap was put on and compare it to live video this morning, i'm just a layperson here but it doesn't seem like there is much of a difference. so what's going to create this change?

    >> well, i think the challenge from looking at these videos, if you recall before we put the cap on, you didn't have this device which allowed flow to go around the outside of it. it's almost creating, if you will, a curtain or ring around this. it is very difficult to tell how much is coming around. it's always been hard. i would say with this cap on, it's more challenging because we have the vents on the top, and we also have the stuff coming around the skirt so it is very difficult. what we want to do is get that down to a very small amount. that's why we'll be adding this additional production system early next week.

    >> the ceo of bp , tony hayward on sunday, said he believes the cap will likely capture the vast majority of the gushing oil, so he is echoing your optimism. but scientists who have been assigned to try to figure out how much oil is gushing into the gulf have said it is impossible to claim any success without knowing the total amount of oil coming out of that well. and the fact is, you still don't know the total amount of oil coming out of that well.

    >> well, that's right, meredith , we don't. what we do know though is we're capturing 15,000 barrels a day that if we didn't have that cap in place, would be going into the sea. i view that as some success. it's 15,000 barrels that's not being spilled that we don't have to clean up that won't impact the shorelines or the gulf of mexico . and we'll be adding additional capacity. then i think you probably are aware, we're adding another system at the end of june, beginning of july, which should be more resistant to hurricanes, more -- be able to come in and out quicker if we do have a hurricane this year.

    >> again scientists say that bp is being misleading, irresponsible and stonewalling their efforts to get a firm grasp of how much oil is gushing into the oil. one said, it is account apparent bp is playing games with us, presumably under the advice of their legal team." what is your response to that? are you playing games?

    >> no, we're not, meredith , we're not. we're trying to fight this thing on all the fronts that we can. these videos, this feed is being watched by everyone around the world. we're making information available. we have actually members of government and industry right in there with us on every stage of everything we do. we're trying to be absolutely as transparent as we can.

    >> meanwhile -- then i'll let you go -- government scientists confirmed there are large plumes of oil under the surface of the gulf. on may 31st , your ceo, tony hayward , said the oil is on the surface, there aren't any plumes. is bp willing to admit that it was wrong?

    >> meredith , for instance, noaa came out yesterday and talked about what they're seeing with their data. we've talked about what we're seeing with ours and our data that's out there on the internet for people to look at. we haven't found any large concentrations of oil under the sea. to my knowledge, no one has.

    >> but he said there were no plumes under the sea, sir. these scientists are confirming that there are plumes under the sea.

    >> meredith , it may be down to how you define what a plume is here. but basically some people have asked, are there large concentrations of oil under the sea and those have not been found so far by us or anyone else that's measuring this. the oil that has been found is in very minute quantities.

    >> bp 's doug suttles, thank you so much.

    >> thanks, meredith .

    >> now here's matt.

NBC, and news services
updated 6/9/2010 3:03:19 PM ET 2010-06-09T19:03:19

A summary of notable events for Wednesday, June 9, Day 50 of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 

A day after government scientists said tests confirm underwater plumes from the Gulf spill, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles continued to insist that no massive oil plumes in "large concentrations" have been detected under the surface.

"We have not found any significant concentration of oil below the surface," he said on morning talk shows. Watch video .

Beachgoers in 30 states and nearly a dozen countries plan to join hands later this month to form symbolic barriers to protect the shoreline from oil spills. The Hands Across The Sand movement started in February in Florida, before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster. On June 26, people will stand up and hold hands for 15 minutes to form human chains. They will also pledge to take steps to conserve energy and let elected officials know they oppose offshore drilling.

"Our collective message is 'no' to offshore oil and 'yes' to clean energy," said Dave Rauschkolb, a restaurateur and surfer on the Florida gulf coast who organized the first such protest in February. "People in California will be metaphorically holding hands with people in Florida and Virginia and New Jersey."

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen says BP's containment system is now catching about 15,000 barrels (630,000 gallons) of oil daily.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate hearing he would ask BP to repay the salaries of any workers laid off due to the six-month moratorium on deepwater exploratory drilling imposed by the U.S. government after the spill.  Salazar said an offshore drilling moratorium will be in place "until we can have a sense of safety, until we have a sense that this (kind of spill) can never happen again."

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds just a quarter of Americans back expanding offshore drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill, and most fault federal regulators for the spill disaster.

The direction of BP shares, which fall 4 percent in London, following a 5 percent drop on Tuesday, on worries that the company will have to suspend its dividend payment under pressure from U.S. politicians who say the money should go to pay for legal claims and environmental damage.

"I make my way to the back of the boat unaware of just how covered I am. To be honest, I probably look a little like one of those poor pelicans we've all been seeing for days now."
-- Rich Matthews, AP journalist who dived into the Gulf to get a firsthand look at the beneath-the-surface effects of the spill. See video .

© 2013


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