More Alarming Spill Footage

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Senators released several new terrifying videos of the well gushing oil into the Gulf yesterday. But the video below is perhaps the most shocking of all: footage of the spill site from Monday, May 17—the day after a pipe was inserted into the well to siphon a portion of the spill to the surface.

According to BP, the riser–a device that operates like a catheter–has allowed crews to capture 1,000 barrels of oil each day. That would be about one-fifth of the oil, if you believe BP’s estimate of the total size of the spill. But many people don’t think BP’s estimate is accurate. Outside estimates range from 26,000 barrels per day to 71,400. If that’s the case, siphoning off 1,000 barrels isn’t really all that much. BP, mind you, refused to release images of the spill site for weeks, and only released this new round of videos yesterday under pressure from senators. The company has clearly tried to keep the public from seeing exactly what is going on in the Gulf.

BP plans to use a “junk shot” to plug the well this weekend, a method the company describes as choking off the flow of oil and natural gas by shooting debris down the well. This is the latest effort to stop the spill—after capping it failed twice. But if the junk shot fails, experts say it would take until August for BP to drill a relief well.

So if this is what the well looks like with the temporary fix in place, we could be in for months of spillage at an unknown (and likely very high) rate.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate