BP Starts Operation "Top Kill," Watch It Live

BP has started operation “Top Kill,” and we’ve embedded here the live videostream of their latest attempt to plug the well. The maneuver involves pumping heavy drilling mud and cement into the well. While routine on surface wells, it’s never been attempted at 5,000 ft underwater. And if it goes south and the blowout preventer cracks under the pressure, it could make matters worse. Bust out the popcorn! I just saw a robot arm!

UPDATE: The camera has changed. Now we are looking at valves instead of the plume.
UPDATE 2: Now we are floating around the blowout preventer.

UPDATE 3: Now we’re back to the valves.
UPDATE 4: Lots of floating and panning now.
UPDATE 5: I just saw a robot arm! Science is happening!
UPDATE 6: You know, by not showing the plume we don’t know what effect, if any, the operation is having on the leak rate.
UPDATE 7: Now seeing a new camera angle with some lovely plume action spewing out. Excellent. Is this the secret smoke monster breeding ground?

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Live video link from the ROV monitoring the damaged riser [BP]

Here is an animation of how Operation Top Kill is supposed to work: