May 27th, 2010
07:36 PM ET
12 years ago

BP official apologetic for not sharing more info about 'top kill'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="'It was nothing more than we're so focused on the operation itself,' BP COO Doug Suttles said of the company's failure to disclose that it stopped pumping drilling mud into the gushing well for a 16-hour period."]
(CNN) – The man overseeing embattled energy giant BP's efforts to stop a gushing underwater oil well was apologetic Thursday for not sharing more information about the company's "top kill" procedure while an increasingly anxious country waits for results.

With the world watching courtesy of several live video feeds demanded by the White House and Congress, BP began the "top kill" procedure Wednesday afternoon, an effort to force heavy drilling mud into the well and stop the flow of oil and gas up from beneath the seafloor. But at a press conference Thursday afternoon, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles made the surprise announcement that his company had suspended the operation more than 16 hours prior.

Earlier: Obama needs to tell BP 'I'm your daddy,' Dem says

Asked why BP had left the country in the dark about the status of the procedure while the video feeds continued to broadcast from 5,000 feet below the surface of the water, Suttles told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that the company had been perhaps too focused on the operation itself and not sufficiently focused on keeping the public informed.

"Well, John, I should say I've had a number of people mention that to me and clearly, we need to probably do even more to tell people what's occurring," Suttles said in an interview that aired on CNN's John King, USA. "You can imagine in some degree we're probably guilty of focusing so much on this operation. We've spent all of our time analyzing the results, looking at the next steps and we somehow need to continually feed data out there to the public so they know what's occurring. They're obviously able to watch the [oil] plume and the end of the riser [the broken pipe leaving the well], but we've actually said it's very difficult to tell exactly what's occurring from that.

"So, John, I probably should apologize to folks that we actually haven't been giving more data on that. It was nothing more than we're so focused on the operation itself."

Suttles also told King that after stopping the pumping of mud into the well around midnight Wednesday, BP had resumed the "top kill" procedure on Thursday evening.

And Suttles said that BP should know within the next 24-48 hours whether the procedure was working.

"But I should stress that it's hard to predict exactly when the job will finish," Suttles said, adding that BP is monitoring the situation "very carefully" now that the pumping of the mud had resumed.

And the BP executive stressed that the company would stay at the task until there was a clear indication about its effectiveness.

"We're going to stay at this job until either it works or we're convinced it can't work, and that could take some time," Suttles told King.

Filed under: Energy • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Mesa Mick

    BP is not being honest on whether or not they can stop the leaking. Resaon: They don't know if they can!

    May 27, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. rdepontb

    What, they can't afford a PR spokesperson? Interesting also that they didn't "apologize" for the slow information release until after they had _re-started_ the Top Kill process. But, I understand how it is critical to get readings before continuing head-strong.

    I also was impressed, finally, with ADM Thad Allen this afternoon. It had seemed that he was even less forthcoming than BP, until this afternoon. Guess he might have had a Command and Control situation to manage? Good job, sir. Thank you and yours-

    May 27, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. Victim of GOP Taliban

    The only thing BP is sorry for is the loss of profit. Who is he fooling?

    May 27, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    Pay those people their lost wages, clean up the mess, and get all your wells out of the Gulf.


    May 27, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    They can't save the dead shrimp, oysters, and all other sea creatures. The are putting brown pelicans back on the endangered list.


    May 27, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. Tom

    BP has stepped in a big puddle of crap and they don't have the boots for it .

    May 27, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. ehwilson429

    what day will BP be declaring bankruptcy?

    May 27, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. A Kickin' Donkey

    We have trusted BP too much. I've said that from the very beginning.

    We should have people [with engineering degress & business degrees] deployed on site at all BP operations in the Gulf and in BP headquaters. We should know when the CEO of BP is receiving briefs and insist that an Administration representative sit in the same conference room with him during that briefing.

    Every calculation, every picture, every memo, every video that BP analyzes in this situation should be witnesses by an onsite "buddy" that is a member of the government.

    You can't make me believe that an estimate of the oil flow wasn't given to the CEO. I can't believe that the Chief Technical Officer of BP didn't query the staff about the pressure in the pipe, in the water, the mass flow rate, the diameter of the pipe, etc. As he was asking these questions, a representative of the US Government should have been invited in as a equal player.

    May 27, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Earle Anselm

    Doug Suttles and the gang from Halliburton and all the companies involved need to be thrown in jail for treason, and economic and environmental terrorism. They are no different from Bin Laden and his gang of terrorist. They come on TV with their long sorrowful faces every morning and lie to us, as they destroy our environment, and kids futures.

    As i sit here I cannot think of any punishment that fits their crime. Im appalled and flabbergasted we need to stop purchasing their product altogether.

    May 27, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Jaybally

    This is another one of Dick Cheney, Halliburton, ploys ! He's America's No. One, enemy!

    May 27, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. mike.s

    What I want to know is: it sure looked like mud coming out of the manifold all day today (Thurs). The color was brown, not the black (oil) and white (gas) which is was before they started pumping mud.

    Does that mean that they managed to push a 16 hour supply of mud down the borehole before they stopped? At the low end of today's release rate estimates (~12,000 bbl/day), that might imply they got at least 8000 bbls down the well.

    Quick calculation: casing 3 is 22" diameter. 8000 bbl is ~77 million cubic inches. That would fill a casing of that diameter for ~17000 feet, which would mean they were only ~1000 feet from the bottom of the borehole.

    May 27, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. phoenix86

    Live feeds demanded by Congress and the White House. Where were these demands when they were cutting the back room deals to buy congressional votes for Obamacare?

    May 27, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. John

    I just watched the latest episode of the Tutors and I think that the British have it right – off with their heads! Confiscate all their wealth and pay for this outrageous disaster.

    May 27, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. KenS

    Complete and utter CRAP!

    Does he mean to tell us that the people who know that the pumping operation was stopped 16 hrs ago, the people who talk to the press, are the same people who pour over the data, analyzing pressure and flow measurements in minute detail? Because it just isn't so.

    They didn't keep the public informed, not because they were distracted by data, but because, for some reason, they believed it to be a good PR position.

    $100 million/day fine until the spill is stopped. That should get BPs attention!

    May 27, 2010 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    You know what they would do to these BP executives in China, a cigarette, a blindfold, and a nice stand against the wall...

    May 27, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. vwrtb

    Drill Baby Drill! Vote no to the party of no in November...

    May 27, 2010 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. Patsy, Texas

    Continuing comment that was interrupted before finished--------
    They should "PROBABLY APOLOGIZE" ??? They were "TOO FOCUSED"??? Where are the apologies from Halliburton and
    Transocean. DICK CHENEY has been uncharasterictally quiet.
    For G–'s sake people, get human. You all blamed each other, you all
    bear responsibility, you all think only in terms of profit, you all are
    selfish and arrogant. QUIT trying to save your butts and let honesty
    prevail. I never want to see another rig in the ocean, at least anywhere
    near America. The automobile companies need to get going and
    make cars requiring no oil and let these cold hearted people drown
    in their own oil, like the precious animals are suffering with.

    May 27, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. Candace Dunce

    I can't believe this is the CEO of BP. His quotes are upsurd. He makes millions of dollars a year to lead that company and is talking to media giant CNN and he can't express complete thoughts by putting together coherent sentences. And he wants to "probably" take responsibility and plead guilty to focusing so hard on the solution and "actually" "should" say this and that. Not a good sign for BP or the problem they need to solve NOW.

    May 27, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |