Watch: BP oil leak video

The video shows the black plume of the oil and a white plume which industry experts said was natural gas escaping into the water.

BP said the video was released only today because the it had not received a request for the video until Monday.

equests for the video to the White House and the Coast Guard had been referred to BP, because as a Coast Guard officials told reporters today, “the video is BP’s.”

White House and Coast Guard officials rejected suggestions that they had ceded too much control of the oil spill to BP. “In this case, the Coast Guard encouraged BP to make (the) video responsive to requests available to the press and today they did,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.

Up to this point, outside specialists like Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanography professor who specializes in tracking oil seeps in the ocean, have been forced to base their projections on satellite images of the oil slick. The accuracy of such estimates has been challenged because chemical dispersants, sunlight and the powerful Gulf tides are believed to have made large swaths of the oil difficult to detect. MacDonald, for one, believes as much as five times more oil than is currently estimated could be in the Gulf.

As the disaster now marks 24 days since the Deepwater Horizon caught fire on April 20th and sank, BP continues to work with its “top hat” dome dropped into the bottom of the ocean to attempt to stem the leak.

Meanwhile, oil continues to spew at an estimated 5,000 barrels a day into the ocean about 40 miles south of the Louisiana coast. Clean-up costs have reached $450 million, from the $350 million it estimated on Monday.

Reports continue of tar balls washing up on Louisiana beaches, as states marshal their clean-up forces.

BP continues to use oil booms and dispersants to fight the spill, including a technique of skimming oil from the top of the ocean.

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