Kate Mackenzie Riser pipe cut off, next step to capture oil

BP cut the riser pipe at about 3pm BST (10am EDT, 9am CDT). A still image from the video shows a clean looking cut — at least where the pipe is not obscured by the oil flow.

BP’s Gulf operation page says:

Operations are progressing as planned to place the cap on top of the LMRP”

Admiral Thad Allen told CNN shortly before the cut was confirmed that the next step would be a top hat — that is, a potentially leaky containment, rather than a seal — because the cut with the shears won’t be clean enough for a cap. The Deepwater Horizon Response Center is tweeting that the next step is the LMRP, which will be in place today.

Other updates:

Moody’s has joined Fitch in downgrading BP debt. Moody’s moved BP to AA2 from AA1, and warned of further possible cuts.

BP has published links to all 12 video feeds from the undersea operation.