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Solution to the BP Oil Spill

  1. So I’ve been thinking about how to plug the leaking well. I’ve heard some people say that they should try to blow it up with dynamite or possibly an atom bomb. However, this will obviously cause more problems than it solves and I don’t think that it will necessarily seal the well.

    My solution is a rather simple one. The pipe of the well needs to be cut as close to the bottom of the ocean as possible. After this is accomplished we will need a “plug” with which to close the well. We will need a ship with a crane capable of lifting a few tons. From the ship a “plug” possibly made out of metal (lead, iron, etc…) on a chain weighing anywhere from 3-5 metric (the plug that is, not the chain) tons will be lowered towards the leak guided by underwater robots. The plug will be placed on the oil well. Here we will have a little problem due to the pressure of the oil gushing out. As such, the heavier the plug the better, in order to counteract the force of the gushing oil.

    After the “plug” is placed on top of the leak we will need to seal the well. Perhaps creating a cement sarcophagus (not unlike the concept used at Chernobyl) and lowering it down will be a solution. Then additional material will be required to seal and bury the well.

    To me this seems like the most practical and cost effective way of sealing the well and stopping the leak. I have 100 % confidence that such a thing will work. It does not require any new technology, it is not a delicate operation and it is relatively cheap to implement.
  2. The oil comes out at tremendous speeds. I don't think that would work. Also the pressure is high the plug would be impossible to control at that depth.

    You assume they want to plug it. Think abou the power this gives the government.
  3. Sounds good, but I mean really u don't think that this has already been thought of... The force at which the oil is gushing seems to be the problem.

    Using a small nuke is the logical solution. The consensus that it would do more harm than good is sheer ignorance, it would be a very minor event, unnoticable to us, you can't say the same for the spill itself.
  4. They can plug it with hydraulic concrete if they want. That creates a whole new problem of the well case being damanged "underneath" the ocean floor. You plug that hole and a minimum of 2500lbs. of pressure, probably more, will find the next weakest point, which they can't get to because it's buried.
    The idea behind the relief well is to relieve as much pressure as possible by giving the oil another route to take. They can then plug the hole using any one of a variety of means. There will still be some residual pressure that will send product through the cracked caseing, but it should be a minimum amount. If they can't hit that relief well, it's game over.
  5. When you say game over. Do you mean it will continue to run out until it is exhausted. When will that be.
  6. Yes, that's exactly what I mean. How long depends on how large the find was they've tapped into. Certainly long enough to turn the Gulf in to one giant oil slick. My opinion, they need to get real serious about clean up and containment. The chances of that relief well hitting the mark and working as planned ain't so hot.
  7. Thugs from Chicago are going to let the Gulf of Mexico be destroyed. If there is a hurricane in the next few months the entire southeast United States could be contaminated.

    Hows that hope and change working out?
  8. How badly do you think this will impact on the american economy?
  9. Depends. The tourist and fishing industires are and will take a hit. That ain't the end of the world. If they can't stop the leak, it'll get ugly. Lynch mob mentality will prevail to crush the entire oil industry. Gasoline will get taxed heavily to pay for the on-going clean up and containment. Big rush towards alternative energy will be pushed. 5-6 dollar a gallon gas won't be good for the economy, but it's coming if they can't stop the leak. Gulf coast will be devastated, both economically and environmental. We may have opened up Pandora's box.
  10. Do you know roughly how much oil there is down there. Ball park. How long could it go on for, years?
  11. I have no idea, but I would take this beat around the bush response from BP as it's something they don't even want to think about.

    COVINGTON, La. (AP) — BP spokesman John Curry says the company does not know how much oil is contained the vast reservoir nearly three miles beneath the seafloor.

    Curry said Sunday that the company didn’t have time to properly analyze how much was in the discovery well. He says if the oil rig had not exploded, BP PLC ultimately would have drilled another well to complete that analysis.

    Curry says the uncertainty over how much oil is in the reservoir does not change BP’s response. The company has been trying to stop the gusher for nearly six weeks and the realization that oil could be flowing into the Gulf for months is setting in for Gulf coast residents.

    © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  12. There seems to be no let off in pressure. If you think about how quickly the pressure in a balloon goes down when you let just a bit of it out it indicates how much is left.

    Do you remember that experiment with the coke bottle when you filled it with water and then pierced it the distance the water travelled from the bottle fell when the level of the water fell very quickly. It is the same principle. Surely if the reserve was waining it would be declining in pressure.

    So far it seems stable.
  13. I'm searching now for where I saw it, but early on I remember reading that if left unresolved, the well would continue to spill for roughly 7 years...
  14. Nice you could have a generation of children who grow up in the midst of a natural disater.
  15. Just some quick numbers for your plug idea-

    The diameter of the riser pipe is 21 inches. This yields an area of pi/4*21^2 = 346 square inches.

    The pressure is roughly 2500 psi where the oil is escaping the BOP.

    346 square inches * 2500 pounds per square inch = 866000 pounds.

    Your simple plug will need to weigh at least that amount to simply counteract the force of the flowing oil. To create an effective seal, you'll need much more force.

    This is a very bad idea anyways though because they believe the well casing has been compromised subsurface, and they fear that if they try to stop the flow (increasing the pressure on the subsurface parts of the well), the well could blow out again (more or less) underneath the sea floor. That is very bad news because it could 1) blow off the BOP, causing even more oil to flow forth or 2) the relief wells would be dealing with many more unknowns, and it would be possible the kill effort would be unsuccessful due to the kill fluids flowing out of all the unknown orifices in the casing.
  16. Obama said it is like nine eleven. I think it is more like America's Cheynoble.
  17. They were saying around 100-150 million barrels.
  18. Well, if it's say 100 million barrels and it's currently estimated at about 12-19,000 BBL leaking daily. Let's take 100 million divided by 15,000 = 6,666.6 days:eek: (Scary number), divided by 365 =18.26 years. WOW!
  19. you heard it right first here first on ET!

    trader/petroleum engineer/handyman we can do it all :D
  20. How do you like that 6666.6 number? The beast has been unleashed!:eek:

  21. Too many sixes. Ray Mabus.

  22. Nah ... it is carbon that has the sixes ... Atomic #6: with 6 electrons, 6 neutrons and 6 protons.:eek:
  23. There are no good options, which highlights the criminal stupidity of BP in taking chances with it in the first place.

    Clearly the well casing is breached. When they pumped in mud, it immediately came out the sides. The flow seems to be increasing, also indicative of a breach and erosion. At some point, the casing and even the BOP will be destroyed by the sandblasting effect. Then there will be hell to pay.

    The reservoir is already emptying too fast for its own good, leading to likely damage in the reservoir. An explosive release, say if the BOP fell off or was destroyed, could result in a geyser and tsunami, carrying oil inland. The sea floor might collapse, with unpredictable results.

    Just hope and pray that relief well hits the target and before any of the above takes place.
  24. The current estimate is actually 35000-60000 bbl/d.. 100000000/35000 (best case scenario) = 2857 days = 7.82 years.
  25. Does anyone know if NOAA has made public the Thomas Jefferson findings?

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  26. Let's pretend for a moment that the well is NOT a gusher, or, that it stopped gushing tomorrow.
    Are there any Math Heads out there willing to compute the Pounds Per Square Inch a 1 Mile high head of water exerts over a 21" hole?
    I'm no math head , but suffice it to say, it will be a very very large number. And, it will remain constant until every single drop of oil has been displaced with sea water or the hole is plugged. Furthermore, all the relief wells in the world will not reduce that pressure.

    Sorry :eek: :confused: :mad:
  27. The pressure gradient of fresh water is 0.433 psi/ft. Salt water contains more minerals and ions and can be 5-10% heavier than freshwater.

    Therefore, 0.433 psi/ft * 1.1 * 5000 ft = 2381 psi.

    It will remain constant, and does not depend one bit on how much oil is left in the ground.

    Actually, that pressure helps hold the oil back at this point.
  28. Whatever the numbers are, (we're all guessing), safe to say that if the relief well doesn't work, oil will be gushing in to the gulf for 5-20 years.
    Just wait until the first storm of substance blows through, probably in the next 30-45 days. It'll be a spray of oil hitting the coast.
  29. http://www.theoildrum.com/

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  30. I think it's an apples and oranges comparison. Beyong the logistal and technological challenge of doing this a mile beneath the sea, something tells me the sea bed will not come apart like earth at the suface. I would suspect it would tend to crack and split more than fill in. What could happen is a huge new path could be created which would result in the oil being released all at once. Can you imagine 100,000,000 barrels of oil coming up that fast? I just don't think we can chance that, no matter how slim the chance of it happening. What we have now is a mess, but over time, it's a managable mess.
  31. Well... Based on this 866000 / 2.2 = 393636.3636 KG ... So a plug weighing about 1 metric ton should be more than enough... The question is whether or not the remaining pipe and BOP can manage the weight!??? I don't know because I’m not sure how much weight it would be able to manage... It might topple over. Nevertheless, if everything else fails as a last ditch solution it might work if the BOP and the entire assembly was removed… Then all you would have to do is plug the hole in the ground.

    As for the well "blowing out" again underneath the floor...!? Well... That is an unknown... I don't think that it would. Wouldn't burying the region under cement help to seal that region of the sea floor?
  32. So, they were right, the devil IS in the details! ; )
  33. ...LOL... :p

    But it is 6666 not 666... Funny though...
  34. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
  35. 393636 kg = 393.636 metric tons, NOT ~1 metric ton. The metric system makes conversions like this easy.

    Either way, they will not be stopping the flow at the well head for any reason due to the integrity concerns.
  36. The BOP apparently weighs 450 tons. Hard to imagine.
  37. The explosive would be put 3 miles down in bedrock. Back in the 60's a 30 kiloton weapon was about as small of a fusion device that could be made. Today they can be made with yields smaller then one kiloton.
  38. Oooops.... That was a really stupid mistake on my part...

    Yeah... You're right...

    In my own defense I was doing other things at the time. I don't usually focus too much when I post on ET...

    My bad...

  39. I'm not too sure as to what a nuke would accomplish except for destroying the BOP and the well!? From what I know explosions are usually used to put out fires that are out of control. That is, when a well ignites explosives are detonated above it to consume the oxygen and to put out the fire. But underwater detonating a nuke over a well could have other devastating effects.
  40. Oh you're saying 3 miles under the earth in the bedrock... Missed that for some reason... Like I said, I don't focus too much when I post on ET... So the point would be to bury it...?

    Maybe that might work... Anybody know if the oil could ignite at those temperatures even if underwater...?
  41. Needs oxygen to burn?
  42. Watch the video I posted. Basically you need extreme pressures and temps to fuse the rock and sill off the reservoir.

    You didn't think that you would just sit a Nuke on the seabed did you?
  43. It won't affect the resevoir. Just crimp off the bore hole.

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  44. ^ good links. Already 2 months in, and the quickest possible SOLUTION still isn't being considered. No one knows if the relief well(s) are going to work either, and I don't hear any other ideas on how to stop the leak. I'll bet if the relief wells don't work, the admin still won't use a nuke because IF it works, it will make them look like giant d-bags for not doing it sooner. It is extreme bullshit for BO to say "we are doing everything possible".
  45. No worries.. its just that there is so much misinformation going on with this oil spill. I like to keep the facts accurate.

  46. "Crimp Off The Bore Hole" I just thought of the title for Becks next book.
  47. This came to me in an Old Milwaukee induced trance. Use the current cap and work on a better seal. Once this improved seal is made slowly apply increasing back pressure on outflow pipe to reduce flow as much as possible. Once reduced flow is achieved, resume pumping heavy mud back down the hole, or through side vents of cap. This should give the mud a chance to get a foothold deeper in the hole instead of getting blown out at high pressure. Should be a safe approach not risking doing more damage to the BOP if done properly. It would also leave the current set-up in place which is catching much of the oil.

    Rennick Boone Pickens out
  48. They tried to kill it. Its spewing out below the BOP. Why don't you go read what is going on before you comment. That shit is under 70k PSI of pressure.
  49. Piker, thanks for the newsflash. Your handle sounds French, why don't you ask the French Navy to help? Oh, that's right its sitting on the bottom of the English Channel.

    They tried the mud at full flow and it was blown back out. Where did you get 70 k psi? That is moronic, I hope you have a better handle on #'s in the unlikely event that you trade successfully. The reason heavy mud is used is because it is able to pass through the BOP and deep into the hole. A reduction of flow rate/pressure could be attained with back pressure provided they can shore up the seal on the cap. They need to give the mud another try now that they have better control of the well head.

  50. The links on this page below are of testimony of BP employees at the time of the explosion.
    The design engineer Mark Hafle goes over the design of the casings and cement seals, also the testimonies lower on the page are very informative and give a good picture of what some of these men went through to survive.


  51. http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/06/worst-already-true-BP-well-now-unstoppable

    """"All the actions and few tid bits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP's actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from "BP officials" confirming the same.

    "To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, [the failure of Top Kill] was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

    "What does this mean?

    "It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad, same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off...or tried to anyway...but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks "down hole". I'm sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed...because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below."""
  52. Why is the Obama adm. sitting on their"coon dog" regarding this matter? I find it insane that they have not tapped into expertise overseas. These deep water platforms are all over the world. The whole thing stinks. This will be his only term, obviously.
  53. What if he is wrong and a nuclear blast opens the leak even more and pours radioactive oil into the gulf. What if?
  54. The blast couldn't possibly make the leak worse. Even if it didn't work I am not sure that you would have radioactive oil pouring in to the gulf, because for it to fail would mean the the blast didn't reach the bore hole, so the radioactive particles would probably be contained in the blast area. by the way radiation after a blast "decay's" very quickly, I believe 90% within 7 hours, and 99% after a couple of days, so unless you are at ground zero the radioactivity will be a non-factor.

    If somehow the oil did become contaminated and gushed into the gulf that could create a new hazard but remember the leak is a mile underwater, and the guy in the video is talking about detonating at 18000 ft. Since it will be a low yield nuke the immediate radiation will be weaker than what you would find in military grade weapon. Also by the timethe waste reaches the surface it will be widely dispersed and less potent due to decay. Humanity has tested at least 2000 nukes on Earth, (many much, much more potent than what would be used for this) and weapons today are much more efficient (some are 95% 'cleaner'), than the weapons used against Japan, so there is less radiation to began with. It will not have a long term detrimental impact on the Gulf.

    How is this NOT worth trying???
  55. Shucks PiggyBank, I didn't realize there wasn't any risk from detonating a nuclear bomb in the gulf to try and stop the leak, let alone a need to figure a worst case scenario.

  57. I knew you were being sarcastic in the first post homeslice, which I expected.

    The point of my poorly written post was to try and cure some of the rampant ignorance on the subject of radiation. Also, the guy being wrong is possible and I addressed it. Even if it fails, it won't be more of a disaster than the fucking spill going on FOR MONTHS OR YEARS. We have used nukes to seal wells on land, and as I am sure u know the Russians have sealed underwater wells with them. The idea gets the "radical" label because nuclear energy gets shit on by know-nothing enviromentalists and other politically motivated idealogues.

    So seriously, why isn't it worth trying?
  58. Worst fears now being realized, just as some of us suspected. They stop the leak at the end of the run and they're going to blow out everything that's under the ocean floor.

    By TOM BREEN and HARRY R. WEBER, Associated Press Writers Tom Breen And Harry R. Weber, Associated Press Writers – 28 mins ago
    NEW ORLEANS – BP's work to cap its Gulf of Mexico gusher was in limbo Wednesday after the federal government raised concerns the operation could put damaging pressure on the busted well and make the leak worse.

    An administration official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks with BP, said the government was acting out of an "abundance of caution" and didn't want potentially dangerous pressure tests on a tighter cap that has been placed over the well to go ahead until BP answers questions about possible risks.
  59. Tom Breen is a great name. I was not Adam Selene but that became too passe.

    It fashionable to apocalyptic.