Monday, June 21, 2010

If BP Fails to Cap the Well


As BP confesses that the amount of oil gushing from the well may be equal to 100,000 barrels a day -- surprise, surprise -- the world is pinning its hopes on the two wells being drilled to stop it.

But I think that all should assume that those efforts are going to fail.

I believe that at one point there was a proposal to use one of the two new wells to pump that gushing well full of cement.

But can that be done, at a depth and at pressures even higher then those at the well head?

And that assumes a drilling "bulls eye," doesn't it?

I believe that at another point there was talk of at least one of the wells being a relief well, which would removel oil and gas from the rock near the gusher, decreasing pressure at the gusher.

But, note -- even if the relief well turns out to be physically connected to the gusher well, the most the relief well can do is reduce the flow from the gusher by one-half.

And that assumes that all goes well.


As the oil gushes, gushes, gushes, gushes to the surface, the oil will spread out across the ocean's surface, killing quadrillions of oxygen-generating diatoms -- doing exactly what to humanity's oxygen supply?

That may seem like an absurd concept, now -- but will it, in two months? And if BP's efforts don't work, will it in 6 months, as the Gulf Stream begins carrying oil to Europe, and Canada and Russia?


I read some talk of a "nuclear option" -- running a nuclear device down the hole and collapsing the well. That sounds difficult, and risky. Let's say that we win the war against the pressure and get the device down the hole. Can we get it down far enough to avoid turning the surface of the sea floor inyo a rubble-filled crater which merely disperses the current flow over a wider area of sea floor?


I still prefer the device I designed a few weeks ago -- it runs a spring-loaded barb down the hole on the end of a piece of all-thread, and then a motor on a cap pulls the cap down the all-thread onto the well-head.


I also proposed running debris through a "straw" down a sock instead of directly into the oil flow and using that the plug the hole. If the sock is long enough and deep enough the mass in the sock might overwhelm pressure and plug the hole.


  1. Half way back bewteen now and when this all started, I started thinking to myself, could these knuckleheads have a good idea of the means to stop the flow, BUT they don't want to? Could they have the attitude that if they stop the flow , they KNOW that they are NOT going to be invited back to re-open the well at some other spot (for lack of trust), and also, someone or something has to pay for the probably 100 billion dollars when the final tally comes in for repairs, cleanup and lawsuits fines claims . . . So their goal is to get the oil out of it, and let the oil pay for the damages?

    I think early on you mentioned that perhaps that is true but for a different reason, liability or something.

    Otherwise, I did post a comment at a news paper where there was an associated press article (my comment was just at the local paper, however.
    After dozens of of readers commented on an article summing up BP exec's 'small people' comment and yacht race attendance and get my life back comments, people went on about BP, about the CEO Hayward, about obama and his staff's fault, no its george W's fault, deregulations. Hang BP, they have to pay pay pay . . .

    I posted a simple question,

    I said that I had seen an article , not covered by mainstream press.

    There has already been an insurance payment made out for the destruction of the deep horizon oil drill/equipement. I think it was half a billion.

    To whom was the check made out?

    That silenced the BP comments for about a day and a half, last I saw.

    No one has been hiding that name, but people grab on to the familiar name with deep pockets.

    BP was under a leasing agreement. But An article also showed how many BP employees were on board versus other companies. I don't post all this info here, as I enjoy letting other people who are interested find out this info.

    Well, you're in law, so you know once you open up the hood and look whats running this business engine, its usually not as straight and simple as 'hang BP, its ALL THEIR FAULT!!!'

  2. By the way, I did see that in one of the articles that this rig is the main drilling rig and it moves one once the well is thoroughly completed. The rig was scheduled to move on and a more 'semi-permanent' unit would be moved into place in short time. Artle also mentioned that this well was new and at the time, there was some concrete down there, still hardening/setting at the moment. S0 it does seem that concrete will work at that depth and temp. That would be at the gulfs sea floor depth, i assume

  3. Your comments here were good food for thought, Tom. Everybody thinks that being clever is the answer to life's difficulties. So, they tell lies, but life is infernally complex, and the lies usually fail to do anything but make the problems more complex.