DOUBTS ABOUT CURRENT MEASURES
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.
IMPACT ON WORLD ATMOSPHERIC OXYGEN SUPPLY
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?
MY CAP-AND-BARB DEVICE
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.
THE STRAW-AND-SOCK OPTION
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.