The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster or the Macondo blowout) is already the source of myriad suggestions by various well-meaning minds at military as well as industrial and science communities.
Experts expect capping sometime around Christmas, though more optimistic timetables keep circulating. On the happy side, the daily oil pouring into the gulf is only probably as much gas as might be used by all the people in Southern California. It's not really so bad. Does crude split to double its volume as gas? There is a fudge factor in there, but 100,000 barrels a day is possible.
As one youtube viewer paraphrased the problem:
BP asserts and expects suddenly turning of the pressure could blow off the well head, the blowout preventer and the well shaft casings below. Or they can't get it to close at all, the story is weird there. The head and casings are there though, and some pretty interesting stuff seems to be going on.
Another inference is that since the head seems busted, a new one will have to be drilled ito the old, and that that is why Christmas is more likely.
So, at the youtube, incidentally, there are some interested half-baked ideas like hot uranium "cages" that likely are pretty close to the "heavy drilling mud" proposal described in the MONITOR article. Heavy mud, pumped under very heavy pressure?
Are they afraid of oscillation? Zillions of tons of rock releasing probably a negligible nanopercentage of their pressure, the 1500 feet of water not an influence...
First off, better robots. They would revitalize the economy like you don't know. Human-looking, etc. Small as a guppy, big as ten men, vary scale a little.
Second, cryogenics. The steel stems and casing don't have the metallurgy for the stuff and would likely be lost, but dropping cryotorpedoes might confirm whether or not the casings are highly proneto be lost to oscillation from trying to shut off the well in short order.
Third, mini-mud-like ideas. I like the idea of dropping hot lead or shooting molten bullets down the casing, even if 99% of them are blown right out. Wheee! None of these shafts are straight, they're going to glom targetting one area, likely as not, aren't they? (The stopper idea was a joke, sorry.)
Fourth, some "fantastic voyage" oil submarine has likely already been constructed and is dying for its chance at the big time. Constructed with a tether to go up a waterfall or down an oil well, it's outfitted with a group of bolts fo constricting the flow well down the casing,...
The more one types these, the more it follows that the well head that has been placed nd replaced is nothing they have much confidence in? Is it there for appearance like the briock facings on the outsides of railroad tunnels that are just drilled through mountains? Do they see catastrophic flow changes every time they try to throttle down?
Five, small nuclear detonations on ocean floor to see if they can reduce the flow or not impair it, followed by much more massive ones, with the goal of getting a zone pressure wave, that might allow a rapid shut off? An implication here is that the timing of the djustments to the flow is coinciding with the phase of the Moon, the 6pm gravity effects, the tides, etc... Is anything sonic being tried down the casing?
Reading another bit of the story, the Halliburton part, they cemented the casing string they had, so maybe how much of that? 500 feet? Less? But the head is not sunk in concrete. Would it make a difference if concrete were poured around the well head now? (They must think not...)
Vibrate the machinery. Close it.
Like others, I am somewhat elated that this will highlight the issue of carbon dioxide suffocating ocean depths, except for the oil contamination reaching all oceans.
Does everyone know that deep wells have more oil at much greater pressure than shallow wells? Or that the greenhouse gases that have theoretically been collecting on the ocean floor have been displaced in tidal dissolved gas phenomena that should make some very interesting study, if satellited are taking any of thjis in?
It appears that ocean floor photography is still fairly primitive, using gravity for sounding and charting depth.
http://en.wikipedia.org ocean depths maps are especially interesting.
What this map indicates, it would seem, is that the Gulf of Mexico's troubles may serve as a laboratory for other carbon dioxide sequestration models, as well as the problem of the spill.