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Underwater oil well fire

Burn it!
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Those dang undersea oil well leaks. If only there were some way to destroy the oil before it reached the surface. I propose that an air filled pipe from the surface could be joined to the leaking pipe. The oil could then be ignited. The fire would sustain itself, sucking more air down from the surface through the empty pipe and destroying the oil before it floated to the surface and from there to the beach. Thick smoke would be produced in the ocean depths but barely any cuddly seals go down there and those that do will turn around quick.
bungston, May 12 2010

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       Cool.
el dueno, May 12 2010
  

       Excellent idea, except that pumping air down to those depths is probably impossible.
hippo, May 12 2010
  

       Plug, baby plug. I think they should plug it with millions of barbie dolls forced down under pressure, instead of the shredded tyres and golf ball detritus in the current "plan". The barbies would of course all have replica Sarah Palin heads.
xenzag, May 12 2010
  

       // except that pumping air down to those depths is probably impossible//
If the Norwegians can pump CO2 down to those depths to sequester it, why not air?
1600m is "only" 160 bar, and scuba tanks go to nearly twice that.
coprocephalous, May 12 2010
  

       It would make more sense to "suck" the air down.   

       Drop a 1600 m long pipestring capable of resisting 160 Bar external pressure (actually, the top bit doesn't need to be nearly that good).   

       At the bottom, put a compressor.   

       The compressor inducts air from the pipe and blows it into the oil stream where it is ignited. The resulting heat is harvested to power the compressor.
8th of 7, May 12 2010
  

       Sounds about right.
daseva, May 12 2010
  

       Seems to me, if you can get a pipe seated to burn the oil you could get a pipe seated to begin pumping the oil out again.
phoenix, May 12 2010
  

       [+] It's a weird idea, but not a stupid one.   

       //air filled pipe//
If you use an insulated pipe with Liquid Oxygen then you wouldn't need as much pumping in the line and it would combust immediately on contact.
FlyingToaster, May 31 2010
  

       Depressurise. Clathrates form. Well gets plugged.   

       Probably similar to this idea. If you burn this skank a negative pressure will form at the well head and it would freeze over. The fire would kill itself and the well head would plug. Moreover now that they filled it with cod-poop. Or pategonian toothfish poop.
4whom, May 31 2010
  

       I'm with FlyingToaster: Weird but not stupid, especially with liquid oxygen. The risks of the fire getting out of control would be minimal, being so far down under water.   

       ....also, the fishing industry would welcome the pre- cooked produce if we added a whole lot of batter to the oxygen/oil mix. ;)
not_only_but_also, Jun 20 2010
  

       [marked-for-tagline]   

       I had this same idea, just didn't post it   

       (Please don't take it personally, [21])
normzone, Jun 20 2010
  

       The Russian TV posted images and videos that were clearly montage, even to the untrained eye, in various occasions. I wouldn't take them for there word on what they did, or did not do - especially not in the nuclear field. I had a good friend who quickly deteriorated a year after coming with his family to Israel from Chernobyl and finally passed away. Look up the Russian TV coverage of that disaster. (There were thousands of people sent there with no protection, in order to work on containing the explosion.) Or how about the mud flow in Sidoarjo, and that's not even their territory.   

       There's a rumor that our crazy rightist minister of science Yuval Neeman, under Begin's government in 1985, was going to buy a used nuclear reactor from Russia. The Chernobyl explosion occurred first, and stopped the transaction.
pashute, Jun 30 2010
  

       // used nuclear reactor //   

       "It's got just 100,000 rads on the clock, it was only ever used by a little old lady vicar to power the church organ on a Sunday ...."
8th of 7, Jun 30 2010
  
      
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