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The idea is to set up a tension-leg offshore platform
the anchors on the seafloor surrounding the leak. Then,
four curtains (one per side, and each as wide as an edge
the platform) are unreeled and the edges fastened
together as it is lowered. At the bottom of the curtain,
anchors at regular intervals hold it in place.
The resulting 'riser' is so wide that it won't ice up - any
hydrates (clathrates) that do stick to the sides will clump
up and break off as the curtain sways in the currents,
continue to rise. At the surface, a lake of oil is
in the curtain perimeter, and hydrates are warmed and
Of course, the gas would have to be dealt with or this
would be called 'Lake of Fire'... but an inflatable dome
covering on the 'lake' would do the trick.
The oil depth would be kept to a minimum to avoid any
pressure differentials across the curtains.
[afinehowdoyoudo, Jun 18 2010]
||It's a lot of reinforced tarp material, but oil is an
expensive business - even more so when shit fucks
up as bad as it has.
||[+] but that's four mile-long curtains... apart from having to balance the weight (because there's no way anything is going to hold it's own weight a mile long), you'd probably need electric motors at intervals to keep it still against the ocean current. so more like those deployable fire-escape chutes.
||I'm sorry if I sound a tad uncaring, but damn. These oil
ideas: nobody freakin' knows! You really can't predict the
behavior of common materials 4600 feet below sea level.
It's all drivel in my mind. Isn't there some way we can
avoid this half-mindful banter in favor of something more
||Oh right. It's the halfbakery... Carry on, then. :)
||//You really can't predict the behavior of common materials 4600 feet below sea level.//
yeah so let's drill a big hole another few miles long down there.
||I really don't understand your point, [FT]. I didn't say make
another hole. Maybe I'm saying we shoulda stayed outta
there as far back as the 70s.
||My sarcasm was generic and not directed at you.
||I think (a meterial with) canvas(like properties) would be the way to go, rather than metal, which is too heavy and not bendy: 20 x 300ft long sections of 100ft diameter superhose. Bouyancy tanks and thruster motors at the joins.
||Of course that was BP's problem from the beginning. They'll have to pay a fine of four thousand per barrel so they lied and stuck a pipe the size of a straw on the well. Should have worked for 5k barrels a day (the lie) but of course it was far more than that, and full of chunky clathrate. So a ten foot fabric tube that leads to the surface, that's all they needed. The twits.
||The properties of solid materials at a depth of 5000
feet are unchanged. The stress on the materials is
just the combined stress of the hydraulic pressure
and whatever load is applied. 2500 psi of
compression is not a lot in that sense.
||\ten foot\ wide would be a lot more practical than
the monster i sketched... but the-bigger-the-
better in terms of warding off Murphy and his
||It would need spacers to keep the tube from
collapsing under the pressure of ocean currents. A
square frame with cable clamps at each corner,
every 50 or 100 feet. The spacers could have some
bouyancy to balance the weight of the riser
||In construction-worker terms, this could be
described as "hoarding it in" - i.e. building a
scaffold around the thing and covering that with
tarps. Above-ground, it's usually to protect the
thing from the elements and create a space to
work in and/or deliver air for climate control. In
this case it would be to protect the elements from
the thing and create a space for the conduit of oil
||So, to satisfy my conscience I sent this idea to the
officials. Got a standard FOAD letter in reply. Now
that I am absolved of responsibility, let me go drive
||I was convinced it would work, until I gave it more
thought. This would only handle a very small
pressure difference between the inside and
outside of the riser at any given height. If oil
were to clump up in a section, the difference in
density between oil and water would lead to a
pressure difference at a rate of about 0.1 psi per
foot of height. Even if oil did not form a
contiguous plug in the riser, the clumps of oil
pushing upwards could cause the overall column to
behave like a liquid with a density intermediate
between oil and water. The only way it might
work is if the cross-section area of the riser was
very large, and the rising oil plume was very small
in comparison (I think).