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Thread: Plugging the hole

  1. #1 Plugging the hole 
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    Why don't we do a woolgathering session about the oil spill? If we came up with one stupid idea after another, it might get someone to think of something useful. We might expect to have plenty of time to kick it around. For instance, could they cool the stuff to thicken it up? If a chilling process ever began to slow the flow, then as a result it could slow it some more. Enshrouding the well pipe deeply enough with a circuit for liquid nitrogen might thicken the plot. How's that? :P


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  3. #2  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    In the long run they might succeed in reducing the flow, or they might make it worse with the various experiments they are conducting on the sea floor. I doubt if they will ever shut it off until they are able to plug it via one of the relief wells. BP has as good as admitted this.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    1. When this first happened, I immediately thought of using a Grolsch beer bottle device that would attach to the existing pipe and swing up and snap-lock into place.

    2. Instead of injecting trash into the well, they could inject a chemical that would cause the petroleum to solidify, especially by attaching to the sides of the well pipe. By accumulating, it would seal the leak like a wound scabbing over.

    3. Inject oxygen into the pipe and ignite it to vulcanize the petroleum, causing it to clog the pipe and stop the leak.

    4. Use the stuff that Prestone anti-freeze uses to seal leaks.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Just drop a nuke to the bottom and detonate, collapse the entire sea floor
    Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor Wild Cobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Just drop a nuke to the bottom and detonate, collapse the entire sea floor
    I'm starting to believe that would be the best solution.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Maybe a nuke would pop the seabed like a zit and the contents would go everywhere.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  8. #7  
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    Maybe if they speed up the LHC, the micro black holes gathering at Earth's core could drop the bottom out of all of the oil wells and etc.

    Nowadays, it would all do more good than harm to the universe.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." --Buddha (563BC-483BC)
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    There really are only two options that I can see: a low-yield nuclear device; or wait for the relief wells to be complete.

    Over 30 years ago, there was a similar disaster with a well that was leaking uncontrollably. They tried all sorts of things that are being tried all over again today (as if not a thing was learned). In the end, it was the relief well that did the trick.

    The only thing they didn't try was a nuke. The heat and blast might be enough to fuse the rock/piping near the surface, capping the well. Perhaps some of the escaped petroleum will be vaporized in the process.
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  10. #9  
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    Now they went the wrong way!! When their saw got stuck it was countering outflow velocity. If they could just get a whole bunch of saws stuck in there and leave them in place the slowed down flow would defang the monster. Maybe some liquid nitrogen could get snuck into some of the open cuts.

    It seems a pity that they use foul mixes keeping oil from the surface instead of dealing with it topside.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." --Buddha (563BC-483BC)
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The blow out on a Sedco rig drilling the Ixtoc well for Pemex in the Gulf in the late nineteen seventies discharged between half a million and one and a half million gallons per day for a nine month period. I think this is the incident SkinWalker is referring to.

    On a personal note, I visited both drilling rigs attempting to drill relief wells for that Ixtoc well on two occassions. (I was living in Dallas at that time.) The site of a roiling mass of sea thrown up into a large dome and aflame, from a distance of about half a mile was impressive, especially at night. It was also attention getting to recall that we were drilling towards the source of all that violence.

    Contrary to Skin's recollection the well was eventually capped by lowering a massive concrete 'sombrero' over the well.

    The suggestion to use a nuclear device is not novel. Also in the nineteen seventies the Russians killed two wells in Siberia by lowering such devices down the relief wells and exploding them.
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