# Fixing the Gulf oil spill problem

by WmCElliott
Tags: fixing, gulf, spill
 P: 450 What if you had a tapered projectile made of tungsten, about 20' long, with a diameter just slightly larger than the hole, and shot it deep down into the well with an extremely high powered rail gun.
PF Gold
P: 1,434
I actually liked the following solution best, as a quick and dirty duct tape fix to at least contain the oil until they can shut down the well.

 Quote by RonL ........ A flexable walled tube of some kind of fabric and large enough to allow for expansion at the surface of the gulf, might work. Supporting guide cables held in place on the bottom, by concrete pads, and a large floating ring at the surface. The walls would be flexable and would not accumalate any kind of buildup. .........
PF Gold
P: 3,098
 Quote by stewartcs Unlikely. The pressure would most likely blow it out. Plus there is the problem of getting anything into the wellbore. Until they remove the bent riser the bore is inaccessible. Removing the LMRP and either capping it or funneling it would be the best option. ...
Is capping an option? How, against the well pressure?
 P: 450 I suspect that cutting the pipe off clean will make estimating the flow a lot easier.
P: 2,284
 Quote by mheslep Is capping an option? How, against the well pressure?
They would have to remove the LMRP. Once removed there will be a mandrel exposed that they can land another device with a collet type connector on and latch up to it. In other words they could basically land another new LMRP on it with the riser attached and cap the well.

The new device would be open to allow the flow to go up the riser until latched.

CS
P: 2,284
 Quote by jreelawg I suspect that cutting the pipe off clean will make estimating the flow a lot easier.
Probably not since they aren't sure what exactly is obstructing the wellbore and they aren't sure what the pressure is.

CS
 PF Gold P: 707 Another area of effort, needs to be recovery of the oil before it hits the shoreline and mixes with sand or other bulky material. Very shallow draft floats with lots of surface area that can support the weight of some equipment for skimming oil into a seperator, a fresh air supply and anything else to sustain two or three people. Develop a system for paying a fair price for each barrel of oil recovered and places to handle the exchange of barrels, or a larger boat making pickup routes as close as possible, all along the coast line. Put people to work doing something to save the land and at the same time a method of income to those that can do the work. . Safety by all means yes, but don't eliminate the large majority of workers that can do the job.
PF Gold
P: 707
 Quote by stewartcs They are drilling a relief well now. As soon as it intersects the old well bore they can kill it. No need to blow it up (which may or may not work but is extremely risky). CS
I agree and think that any plan that might block access to the points of leakage, should not be considered.
 PF Gold P: 707 In hope that someone might see our comments, I feel compelled to express myself as if I am part of the think tank of engineers working around the clock to find solutions that might have some merit. This morning the thought came to me, there are mountains of empty shipping containers around the ports along the gulf coast. These containers might serve well in the design of a very large containment ring for holding oil at the surface of the gulf. My thoughts include a two method system for holding air inside them, so that they float on end (about 1/3 above water surface and 2/3 under) much the same as a fishing bobber. A single or double row ring can be created by binding them together with a flexable connection, wave action would be absorbed by several containers and no single connection would be overstressed. An inside wall of fabric would hold oil in place, while it is being pumped into barges or ships. To me it seems more important to control the oil being released. After seeing a PBS document about whales confining fish inside a curtain of air bubbles, might this same principle apply to guiding the oil to the surface and inside such a ring as I have described ? Just a few thoughts. RonL
PF Gold
P: 1,434
Yesterdays news from the front line:

Quote by friend of a friend of a friend who works on Rigs :wink:
.....sent to us on Sunday, May 30th.
 Hey everyone. Well the Top Kill Op did not work because the mud was just shooting back out of the damaged top part of the Blow Out Preventer (BOP) and the crushed 21” riser. We are now on our way back to the dock. They have plans to try cutting the 21” riser off and replacing the top portion of the BOP with a new valve and pipeline to the surface in the next week or two. If that works then we will be heading back out there to do the Top Kill Op all over again. If this does not work then they are talking about building another dome to cover it. The last one they built formed hydro crystals inside of it because of the freezing temperatures at 5000 feet. After the dome and pipeline froze up and got clogged, the whole thing just lifted off the sea floor like a hot air balloon. Needless to say it was a total failure and a bad design. They are talking about installing ethanol injectors throughout the interior of the next dome. Ethanol will prevent the ice crystals from forming I guess. I designed another dome concept for the BP engineers to look at and I spoke to them about it yesterday. They thought it was a very good idea and said they would definitely consider it. It involves a double walled dome enclosure with industrial electrical heating coils built into the walls and four giant heated suction piles welded onto the four corners of the dome. Once it is lowered over the BOP the water is sucked out of the suction piles which will cause the entire enclosure to sink down into the sub-sea floor several feet. A water tight/oil tight seal will be maintained as long as suction is maintained by the rig above. Having the entire enclosure and the riser line heated would give them the ability not only to seal the leak but to pump the oil out of the well without freeze up. I hope they consider it if the BOP fix does not work. Here is the drawing I made for them on Excel. All my love

RonL, I'll relay your idea via the friend of a friend of a friend back to the front line.
PF Gold
P: 707
 Quote by OmCheeto Yesterdays news from the front line: RonL, I'll relay your idea via the friend of a friend of a friend back to the front line.
Thanks Om,

I just did a quick calculation, and a 10 mile dia. ring (single row) would require 22,440 boxes, but then this is a big disaster.
I guess the big concerne would be can the confinement area be in a location that would not interfere with the operations of killing the well or bringing it back into control ?

Do you or anyone have thoughts about the tube tunnel, using air bubbles ?

RonL
PF Gold
P: 1,434
 Quote by RonL Thanks Om, I just did a quick calculation, and a 10 mile dia. ring (single row) would require 22,440 boxes, but then this is a big disaster. I guess the big concerne would be can the confinement area be in a location that would not interfere with the operations of killing the well or bringing it back into control ? Do you or anyone have thoughts about the tube tunnel, using air bubbles ? RonL
Did you not get my PM?

And what's this about air bubbles?

I don't think a surface containment device the size of which you are talking about is necessary. The opinion on leak rate ranges from 500,000 to 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.(ref) So worst case is around 3000 gallons per minute that would have to be pumped out. So with existing technologies, a containment area 100 feet across and maybe 20 feet deep would be all that is needed. IMHO of course.

ps. The non-water permeable ripstop material I mentioned is only $6.95 a yard. So a 60" wide pair of the materials, sewn into a tube, at 1 mile length, would only cost ~$25,000. Must less costly than the nearly $1 billion dollars that spent so far. And it comes in Royal, so I'm sure the queen would approve. PF Gold P: 707  Quote by OmCheeto Did you not get my PM? And what's this about air bubbles? I don't think a surface containment device the size of which you are talking about is necessary. The opinion on leak rate ranges from 500,000 to 4.2 million gallons of oil per day.(ref) So worst case is around 3000 gallons per minute that would have to be pumped out. So with existing technologies, a containment area 100 feet across and maybe 20 feet deep would be all that is needed. IMHO of course. ps. The non-water permeable ripstop material I mentioned is only$6.95 a yard. So a 60" wide pair of the materials, sewn into a tube, at 1 mile length, would only cost ~$25,000. Must less costly than the nearly$1 billion dollars that spent so far. And it comes in Royal, so I'm sure the queen would approve.

Air bubbles, In post #27 I mentioned seeing a PBS.org document showing whales diving down and swimming in circles while they blew out large amounts of air, as the air moved upward it formed a circular wall of air bubbles that enclosed large schools of fish. Two or three whales provided the air, while others would swim up the center of the ring of bubbles and litterly devour large schools of fish.
One of the most amazing things I have watched.

Ron
 PF Gold P: 707 Om, If a tube of ripstop material is considered, I would think a bottom pressure of close to 2,500 psi would expand to such degree that near the surface, a velocity and frictional drag would be tremendous. Making a bottom opening of 15 or 20 feet in diameter, I think a surface opening might need to be near 100' or more. But then my smarts are not very great. Kids are here, got to go. Ron
PF Gold
P: 3,098
 Quote by stewartcs They would have to remove the LMRP. Once removed there will be a mandrel exposed that they can land another device with a collet type connector on and latch up to it. In other words they could basically land another new LMRP on it with the riser attached and cap the well. The new device would be open to allow the flow to go up the riser until latched. CS
Ok, that appears logical to me. I haven't heard much play on capping, so perhaps there are some other issues. For instance, maybe BP et al no longer thinks the BOP can handle a full 5000 PSI (or whatever it is) after the explosion, plus some hammer over pressure in the process of placing the cap. So instead, I speculate, that they prefer a continuing flow solution.
PF Gold
P: 1,434
 Quote by RonL Om, If a tube of ripstop material is considered, I would think a bottom pressure of close to 2,500 psi would expand to such degree that near the surface, a velocity and frictional drag would be tremendous. Making a bottom opening of 15 or 20 feet in diameter, I think a surface opening might need to be near 100' or more. But then my smarts are not very great. Kids are here, got to go. Ron
I'm not very concerned about the well pressure. Once the oil escapes the steel pipe, it's at sea pressure. I don't know what the compressibility of crude oil is, so I don't know how much it will expand, but I would imagine it would be very small. Gas evolution might be a problem though. I think that's what started this whole mess.

hmm... a 120" circumference pipe would contain the flow at....
2*pi*r = c
r = 120/(2*pi) = 19.1 inches
a=pi*r^2=1146in^2=7.96ft^2
7.48gal/ft^3
49 gallons/second of flow yields:
0.823 feet per second.

The head is at around 1 mile depth, so the oil would reach the end of the fabric pipe in....
(5280 feet)/(0.823 ft/sec)=6416 seconds
3600seconds/hour
6416/3600=...
about 1 hour and 47 minutes.
 P: 9 I'm gratified that their next funnel will be heated, I suppose electric heaters solve the insulation of the warm surface water for a mile through cold water. BP does have a website dedicated to ideas for fixing the problem, and it seems to connect you to Red Adair's company directly.
 P: 101 They will also be using Methanol in the new cap.

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