Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Our gulf disaster

  1. May 10, 2010 #1
    Good morning all,

    I have been "absent" lately, because I am pre-occupied with the disaster in our gulf (I live in TX) I have watched the "comedy of errors" going on with my mouth agape. Much of their math has never added up, and the inconsistancies are significant.

    I want to run something by everyone.

    If a long hard spike that could be hung from a drill rig could be controlled and lowered into the hole, with a diameter that would wedge precisely into the hole and has "concrete anchor" style one way collars on the straight section, couldn't it be pile driven hydraulicly into the hole to plug it?
    If the probe had a camera, and expendable, controllable airfoil vanes it you could fly it in the hole, and then start hammering it with the drill mud.

    I really want someone to figure this out, or we as a world will have some real messes to try to clean up for a very long time

  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The oil has enough pressure to force itself out against the weight of 5000fsw and a couple of 1000 ft of rock - so it would have to be a fairly heavy spike.

    Hammering it into the rock is tricky unless you also have some hydraulic hammers that can operate at 5000fsw and something to anchor them to.
    And finally all it would achieve is to shatter the surrounding rock making the leak bigger.
  4. May 10, 2010 #3
    I agree the forces are very large
    at 30,000 psi (one of the pressure numbers I have gotten) on a 5 inch hole would need about 300 tons of force + to drive it. the well is at 18,000 ft w/ 5,000 ft of water
    with 13,000 feet of rock couldn't you get enough of a bite on the hole without frac'ing the rock too badly?

    if anyone else has ideas, feel free to toss them out here
    the talk of explosions to cap it really scare me

  5. May 10, 2010 #4
    Without having much information to go on, I was trying to come up with a solution to this problem...

    How large is the opening and how thick is the edge on the pipe and what material is it made from? Is the top/opening smooth or irregular?

    Just as a brainstorm idea, could they place a "super-strong" magnet on top of the opening (if they could get one a mile down)? or is the pressure too great? (again I don't have any info on this stuff with regard to the dimensions/quantities/forces/pressures/etc.)
  6. May 10, 2010 #5
    reports of the pressure vary from 30k psi to 170k psi. with the information blackout due to homeland security, many details are "obscured"
    the 3 terms describing the leak are:

    5 INCH pipe,
    and the most alarming is the coast guard guy who said "chasm" but I really don't want to think about that

    so I am going on the 5 in pipe. (and hoping the other two terms were wrong)

  7. May 10, 2010 #6
    What if the hose from the containment dome had a cable inside it connected to a power source, to melt the crystals?
  8. May 12, 2010 #7
    ...not the pipe itself, but the top of the BOP - if it was thick enough (enough magnetic surface area to create a good enough strong magnetic bond), could they use a huge super-magnet to cap it at the BOP (after cutting off the damaged pipe)?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Threads - gulf disaster Date
Fixing the Gulf oil spill problem May 26, 2010
Rotating Skyscraper in Dubai: Innovation or Disaster? Jun 25, 2008
Disaster Recovery Infrastructure Sep 2, 2005