I’m amazed that BP have not been able to stop the flow of escaping oil yet. I’m even more amazed that they were not really prepared with a decent solution incase the ‘unthinkable’ actually happened, which of course it has.
To cap the flow of the escaping oil you first need to diffuse the power of the oil stream escaping. do this by dropping concrete blocks over the escaping oil such as the xbloc.
By piling these on top of the spill the flow should be stemmed enough for smaller bridging materials & concrete to stem the flow.
By tethering a cable to the sea bed floor next to the spill as a guide these blocks could be dropped into place without any missing the target. Assuming the blocks will sink fast as they are heavy you could fit underwater parachutes to each one to slow it’s decent down. The cable tether is simply a guide to drop to the target. The cable should have some slack as it should be able to bend & fold to form part of the cap as more blocks are dropped. They don’t have to be placed interlocking as the concrete & bridging material will do that. It might be prudent to some how place a pipe so that that the concrete & bridging material can be pumped to the centre of the base of the block pile so that the bridging material & concrete are able to plug the gaps that exist.
Maybe an array of different sized xblocs should be used to help reduce gaps between the larger ones, aiding in the ability of the conrete to completely plug the escaping oil. The relief valves being drilled at present should reduce pressure to this xbloc cap to help ensure it doesn’t start leaking oil again. On going monitoring of the cap should ensure this.
The cap might look something like this:
Now picture this with concrete pumped to the center located over the escaping oil. The concrete & bridging material should surely be enough to cap the escaping oil.
I decided to blog this idea as the www.deepwaterhorizonsrespose.com website is having problems loading pages.
No, I don’t work for xbloc if anyone was thinking that! xbloc are located in the Netherlands. Maybe there is a maker of a simular style product closer to the problem in the USA or Gulf area. This is just an idea, please feel free to pick holes in it to make it more feasible as a solution to the problem.
Update 18th June 2010.
Still this well is leaking. Are BP engineers really that useless? I think BP are prepaired to lose XXXX amount of oil to kill the enviroment just so long as they can catch some of it to sell. I think this is the reason they havn’t done what ever is required to stop this terrible eco disaster. Why? Because they know the other relief wells being drilled won’t be in use till August. This is a disgusting business ethic, BP. I just don’t believe it is impossible to stop the oil.
But thats just my personal view…