Print 64 comment(s) - last by clovell.. on May 26 at 10:57 AM

Government officials are not so sure

Deadline after deadline has passed, and the U.S. government is growing tired of waiting for BP's supposed relief efforts that don't seem to be working. After one failed attempt at a dome and a relief well that could take until August, BP executives are saying they have more options to explore, and that the governments efforts would not produce any different results.

"We won't quit until we get this job done," said Doug Suttles, BP's chief operating officer. "We're doing everything we can."

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said BP has "from day one, frankly, not fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill" and "if we find that they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way."

"In terms of not trusting BP, there's nobody--nobody--who is more devastated by what has happened and nobody that wants to shut this off more than we do and learn what happened so this never happens anywhere, to anyone, anywhere in the world again," said Robert Dudley, BP's managing director.

BP's next attempt at plugging the leak will be put to the test on Wednesday, where a thick, viscous fluid that is twice the density of water will be pumped into the core site of the leak. This will hopefully lead to the final stage of sealing the well permanently with cement.

Suttles said that if this attempt fails, BP's other options include placing an even smaller dome over the leak (for the third time), installing a blowout preventer, trying a "junk shot" (where rubber and other substances are used to plug the well), and the final solution being the relief well that could take up to 80 days to complete.

Two Obama administration officials went to Louisiana Monday to evaluate the response to the BP oil spill. In addition, Salazar and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will attend a flyover of affected areas as well as meet with BP representatives. Louisiana state and parish leaders, such as St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro, demanded that the federal government allow them to "dredge up walls of sand to close the channels between the Gulf and coastal estuaries." 

"Either the Coast Guard has to side with its American citizens and protect its communities, or it has to side with a major world corporation named BP and betray American citizens in that process," said Taffaro.

In addition, Coast Guard Rear Adm. and federal on-scene coordinator Mary Landry said the barrier island project, which is a $350 million blueprint to repair Louisiana's barrier islands,  is still under review. Environmental and officials are reviewing the impact this project may have on "endangered and threatened species."

In response, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser pointed to an oil-covered pelican nesting ground and replied, "Is it affected now?"

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Wrong from start
By Ammohunt on 5/24/2010 3:00:22 PM , Rating: -1
BP's approach from the start has been to salvage the well when the approach should have been to close it off!!!! A controlled explosion could colapse the well and bring this to an end quickly.

RE: Wrong from start
By clovell on 5/24/2010 3:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure? The amount of pressure forcing the oil out of the well is pretty large. I'm also not sure how you could controll an explosion that deep. I'm pretty sure that if BP could have colapsed the wll and stopped the leak, they would've done and been back in production 3 months later with a relief well, minus all this mess we have now.

RE: Wrong from start
By Smilin on 5/24/2010 3:14:00 PM , Rating: 5

BP's approach from the start has been to salvage the well when the approach should have been to close it off!!!!

That just shows ignorance.

Once the blowout preventer is shown to be non-functional the well cannot be used again. Ever. It's not a component you can replace once the well is tapped. There is NO way to recover this well and that has been known since the moment the BOP failed.

The only way to salvage the well is to drill a new one into the same reservoir.


A controlled explosion could colapse the well and bring this to an end quickly.

Now that is *dangerous* ignorance. So what happens after this explosion of yours fails? now have a gaping hole where a pipe used to be. The job not only got more difficult but now is more than likely dumping oil even faster.

RE: Wrong from start
By Ammohunt on 5/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Wrong from start
By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 4:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure smarter people than us have thought about that.

The well has been cemented, so there's a nice, tough, cement sheath keeping it stable. To use an explosion to collapse that and the well bore, sealing it off, would be far, far more difficult than it sounds. What would you use as an explosive under a mile of water and all that pressure to generate the power to collapse the cemented well bore and against all the pressure of the oil? I'm sure we've got something, but that's a lot of ifs, and a lot of chances to fissure up the ground and multiply the holes the oil can escape from.

Thus, the risk of failure is too high at this point. If the explosion doesn't work, not only could there be far more oil blasting out, probably at the rate that destroyed Horizon, not the piddly rate right now; but how then would you contain it? Explosives should be the very last resort, there's far saner and more effective things to try first.

RE: Wrong from start
By Ammohunt on 5/24/2010 3:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like the soviets have used nukes to close run away wells.

RE: Wrong from start
By geddarkstorm on 5/24/2010 4:09:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's really the only thing that has the explosive power. But.. do you think the American people would go for using nukes in the Gulf of Mexico at this time?

RE: Wrong from start
By MrBlastman on 5/24/2010 4:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
At this point, I don't think it'd matter. The Gulf is toast and a tiny bit of radiation trapped 5000 feet below the surface isn't going to hurt anyone.

RE: Wrong from start
By Anoxanmore on 5/24/2010 5:45:08 PM , Rating: 1
Overstatement of the year award.

hands it over

Would you like to thank the media for giving you this award?

RE: Wrong from start
By MrBlastman on 5/25/2010 7:47:11 AM , Rating: 1
Well, according to the media we're all doomed, which, if you read between the lines of my post, you'd see perfect justification that we could use to actually get the permissions to nuke it. :) Sometimes, you have to manipulate the media just like they manipulate us.

Fact of the matter is though, if you set off a nuke in proximity to the well (not on top of it!), the pressure waves from the water could crush the pipe closed. The Russians have done this several times. Explosives act very differently underwater, much like they do in space.

We're all still here and okay.

RE: Wrong from start
By Anoxanmore on 5/25/2010 9:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
Umm, I guess you missed the memo where in 1981 and Russia tried to use a nuke it failed.

Its ok, I'll send it over to you again.

RE: Wrong from start
By MrBlastman on 5/25/2010 9:49:37 AM , Rating: 1
What's the harm in trying it, at least? You don't get anywhere in life without taking risks.

Oh, by the way, the attempt in 1966 proved successful and after that they used it four more times.

Soooooo, that means, 4 worked, 1 failed, giving it an 80% shot. Sounds pretty good, right? They might not have used it in deep water but there's always a first for anything.

RE: Wrong from start
By Anoxanmore on 5/25/2010 10:11:20 AM , Rating: 2
No, the attempt in 1966 was not the same, that was blowing out a gas well fire, not stopping a leak from a highly pressurized oil rig.

Worst that could happen? Easily, release ALL of the trapped oil in that well at the same time. If it isn't a huge issue now, that would be pretty much the end of the gulf goast for human life span.

Earth itself would be fine though.

RE: Wrong from start
By Zoomer on 5/25/2010 12:17:55 AM , Rating: 1
Why don't we just set the oil leaking out on fire? That'll solve it, right?

Wait, alot of it is underwater? WEll....NUKE IT!

RE: Wrong from start
By drycrust3 on 5/25/2010 1:30:30 AM , Rating: 3
The Gulf is toast and a tiny bit of radiation trapped 5000 feet below the surface isn't going to hurt anyone.

I have often wondered about this and if a nuke at that depth would start a fusion type reaction in the water, just like an H-Bomb (nuke bomb + heavy water).

RE: Wrong from start
By MrBlastman on 5/25/2010 7:52:08 AM , Rating: 1
The pressures are pretty high for sure but I don't think a reaction of that sort would be sustainable at all. Even inside our sun the pressures theoretically aren't high enough, yet, through Quantum Mechanics (and statistical probability), the slim possibility that it could occur due to "random" placement of the particles permit the fusion reaction to actually occur.

You also have to overcome the small problem that the Hydrogen is molecularly bound with the Oxygen and in order to even break it apart a good bit of energy is required (especially at those pressures) so I highly doubt it. The Oxygen would be a huge barrier to fusion as it is too heavy of an element and would require millions and millions of degrees Fahrenheit to be able to fuse with sustainability (excluding pressure requirements).

RE: Wrong from start
By Ammohunt on 5/25/2010 2:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
We will see how they feel about it in August which is the projected time the relief well can be drilled. Not to mention the toxic dispersants they are spraying nuke closed the well or oily shores for the next 5-10 years.

RE: Wrong from start
By afkrotch on 5/25/2010 1:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
I don't even know how you can force the explosives down the hole. They couldn't even put a dome over it.

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