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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:28 PM
Original message
Bill Clinton: We May Have to Blow Up Oil Well
Source: CBS News

June 28, 2010 5:39 PM
Bill Clinton: We May Have to Blow Up Oil Well
Posted by Brian Montopoli


Former President Bill Clinton said during a panel discussion in South Africa that it may become necessary to blow up the Deepwater Horizon well that continues to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Watch the video at left. His comments on the leak start about 2:30 in.

"Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary - you don't have to use a nuclear weapon by the way, I've seen all that stuff, just blow it up - unless we're going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP," Clinton said.

There has been some pressure for BP to simply blow up the well, with critics suggesting the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20009084-503544....
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I see them avoiding that because it won't work
What they'd most likely end up with is a gusher at the bottom of a crater with no hardware to slow the flow at all.
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
38. Why wouyldn't it work?
Edited on Tue Jun-29-10 07:43 AM by bowens43
Serious question. I see everyone here jumping on the 'Bill is an idiot' bandwagon but no one has said why it wouldn't work.

Why would collapsing the well shaft with explosives not work?
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #38
42. If you'd read beyond the post topic
you'd have read why it wouldn't work.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #38
60. Because if you fracture further the rock dome, you are left with a bigger problem
Now, if Dr Chu proposed this and outlined the risks and what the results would likely be as estimated by various models, I would listen. Just as I would listen to what Clinton has to say on issues that he has expertise in - including things as complicated as the Middle East.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Don't quit your day job Bill.
Worst. Idea. Ever.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
26. +1
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Downwinder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:38 PM
Response to Original message
3. The American way, blow it up. n/t
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. "The War On Oil Gushers" n/t
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
105. All they have to do is coin that phrase and it's a sure thing the gusher will go on forever
It's the American way. :(
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
44. !
:thumbsup:
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joe black Donating Member (514 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
50. Bill picks up on the word blow.
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JaneQPublic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #50
64. LOL!!! (nt)
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #50
85. Yeah. For Bill if it contains the word "blow", it must be good n/t
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
87. It's what we do best, we're number 1!
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Submariner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
4.  and "cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris"
And you got your engineering degree where Bill? :eyes:
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I heard that shit on the radio.
What a fucking idiot! All that would accomplish is a bunch of dispersed, oil covered rock and debris at the bottom of the gulf.

He has no clue what 10,000+ psi is all about.

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KillCapitalism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
73. LOL no shit.
You'd need a rock the size and weight of Mt. Everest to plug that leak.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #4
24. Word has it that in between women and semesters at Oxford
Edited on Tue Jun-29-10 01:03 AM by Catherina
Bill took a short introductory course in nuclear physics. Hence, he's an expert. :sarcasm:

Anderson Cooper had a chart up tonight showing all the deep water drilling exemptions that were given under the Obama administration. It was something like 230 or 250.

The graph under Bush Sr and went from 0 to about several hundred. Then they showed Clinton's 8 years. During the first term, exemptions went down a bit. During the second term, they shot up surpassing anything under Bush Sr or Bush Jr. Obama had the least amount of exemption but that could be due to time in office.

Bill is an expert on exemptions. He needs to shut it.

If anyone knows where that chart is, please let me know. I want to get a better look at it.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. Blowing shit up is always the ultimate answer to p
Very telling.

All things can be resolved as long as you can just blow shit up.

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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. They blowed up real good!
It seems to me that they once blew up U2. Someone e-mail Bono.

Thanks for bringing back great memories of ROFLOLing in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
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Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. SCTV was the greatest.
Yup late night giggles and guffaws with Guy Caballero's network.

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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. I can hear the musical stylings of the Schmengies now.
Leutonia, on the dark side of the Balkans. LOL!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #17
45. Cabbage Rolls and Coffee, Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!! nt
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
70. And theme from "Jaws" as a polka, complete with a shark fin strapped
on John Candy's back!

Oh, oh, oh.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #70
81. Man, I miss Second City.
John Candy was funny as hell.
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amandabeech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #81
101. I miss it, too.
Candy had plenty of help, too.

Remember Bob and Dave McKenzie? Give me a two-four, you hozer!

Ah, those were the days!
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. his heart attack must have left him oxygen deprived
blowing up the well is a stupid unworkable idea.
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high density Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
10. Blow it up so we have a bigger hole that is leaking oil?
Doesn't sound like a great idea.
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
32. Ohhhh, so your a deep sea explosives expert....cool!!!
So, I am wondering why exactly is it a bad idea to keep the use of explosives as a last resort option?
I mean its the ocean floor so what exactly is the worst case scenario if they did it and failed compared to just letting the oil spew out of the gulf at its current rate?
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #32
37. Answer to your question
Why is it a bad idea to use explosives? Because blowing up the well at the seafloor will lead to loss of containment even worse than we have now. It appears those who propose the use of explosives don't understand the oil is coming up with so much pressure it will fracture the rock - I believe it could fracture right through 3000 feet of sediment layers on the seafloor. This means blowing up the well would at best leave a large crater with oil coming out of a hole in the middle, at worst it will leave a crater with a hole coming out of the middle plus cracks on the sea floor (located in the surrounding area) with the oil gushing out through the cracks. This isn't about "deep sea explosives" expertise. This is about understanding what fluids at high pressure can do, and the properties of the rocks on the sea floor. And this I happen to know a little about.
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #37
58. Interesting.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #37
61. Awesome description - we could futher break the world!!
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
12. BP is avoiding that option for one reason...
It won't work, as another poster stated...it will only make it worse.

Second, they can still drill another well into the reservoir if they wanted to "get as much oil as possible". As it stands now, they are losing a lot of money and oil...it's in their best interest to contain this as quickly as they can.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
13. Setting an explosive charge in a well is a common technique.
It is called fracking. The amount of pressure or explosive charge is tailored to cause enough shock to either increase the porosity of the mineral bearing rock, or physically fracturing the rock to allow the oil or gas to flow. To little of pressure or charge and nothing happens, to much and the rock structure collapses and no more minerals (oil/gas) can be extracted from that bore.

This is a viable strategy, not the preferable one, but it looks like we are at the end of our options.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #13
30. Fracking is not used to plug wells...
Or I have never read that. Plus, if I am not mistaken the primary fracking done today is hydralic fracking which uses liquids.

Blowing up the well is not a viable option at those pressures...It would just lead to multiple ground leaks which would be impossible to stop.
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. What about a high temp explosive to melt and seal the ocean floor where its leaking?
Any way to do that underwater at that depth?
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #34
109. To be honest I have no idea but...
I have been reading about this a lot lately and from what I have read using explosives at those depths could be catastrophic! The explosives could end up cracking the rock to where oil would be leaking in multiple places with no way to seal the well afterwards...I think relief wells are the only hope and they knew this from the very beginning! We will see...
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cstanleytech Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #109
110. Yes but that is why I was
asking if there were any potential ones that generate more high intense heat than anything in order to melt the ocean floor and hopefully sealing the leaks.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #30
72. I used to sell Oil and Gas wells.
Fracking is used to open wells, but if done incorrectly it seals them as well.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #72
108. What?? How?
They use cement to seal wells...Fracking is the exact opposite of sealing.

I am not doubting you but I have read about this process a lot and I have never read of it being used to seal a well...The entire idea of fracking is to shatter rock. And at high pressures that will not seal a well. Especially under 5000ft of water and another mile or two of rock.


I am very interested in learning anything you have to say or info you can point me to.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
52. You are confused
Modern well fracturing techniques involve the use of fluids loaded with solids such as sand. They do not involve the use of explosives. The use of explosives isn't a viable alternative.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #52
76. I have been involved in fracking wells in the Frio Sands wells of east Texas.
Fluids are commonly used but explosives have been tried.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #76
84. This isn't Frio sands
Deep sea sediments are usually very soft sand and shale or mud layers. Near the Mississippi river mouth these can be extremely unconsolidated, to the point that mud flows aren't uncommon. These sediments are very young, many of these deposits are Holocene age, and the top layers are in a sense anthropogenic, caused by the excessive dredging by the US Corps of engineers (which have extended the bird foot delta to an anomalous reach into the Gulf of Mexico). This means the sediments at 5000 feet below sea level are mushy. The first three thousand feet or so are very soft as well. So what do you get when you have a cased well (and these wells will have 30 inch to 16 inch concentric casings)? You have gun barrel. BP seems to have used a weak completion practice, and I heard a piece of casing was set without lock down rings. This piece of casing was blown up into the blow out preventer assembly - which is the reason why the blind rams failed. So you got a pretty weird configuration now, a pinched casing string (pinched by multiple rams?), and a the remaining casing strings set below the wellhead. You can't even pump in liquid explosives into the well via the kill line, because the oil coming out blows it back out. Which means your experience completing land wells in Texas just won't do you any good.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #84
94. Good points, but..
Everyone is now off the manual on this one, and doing nothing will have the same effect as doing the worst possible thing. A deep explosion would disintegrate the bore, casings and all, and the pulverized matrix has a better chance of sealing the bore then any other method.


Right now the plan is to let it leak and siphon off enough to keep the well profitable. What is good for BP is not what is good for the Gulf region.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #94
99. They are not doing nothing
They are drilling two relief wells. As I mentioned earlier, it's not possible to have a deep explosion - they can't get inside the well. Anything they explode shallower than say 4000 feet below the sea floor would still allow the oil to escape, it'll cut itself right through the rocks because it has so much pressure. I guess you don't really get this point: the pulverized matrix doesn't have the strentgh nor density to hold the oil.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. Deleted message
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:31 PM
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calendargirl Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Sure, why not?
Insomuch as your user name is a reference to tapping into your Thomas Kinkadian artistic energy.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 02:05 AM
Response to Reply #23
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. I'll take his advice on sucking, as he has some documented experience in evaluating that approach,
but there seems to be some scientific opinion to the contrary as to whether that can be done effectively. In any case we don't need amateurs adding confusion to the mix. This is not a situation for politics.
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. True Dat!
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PacerLJ35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. I'd buy that...we can point fingers all day long after we fix the problem
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:35 PM
Response to Original message
20. Bill! Put down the cocktails and sober up before you speak in public.
Good lord!
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suzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #20
39. +1
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-28-10 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. This is an ignorant article.
Clinton does not "think" we should blow up the well.

What he is saying is that the oil industry has to be in charge of stopping it because the government does not have any capacity to participate or help in plugging it. And if the industry can not stop it then, and only then, the Navy will have to take over because they are the ones who will have the ability to deal with it if explosives are necessary. I will admit he didn't articulate his meaning as clearly as he usually does. Maybe he gives viewers too much credit. He should know better.

He also said the ramifications of using explosive (not nuclear) will have to be studied before that decision is taken.

Let the pile on continue...


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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. I think Bill was quite clear
"Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary".

He said what he meant to say. No explanatory interpretation required.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. There is quite a bit of rock cover between the mineral source and the ocean floor.
An explosive charge in between can collapse the bore hole and seal the well. This is a last ditch option and can seal a well.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #27
53. No it can't.
The bore hole is lined with steel casing. It won't collapse. Setting off an explosive charge will leave a crater with a steel pipe at the bottom - spewing more oil. If you want to learn more about the well layout, go to the BP website, click on Horizon response, go to the "Kent Wells technical briefings" section, look up the slide packs from last month. If you are not a petroleum engineer, the slide pack information may be over your head, but this may give you a glimpse of what's going on.
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denbot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #53
74. The steel casing would be destroyed during the blast/s
A large enough blast to collapse the surrounding rock would disintegrate the steel casing. The charge would originate inside of the casing (conduit). Bombs and shells are encased in steel, they definitely are destroyed during detonation.

A series of blast radiating upwards would create enough of a "rockfall" to seal a bore. The rock would have to be heavier then the well pressure, not difficult when you calculate the weight of rock.

I'm not saying this is a done deal, but it is looking like a last ditch effort is all we have left.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #74
80. Sorry, but that's not the way it works
There's no way to put a charge inside the steel casing at this time. The well is capped by a failed blow out preventer stack. IF there were a means to introduce anything into the well, then they could introduce a steel pipe to pump mud - and it's evident they aren't able to do that (and this is why they're drilling a relief well).

Second, there's no such thing as a "rockfall" inside an oil well flowing 50,000 Barrels per day. The oil will blow out anything inside the wellbore. The "rock" around the well is soft sediment, loose sand and mud. This means it won't fall as "rocks", an explosion will just stir up a huge plume of sand and mud, and it'll just murky up the water. I can go on and on, but I take it you never worked on an oil well? I have.

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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #22
29. I agree!
Basically Clinton was saying to all those who think Obama & the fFederal Government are not doing all they can because they could have the Navy take over...Just do not realize that BP is the only one who has the technology to stop this gusher...Short of the military blowing the thing up.

However, Clinton being long winded made it sound like that was a viable option which it is not!

Even a nuclear device could turn the huge gusher into multiple smaller gushers coming out in various places with no hope of ever stopping it, EVER! Like someone mentioned earlier the pressures down there are more than most folks can even comprehend! The pressures at the site the leak are huge just imagine what they are 2 miles under all that rock!

The most important thing right now is maintaining one leak site! There are already rumors of increased ground seepage near the well site! If the well is actually cracked and oil is coming up through the ground we are screwed!
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:25 AM
Response to Reply #22
33. thank you... he was pointing out the riduculousness of blowing up a spewing well
and saying that since the government--the ones everyone is crying to fly to the rescue and save them--does not have deep water drilling equipment, the equipment for dealing with this is owned by those who caused this and short of nationalizing BP and confiscating its assets--which would be a larger horror to most--right now, as of 6/29/10, we have to rely on those who caused this shit until such time as the goverment acquires the necessary equipment/personnel to stop an oil gusher.
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #22
56. LOL
Well, he's a lawyer. As we all know, all lawyers go to hell, and all engineers go to heaven. This is the reason why conditions in heaven are so good, and also stops God from suing the devil.
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Blandocyte Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
31. He just wants to see the totally awesome explosion and bitchen waves
I have much more in common w/Bill Clinton than with any other prez in my liftetime.
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
35. Gee, I wasn't aware he had a background in nuclear petroleum engineering!
What a talented guy!

:eyes:
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mikekohr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
36. Why Don't We Just Shove Rush Limbaugh's Fat Ass Down That Pipe?
nt
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
46. Because the oil would just shoot out his mouth and ears.
Joe the Plumbers head might work though.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #36
95. right on! I think that is the best solution
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
40. Big Dawg isn't an engineer and doesn't know what he is talking about.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. It is just basic physics. Enough rock and debris over top will close it.
It's the way God kept it under the ground for so long to begin with.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #43
47. Geology fail. (n/t)
:eyes:
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #43
102. Enough isn't enough
That oil was barely kept under the ground as it is. Think of it as a balloon ready to pop. BP stuck a pin and blew it out. This is sort of complicated, but if you were to dump rock and debris on it, the oil would just work its way through the rock and debris. If you throw a monster amount (say a pile big enough to make an artificial island on top of the well), then the sediments under the pile will compact, and this will lead to small earthquakes and faulting - and the oil will escape through the faults. So your solution could lead to a huge disaster, with a ring of faults surrounding your pile, through which the oil escapes in multiple seeps. The only good thing about this scenario is that eventually the oil would run out, in a few years, and we may see evolution take over, as new creatures evolve which can survive in oil contaminated sea water. Bacteria feed readily on the oil, so I imagine a huge oil supply for several years may lead to the evolution of giant oil gobbling bacteria, some of them could grow to be 10 foot wide, and may become the dominant species in the Gulf of Mexico. They could even become giant predators swallowing sharks and other hunter species, and eventually wiggle out of the water and invade our homes. This could even be used in "Hypermacrophage Britannicus", a new book by Stephen King.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. Yah it is obviously a horrible idea but I am having a hard time with
all the armchair experts who keep saying the BP strategy is the only path.
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snooper2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #43
106. ROFL
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:45 AM
Response to Reply #40
96. and you are? What is your solution then?
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #96
103. I am
The solution is to drill two relief wells, and do a bottom kill. This is being executed, the relief wells should be ready to kill the blow in 30 to 40 days.
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PfcHammer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:56 AM
Response to Original message
41. Speechifying is hard work. Big Macs and fries ftw.
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
48. Really, what could possibly go wrong? /nt
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
49. Bill's saying that blow-up is a last resort
The media is over-dramatizing his remarks. Pressure for BP to blow up the well BEFORE the relief wells get done is premature. Bill knows that--he's trying to be reassuring--ie. confident that we are going to stop the thing one way or the other.

This is a pretty good BP video explaining the current situation with the relief wells--details the technicalities very clearly:

http://bp.concerts.com/gom/reliefwellgraphics062710.htm

I am not pro-BP, but we have to give them a chance to do "bottom kill" at least. I believe they are doing it to give the best, most permanent kill. They DO want to shut down this thing, and they have from the beginning. But they were just not prepared for BOP failure. That's obvious. And all the other shortcuts are reprehensible. But at this point they DO want to shut this down as FAST as possible. BP technicians are believers in the relief well fix and know their best odds for any positives in this whole mess lie with these relief wells right now.

Bill's comments got distorted. It's in the media's interests to keep the story alive and the controversial blow-up scenario gets more attention than BP's slow progress on the wells. (BP's previous attempts to cap have not been reassuring, not to mention their cleanup and damage control fiascos...so the fact that they aren't trusted at this point is NO surprise).
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #49
55. Blowing up the well will never be an option
I don't think people get it. Blowing up the well just isn't an option. Period. The measure of last resort would be to drill three wells near the blowout well, in a triangular pattern, and pump water at high pressure to flood out the reservoir. Once the reservoir is flooded out, the blow out will blow water, not oil. And if the well can be loaded with water this way, then it's simple (but expensive) to load it with heavy brine. This assumes the two relief wells can't achieve the kill. What worries me is whether the geopressure gradient is so odd the use of high pressure pumping may fracture the top seal. I have heard some really odd comments about the area's geomechanic properties, so odd, I'm starting to believe this particular oil field may never be produced.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. I get what you're saying
and it makes sense to me, as u say, that blowing up the well is much cruder and less predictable--at this point a very far-fetched option.

How about this back-up plan--that BP is supposedly working on?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"...BP and government officials are now talking about a long-term containment plan to pump the oil to an existing platform should the relief well effort fail. While such a failure is considered highly unlikely, the contingency plan is the latest sign that with this most vexing of engineering challenges snuffing a gusher 5,000 feet down in the gulf nothing is a sure thing. -snip-

The backup plan would involve continuing to collect the oil through several systems at the wellhead and pumping it through a subsea pipeline to an existing production platform at least several miles away. Mr. Wells* said several platforms had been identified as possibilities, although no decisions had been made."

*Yes, it appears the guys name is "Mr. Wells"... :7
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #57
71. The name is Kent Wells
He is the BP engineer who gives the technical briefings. I visit their website and have seen the videos as well as the slide packs. Their backup plan wouldn't be a real backup because it would not control the well - if the platform receiving the oil has to shut down, then the oil has to be dumped in the ocean. If the relief well fails, then they can hook up to an existing facility, but they will also have to drill into the reservoir. Drilling into the reservoir is going to be very tricky because pressure will be down, but they won't know exactly where. But once they establish a well near the existing well, they can pump water and flood out the oil. The explosives option just isn't an option. People who bring it up just don't know anything about the actual conditions down there. Blowing it up is something Osama bin Laden would do.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #71
78. why would pressure be down?
and if you're trying to pump water, how long would you do that?
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #78
86. Why would pressure be down? Because...
The oil well has been producing oil for two months at very high rates. The flowing oil requires energy to move it from "out there" to the well itself. This induces a pressure drop. So one thing we know for sure is the pressure is down. I'd guess at least 500 psi. If you are trying to pump water to flood it out, the amount of water to be pumped depends on the thickness of the oil reservoir, and how close the injection well is to the blow out well. Say you set the injector as close as 20 feet, then the water should show up at the producer in a matter of days. If the injector is pumping in 100,000 B/D (and this would take some mighty pumps as well as a very large pipe diameter), then the water being pumped in should overwhelm the oil - or at least it should cut the amount of oil so much, then the top kill can be tried successfully, because a water column sure weighs a lot more than an oil & water column.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #55
90. You only need to drill one well to intercept the leaking well bore. nt
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #90
100. But in this case one well may not be enough
The area is fairly difficult to drill through. Two wells sure sounds a lot safer. I may have requested they do three, with the third going for an intercept of the oil reservoir so it can be flooded.
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
51. I'm thinking that even as greedy as bp is they aren't trying to make
this worse. Which is exactly what will happen.
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Bragi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
54. Bill, it's the Smart Peoples' Club on line 2
They want your membership card back.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
59. This is not helpful and it has been a RW solution for weeks
Unless Clinton has been told this is a reasonable, though last resort, idea by competent scientists, he should not be saying this. It leads to a false sense that Obama has not acted boldly enough ordering something like this.

As a non-scientist, this idea seems rather likely to make things worse. You open greater holes in the bedrock that had covered the gas and oil. Putting layers of debris on it would seem to leave open the possibility of oil and gas continuing to wind its way up through any paths in the debris.

It is almost like suggesting the best way to clean up a paper covered desk is to throw everything up in the air and hope that it comes down in neater more organized piles than when you started.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #59
62. Yeah I would like to know
why Bill said this in the first place--seems like he was trying to make the govt seem like it WOULD do something, if BP fails. But this attempt at being reassuring is not that to anyone who has an inkling of what they are actually dealing with down there.

Obama could try to counter this. But I guess psychologically speaking, false "positives" might be deemed more useful to the populace than hard, cold (highly technical) reality, after BP's monumental screw-ups. BP has a big credibility problem (duh).
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #59
63. Exactly - it's komplikated
The seafloor isn't all solid rock - it's mud and sand and sediment layers of varying degrees of consistency deposited over millions of years.

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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #59
97. Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner.
Bill Clinton, best Republican President we ever elected.

"I feel your pain. Why don't you just use a larger Brawny towel?"

LoL
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sfwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
65. I actually think this would work...
First, shaped charges are VERY accurate. We use them to detonate nuclear warheads where the tolerances are and shaping get measured in millimeters and microseconds.

Second, above the strata containing the oil field, there are hundreds of feet of rock, mud and what have you with this relatively narrow pipe coming up.

So the trick is to shape the charge in such a way that it crimps the pipe and earth but stops short of the dam. Hell, just bending the pipe reduced the flow by 20% we are told. You use the charge like a giant fist to pinch it closed over 40 feet of its length instantly, hundreds of feet above the oil bearing feature.

Think of these charges not as big uncontrolled explosions, but as generators of shockwave timed to collide on the pipe, closing it.

I wouldn't dismiss the idea out of hand.
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sfwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. Discussion here...
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #66
67. OK - you want to blow a MOAB or Daisy-cutter bomb in 5000ft of water
How about drilling another undersea test site (dry well) under comparable conditions and trying it out there first instead of just saying it will work fine first time on this gusher?

Another "what could possibly go wrong" scenario
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #67
104. Silly
Won't find comparable conditions unless you drill in 5000 feet of water. To get that done it would take several weeks. And we know it won't work. Oil wells are at best 16 inches in diameter. You can't shove a bomb into a 16 inch hole. And if you do, all you'll achieve is a crater with oil coming out in larger amounts. The idea is proposed by people who just don't get the physics involved.
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
68. Wouldn't the shock wave produce a tsunami?
I'm no physicist or anything like that. Far from it. But, we've seen what a sudden shift of a few inches of ocean floor does when it's really deep. It causes a tsunami. Blowing up the well may close it, but I'd worry that the shock wave would set off a tsunami that would drown every Gulf Coast city.

Can someone confirm or shoot this theory down?
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. see: WWII Project Seal: The Tsunami bomb experiments
they fizzled


'Project Seal, also called the Tsunami Bomb, was a top-secret wartime endeavor conducted in New Zealand during 1944-1945. This was at the time when the ALLIED AXIS was seeking a means to bring World War II to a quick and devastating end. Off the coast of Auckland (at Whangaparaoa) experiments took place, spawned by Auckland University Professor Thomas Leachs research, to create a tidal wave bomb that could be used on the island of Japan.

It has been reported that the U.S. Defense Department believed that the project and environmental weapon of mass destruction was considered as a possible option to the atomic bomb. But the potentially devastating weapon was not ready, even after some 4,000 test explosions; by the time the A-Bomb was perfected and ready to facilitate the end of the war.'



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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #69
89. Okay, thanks
I did not know that. Thanks!
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. nobody knows such things - welcome to the inner circle
shhhhhhhhhh
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
75. It worked for the moon.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
77. And then what?!
Does anyone think these things through?!
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Phoonzang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
79. Lava. Lots of molten rock should do it.
Now if we can only find a lava manufacture somewhere.
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Baclava Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #79
82. Nuke it from orbit - it's the only way to be sure


Where are the overlords? Shouldn't they be fixing this shit by now?
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Braulio Donating Member (860 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #79
88. Won't work.
The well is surrounded by cold water. This is a huge heat sink - the lava will be solid in minutes. And the oil will just blow right through the lava before it solidifies, even if you can dump enough. All you'll achieve is a slab of lava sitting on the sea floor, with a neat hole in the middle where the oil will continue to blow. you could even end up with more oil coming out at the edges of the lava field. These inventive solutions are neat to hear about, but they're not practical.
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Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #79
91. Say we just slant drill over and tap into that Icelandic volcano with a name nobody can pronounce
:shrug:
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #79
98. Sister Sarah would say, "Ship it in from Alas-ka"
LoL

The way she pronounces the name of that state kills me, like it is 2 words.
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SomeGuyInEagan Donating Member (872 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
83. Sigh ... Watch the clip - the entire clip - don't just read the headline.
He's not the idiot some here suggest.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-29-10 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
93. Face meet palm...hi palm let me hit you a few times for affect!
Better yet, someone que up the brick wall I think my palm might be too soft.
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