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May 30th, 2010
07:35 AM ET

Oil Spill Solutions: A "Smart Sponge" and Ordinary Peat Moss

"Top Kill," "Containment Dome," and "Junk Shot." None of those efforts by BP have stopped the oil leak in the Gulf. A lot of folks have offered their suggestions. Here's how two of them work:

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soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Margo Sena

    Both seem likely solutions; however, I think recovery of the oil would also be a consideration.

    Could you use a large, flexible hose (like a vacuum sweeper hose)
    to put over the flow and just fill up the tankers? It could be held in place by the submersibles at the bottom and use the flow of the oil rather than trying to stop the flow?

    May 30, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  2. WBurke

    These "solutions" along with the hay "solution" all have the same problems. First, the volume of media needed will be incredible as the volume of oil hitting the beaches is amazing. Second, the booms that are currently not being deployed in the trap fashion, which would make using these solutions harder to manage media reclamation. Third, how will much do these items cost per mile of boomed water? The scale of this spill has to be considered at all times.

    May 30, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  3. dieselpgh

    why are there not more people in gulf getting oil in ocean before it reaches the beach. once it reaches the beach, seems too late. i live in pgh, pa and im heart broken. why isnt our government doing more to make bp clean this up? i got an idea! fine them (bp) $1,000,000 every minute they dont start to clean up thier mess in ocean, marches, our wetlands, and beaches. How much is our gulf coast and gulf coast states worth? we cant expect a foreigner to really care about our country, this is our country, we r supposed to be biggest and best country in world, yet we cant help ourselves when it is really needed. america hasnt done anything or got anythign done since 1969 putting a man on the moon. i heard on cnn, that Bp has paid nearly 1 billion dollars so far, yes that sounds like alot of money to normal people, but for BP the 4th largest company in the world, who makes $500 million dollars a day, yes in 1 day, that is pennies. Bp will never really pay for all this, cause this will last decades, us the tax payers will end up paying for it, and these peopel will continue to get richer than most countries, raping the earth of its resources for pennies and selling it to us for prices that we cant afford. this is just insane. i cant belive it. i watch Bp and thier ceo coo in press conferences standing thier telling us stuff we want to hear, but they have no clue, they r great at sucking up all this earths resources and making enough money to buy some countries, but when things go wrong, when they ruin a region of a country, they come to the table and happily say they will pay for the mess. this is pennies what they paid and will pay. have u ever haed $200 dollars and had to buy a pack of gum? well Bp has the $200, and they need to buy us a pack of. it will not effect them at all. they will have to pay out maybe a weeks worth of money. then its business as usual. why dont they give back 50% of all money they sucked up of our oil, and give it to our country to really fix itself? not to the govt. but to local and state people who will really fix and do what is needed.

    May 30, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  4. scott

    There are too many people making sure they don't over-commit to this financially and PR-wise. That is, BP doesn't want to set a precedent by paying for ANY experimental solution to the clean up and the feds are merely looking at this through a political lens. There is no other explanation for this obstructionist, nonsensical, "response." If Obama doesn't produce on this, his credibility as an innovative leader of the people, committed to stand up to Big Business, will crumble. He has carried a big stick in his political battles so he had better do the same on this bona fide crisis.

    May 30, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    The best way to completly stop the oil flow until the relief well can be drilled is to inject a slow constant flow of liquid nitrogen into the blow out tower and freez the oil solid like a pop cycle .

    May 30, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  6. Radd

    Containment dome, I learned was not a successful solution. This, I surmised, is because the dome will be in constant vibratory motion or swaying up and then down, and up again due to hydraulic forces. I propose that an inverted dome be used, somewhat similar to an umbrella, without the long handle. It should be vertically plowed in to the welll, which must be prepared by creating a crater around it. The top of the umbrella will have screw like protrudes, that will burrow to the bed as it is turned by undersea current or even turned by ROV /equipment. The inverted dome external sheet layers is of steel ers, with concrete, sandwich in between. The concrete made "heavy" by steel aggregates. The "umbrella" ( about 10 to 12 m. diam ) can also be weigthed further by steel cubes and balls, or cement grout at succeeding stage. The ribs are steel pipes which be used as taps for catching oil and gas. Alternate ribs(every 2nd rib), will be for inserting or connecting legs for the umbrella to make it stand as full inverted dome. Smaller umbrellas can sorround the big one as the need so dictate by trials or by studies. I can submit sketches if email where to submit is furnish to me. ( This is a new problem, so pardon the poorly worded descriptions).

    May 30, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  7. ZWilson

    I am a former reservoir engineer for several major oil companies. I have managed drilling projects and designed downhole equipment to control the flow of oil from underground. I told all my friends and sent Rick a blog on the 27th, saying that top kill would not work and that we need vacuum trucks on barges and tankers. Now I say let get some subsea welders to investigate the piping and see if a patch or connection can be added to the BOP. Its all about cleanup and protection. The well will be under control until the backup wells are drilled and completed. I heard James Carville say that the well will take until Oct. This is not true, BP is probably correct on this one. It will take about 40-50 days to drill these wells. Also, get BP to give a copy of the wellbore diagram with bottom hole pressures. A oil and gas analysis would be good, it tell why workers are getting sick. The oil or gas may contain H2S which is deadly. With this kind of data educated engineers can see the problems and find a solution. If you are interested in finding out what happened, start with the "mud" company and the mud engineer on duty and the BP drilling supervisor. This well was lost when they pulled pipe out of the hole with circulating long enough. They did not realize that the well was flowing back at them and the mud weight was not high enough.

    May 30, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  8. Kamran Sarmadi

    The equipment is in place for the "Top Kill" operation, which has been unsuccessful. The same equipment can be used to pump sea water into the BOP (instead of mud) to stop or reduce flow of oil while more permanent solutions are being implemented. There is endless supply of ocean water so this operation can go on indefinitely while engineers are figuring out solutions.

    May 30, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  9. Tom Barker

    We are all weeping about the Gulf disaster and I think it would be very helpful to use WEEP as the acronym to tell the story. There are Well related stories, Environment cleanup stories, Employment related stories and Political, Physiology, and Paying for it stories.

    I see the reporters that are trying to extract this story getting the separate aspects of the story confused. Yes one aspect feeds the next but we can and should be addressing each aspect separately. BP and Adm. Thad Allen seen to be focused on the ‘Well’ sealing aspects. The ‘Environmental’ aspects need to be addressed and they probably should be addressed by federal actions and that is where the ex-Shell guy is focused. ‘What will the people of the gulf do for jobs?’ and if the jobs are ‘cleanup’ how will the ‘Employees’ be kept safe. But not everyone will be or can be shovel wheeling labor and how do they get to be employed? Dealing with a massive unemployment problem is probably a problem for the state. The “Politics”, the leadership, the going after BP’s checkbook; are aspects of the problem that span all three levels of government but things that should focus the interest of your political commentators.

    I think the story coverage would be clearer to the public if everyone dealt with one aspect of the story at a time. For example, the ex-Shell guy on Candy Crowley today may know more about wells than any reporter but he is not a driller and Crowley diluted his value by asking for opinions about things that require technical knowledge of BP’s well while she seemed to lose his message about environmental cleanup.

    Splitting the problem would not only make the storytelling better it might lead the leaders to also split the problem and then we might see teams focused on each aspect.

    May 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  10. gremlin

    why not take the guy who does the moss to soak up oil out to a beach with oil and let him try it. this mite be fun if it works to get a few on board to use his product befor the storms hit.

    May 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  11. Gary Burgess

    CNN is engaging in fear mongering! It is also fanning the flames of anger for the people in the Gulf States. Do you really think BP does not want to stop the leak? What would their reasons for dragging their feet when every day costs them millions and millions of dollars? The last big oil spill in Mexico last year took TEN MONTHS to cap and clean up. You don't hear CNN talking about that spill do you? Is it a catastrophe? YES! Does it deserve the news media attention? DEFINITELY! It does not need to continue to do stories about the anger that the people of the gulf have. Frustration breeds anger. Anger breeds violence. It is so easy to make BP the monster because let's face it, everyone resents their profits. If the people of the gulf would like, I am sure BP can find somewhere else to drill. A region that suffers from a loss in employment and income needs to think about their responses because they just may get what they wish for.

    May 31, 2010 at 6:46 am |
  12. Justin

    Simple solution. Stop the flow. This is a temporary fix but it will work. Use an industrial airbag. Firefighters use them to raise cars. Plumbers use them to pressure up pipes for code inspection. Use something to fill the pipe if you want to clog a toilet don't hope trash and golf balls create a clog, use a ballon and fill it!

    May 31, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  13. Ronald Rutledge

    Why don't they use hydrolic jacks to squeeze the pipe closed like bending a garden hose. 2nd I was a machinist for 17 years why don't we machine a large tap with an open vauve on it and then thread it into the pipe. Because it would cut it's way in by threading it and then once it's in place close the vauve that is built onto the tap into the tap and turn off the pressure and an underwater sub could turn it off. If that don't work wedge a tree in it.

    May 31, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  14. Barry - Ashburn, VA

    CNN has reported that Tom Kill was a bust. BP says didn't work and they need to go on to something else. But didn't we see on the live shots of the oil escaping that the color changed from black to yellow while they were pumping drilling mud? The volume of drilling mud coming out of the pipe appeared to be blocking the oil. Continuing to pump mud until the relief wells finally permanently plug the well might be an effective way to stop or educe the oil entering the Gulf.

    We learned, from BP's estimate of how much oil was escaping into the Gulf being too low, that BP press releases needed to be challenged by investigative reporters. Could CNN have been too quick to accept BP's press release on Top Kill's interpretation of failure? Why didn't a reporter ask about why they didn't just keep pumping drilling mud?

    May 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm |
  15. B.BRYANT

    The only quick reliable fix is to bury the oil,6 feet slabs of steel weighing tons,droped on top until buried,plugged,stopped for ever,no more leak,oil back into the bottom floor of the sea,just that simple.

    May 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  16. leniuk

    why are the relief wells intersecting the main well so deep ?
    They could have relieved pressure by intercepting the main well at 2or 3,000ft below the sea bed and saved time .

    May 31, 2010 at 2:19 pm |
  17. Pops Rose in Oregon

    I sincerely hope our Government take steps to eleminate the $$ cap that BP has to pay. Point is, "when the first hurricane picks-up water in the gulf or East Coast, OIL/RAIN will cover crops, homes and roadways". This disaster is in it's first stages. Next there will be claims from foreign-shores to the U.S.
    NOW is the time to get our-ducks-lined-up.....

    May 31, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  18. rocco

    wse the bigest pipe u have light weight 10 ft round or bigger lower down over oil pipe let the oil float to surface on its own then pump it into ships

    May 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  19. bobby

    There are minds much brighter than mine dealing with this oil spill issue, but have they thought about using airbags to inflate and block or reduce the flow of the oil in the well. Airbags are used every day to lift heavy equipment, buildings and in automobiles that inflate instantly. They can use a small chemical charge to inflate the sealed bags. I only know that where I live whenever a car break down in a tunnel during rush hour it takes no time at all to backup and block all the traffic.

    May 31, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  20. rick

    i have tried for the last 25 days to get the word out"wood shavings make a very, very,good absorbent 100 cu.yd. tractor trailer loads can be delivered to ports on the gulf, off-loaded onto barges of all sizes,equipped with clamshell buckets, the barges will take the wood chips/shavings to the oil slick or possibly pull along side a containment boom, drop the shavings onto the oil,when the ship is unloaded it will return to the point where the first shavings were dropped,then pick 'um up and haul the oil saturated MESS TO A DIFFERENT PORT and unload them onto haz mat tractor-trailers which would transport them to a waste to energy incinerator there are PLENTY of mills around the gulf coast area that prodoce shavings only!!! i implor everone to get the word across to the elected officals BP will Pay or their assets will be frozen"thank u now geterdone

    May 31, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
  21. Scott Devers

    Why is BP not letting this company atleast TRY the "smart sponge." It sounds like it can't hurt anything if it does not work. If it is a matter of money, then why does'nt the government step in and use part of the money that was allocated for saving the economy to pay what ever the cost is so they can try the "smart sponge." The US government has not spent all of the 760+ billion dollars allocated and yet, and it would fall under the pretense of helping the US economy. Paying a US company to use their product to clean up this mess, as best they can, should help the economy as well as, I would guess, create some jobs!! The government can always get their money back from BP at a later date. Lord knows they get it back from the citizens of this great country at some point, NO MATTER WHAT!!

    June 1, 2010 at 3:51 am |
  22. L

    I'm laughing because everyone is mad on either side and BP is trying to solve it and save their oil too. Blow that off, let's cap the sucker. Two or three tankers full of rocks, drop on hole, end of story. (Too simple?)

    June 1, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  23. Gary Burgess

    Are you saying this company can't find an area of the gulf that has oil and try to use "smart sponge"? The problem is, the company wants a guanranteed contract before they use it. the key word being GUARANTEED. If the product works, then any township, parrish, county or state can purchase the "smart sponge" use it on their lands and require BP to pay for it. Why do you think this isn't happening?

    June 1, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  24. Joe

    Gary, you may be underinformed about how this process works. BP currently controls anyone and everyone who has access to the oil on the water. If you don't have a contract (guaranteed or not) with BP do perform cleanup, you are not allowed anywhere near the oily water, beaches, or marshlands. Product manufacturers do not contract with BP, only companies actually performing the cleanup.

    Second, if BP was interested in stopping the leak as urgently as they say, why did they wait 30 days to actually attempt a technique to stop the leak (top kill)? Why was the first attempt to use a structure that would collect the oil and bring it to the surface? And why did they wait weeks before attempting the "top kill" even after their first attempt failed? Why did BP and Admiral Allen tell the public on Thursday/Friday that the "top kill" had worked, when in fact it was failing? Why did BP bus in over 400 people just for the President's visit to LA? Why is there such little truth being conveyed to the American Public over this catastrophe?

    A great analogy for this situation: Why is the murderer conducting the investigation? BP's agenda since the explosion does not meet the best interests of the American People.

    June 1, 2010 at 11:22 am |
  25. MR.AL

    BP when and what is the cure do they know? They have killed enough!! Now they say August before the new well is drilled? Can we believe them, do you trust them? It's now Hurricane Season what is going to happen? Does BP care how mutch DAMAGE they have caused?

    June 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
  26. Eric Estergren

    It appears to me that the american people are being suckered here, lets face it oil is somewhat easy to clean from a beach but are we truly being asked to believe that our marsh lands can be cleaned of oil ? Also today President Obama stated that MMA has been corrupt for sometime, on which ex presidents watch did this happen and why are they not being held accountable? I would like to know what exactly does corrupt mean aka what did they do that our present President calls them corrupt and how did they do it ?
    And if we can identify corruption with MMA are we looking at filing criminal charges because the oil companies need to be held accountable but so does any corrupt state or federal workers that allowed these oil companies to get away with violating safety and EPA regualtions. I think the American people need to stand up and take care of our country and natural resources and stop trusting big business and supposed trusted politicians to take care of these issues for us. If the last 45 days have told us anything its that BP is untrustworthy and that our elected federal officials are almost as bad.

    June 1, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  27. Fred Gilmer

    FULL BORE BLOCK VALVE – There is a flange connecting the BOP to the broken pipe where the oil is leaking. I assume this flange was bolted up by the ROV's. I know that full bore ball valves are manufactured in many sizes. I know it sounds simple but why not unbolt the flange, remove the top pipe that is damaged and install an open full bore ball valve. This would allow the spilling oil to go through the valve as it was installed. Then close the valve. At this point the flow would stop and there should be no leakage. When open the valve would appear to drilling tools as a short pipe spool.

    June 1, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  28. Yoda from Kinder,La

    Slow further damage of Marshlands by Dredging berms in front the marsh like walls!
    Fund age from world stars and Homeland entrepreneurs that need to be aware! This is likely a world Problem! Your ideas and funds will be addressed by screened techs or specialist that are listening.

    June 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  29. Yoda from Kinder,La

    let the oil float its harder to deal with under the gulfs surface!

    June 1, 2010 at 10:12 pm |
  30. Yoda from Kinder,La

    Make peat Moss bells to accompany booms!

    June 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  31. Yoda from Kinder,La

    Drill in a enormous check valve into ground Zero at 45 degrees or greater! Do something the world is watching!

    June 1, 2010 at 10:18 pm |

    "BP" said it has spent a billion, well they(BP) have the best 'BEAN-COUNTERS money can BUY..... How about a cost sheet (how much of that has been on just the rig cost) as to where "BP"'s money has gone, how about some clarity for once.....

    June 2, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  33. Duane

    Just saw the CNN report "Where does the waste go?".
    Some goes to land fills.
    BP problem, BP land fills, in their back yard?!
    There was a comment over the weekend about the CEO wanting his life back, lets ship him the oil waste....

    June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  34. Joakim N

    What about constructing four walls by lowering concrete or steel panels around the perimeter of the well... I figure it would be the size of a room 10 by 10 or 12 by 12, or whatever size BP thinks appropriate...then once the walls are in place, lower a concrete top with a hole and attached pipe to allow recovery at the surface.

    This will not be perfect, but likely a huge improvement over the current uncontrolled spewing pipe. Then while this effort is on-going, continue to drill the intercepting relief valves, which seem like the most likely permanent solution to the problem.

    June 2, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  35. gary teeter

    i'm just a disabled land oilfield worker but why don't they cut off the caseing and drill pipe and go in with a overshot and pump weighted mud down the drill pipe and kill the well,set a plug and start over?

    June 2, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  36. Colotopian

    Lower a cinderblock, or otherwise ceramic, cylinder to surround the BOP. Above it, lower a crucible, capable of opening at it's base, filled with iron oxide and aluminum in a volume large enough to fill the cylinder with iron after a thermite reaction between the two substances.  Ignite a thermite reaction in the crucible and over the open cylinder, opening the base of the crucible and filling the cylinder with molten iron.  Entomb the BOP in iron; sealing off any and all opertunities for leaks.

    June 3, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  37. Dennis Brennan


    With all due respect it is a gulf not an ocean.
    For the sake of accuracy the pipe is at the floor
    of the gulf not the floor of the ocean.


    Dennis Brennan

    June 3, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  38. Eric Husser

    I agree with Mr. Fred Gilmer. There is a flanged connection at top of the well head. I think BP Oil needs to explain why they are going through various motions of making a number of "CUTS" on the pipe with so called diamond chain saws, and other very intensive procedures that have continually failed.
    Particularly, when the videos are showing a bolted flange just below the 'cut', that should be far easier to unbolt and be replaced with a new flanged valve system with flexible piping that could stop the escape of the oil altogether. I find it very curious why nothing has been said or indicated as to why this was not part of BP's discussion on ending this catastrophe.
    Having watched this fiasco from the beginning, I am becoming convinced our federal government is furthering the crisis through secret deals with foreign oil companies that will result in future oil prices that will guarantee extreme profits while possibly bankrupting this country. I also believe BP Oil is doing everything it can to spend as little as possible to end this disaster, while making every effort to save this well for continued production of oil.

    June 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  39. Richard

    Instead of cutting the pipe (riser) why didn't they just cut the bolts on the flange just below where they cut the pipe. Then they could lower a pipe with a new flange on it and bolt it to the flange on top of the BOP.

    This idea is nothing new. It is more of a simple common sense approach.

    June 3, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  40. James Craft

    Dear Mike Glantos. Do you really think BP cares at all about the spill? The only thing they care about is "PROFITS". They will do anything to get the most profit as possible .No matter what dammage they do. Let me remind you about the "EXXON VALDEZ". 11 million gallons spilled in ALASKA. It is still comming up around the area. But the judge in the case lowered the settlement from 2.0 billion dollars to 500 million. When the judge will do things like that do you really think they give a d**n about the clean up? It is going to be a long road to clean up the area. I hope that someone watches the clean up. BP needs to clean up everything. Keep a close eye on them. Get some professionals. Lots of samples and testing for the next 10-25 years.

    June 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  41. Randy Smitha

    I believe the containment idea will work. However, since the turbulence and pressure of the oil gushing out of the pipe make it next to impossible to neatly be placed on top of the oil leak then a modification needs to be made as follows. If we can assemble a containment device attached to a pipe or a non-collapsible hose of some sort which goes to the surface I think we are off to a good start (This part is not my idea and I think this is the assembly that was just attempted to be put in place). However, the pressure of the gushing oil is too great and does not allow the containment to be placed on top of the leak (which should not have been a surprise to anyone). So the next step is to go ahead and connect the pipe to a tanker that has a pump with a high suction capacity. Now lower the containment as close as possible to the leak and then turn on the pumps to take a suction on the oil gushing out from a distance and then try to lower it on top of the leak and into place. Increase the suction on the containment device as necessary to allow it to be lowered onto the leak or to allow it to suction itself to the leak. If this still does not work, make the containment device bigger until it does work. Once in place we can work from there on making the fit as tight as possible, while harvesting as much oil as possible and salvaging our planet as much as possible. Worst case scenario, we end up making a concrete containment that is bigger than desired ( ie. 20ftX20ftX20ft) to lower over the top with the same hook up features and using the same technique with the suction pumps on. If you are reading this please tell us why this wont work. At the very least we can cut the amount of oil spillage down by at least half while still drilling the relief wells. and meanwhile this oil can be harvested using oil separating techniques which I know we have. If BP is looking for ideas, please get this one to them. I think this would be an improvement over letting all the oil go into our oceans while waiting for the perfect idea to surface.

    June 3, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
  42. Carlos

    I read that the diamond saw was unable to cut the pipe because they couldn't apply enough forward pressure because the pipe wasn't solid enough to push against to cut.

    Since they already have those tools, why not try again but instead of pushing the saw wire against the the saw all the way and recut the pipe but this time pulling the saw wire into the closed position. This way the pressure is applied as the pipe is pulled against the cutter instead of pushing the pipe away from the cutter.

    June 4, 2010 at 2:49 am |
  43. Mike Higgins

    The well is a metal tube and it is summounted by a big metal "tree" box. A good-sized thermite bomb placed just right might melt all that metal to plug the well.

    June 4, 2010 at 2:50 am |
  44. morel gallant

    for the oil spil you have to put an iorn screen on the pipe before droping the mud and ciment morel gallant from montréal

    June 4, 2010 at 5:27 am |
  45. Dan Shores

    I have not heard much about the PRB oil spunge material and it's consideration for use. It would seem using a natural product, in this case honey comb material, that does not need to be cleaned up is the way to go. Letting natural bacteria eat the oil & PRB is nearly a miricle. The peat moss seems good too in cases where it can be cleaned up, there is use for many approches.

    I also wonder why they did not remove the bolts clearly seen on the top of the blow out preventer and replace the Top Pipe with one that has a shutoff valve. The top hat seems to be Micky Mouse at best.

    Keep up the good work!

    June 4, 2010 at 6:32 am |
  46. richard kennedy

    Treat the oil plume like fireplace smoke going up the chimney. With a mile long sort of sock open at the toe, secure it around the gush and the oil will rise to the top where it can be slurped off by tankers, etc.

    June 4, 2010 at 11:14 am |
  47. Chris

    Many suggestions have been made regarding products to absorb the oil, such as hair, peatmoss, etc. How about clumping kitty litter? I tried this on a small scale, filling a jar with water and pouring motor oil on top of the water. I added cat litter, which immediately pushed the oil to the bottom of the water and sucked up the oil, forming a large clump. If this product could be sprayed across the oil slick it might keep the oil from reaching the beaches or, at least, make it easier to clean up after it reaches land (or from shallow water). I realize it would take tons of the product, but anything is worth a try at this point.,

    June 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  48. donald lebrun

    Hi (Top split flange valve ) it fits over the flange that is at the end once secured you meerly shut the top valve and stop the flow the u can attache the pipe to the surface. there is more but its a little lenghty

    June 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  49. Mark

    oil spill solution with the ydraulic flush... like when your swimming poll pipe are clogged... in this case itz's the reverse... inflating the rubber ball... it will clog the pipe

    June 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  50. Dave Hatch

    How to cap the runaway well in the Gulf.
    Looking at the so called "riser" that was cut with a saw, I noticed a flange just below the cut. This flange has been in all video of the oil leak. I recommend unbolting the top flange from the bottom flange. Remove the top flange. This will expose a flat, machined surface on the bottom flange, and possibly a seal feature. Fabricate a plug flange assembly consisting of section of pipe with a welded top and a mating flange to couple up with the existing bottom flange. This will make a cap stop the leak. Move the cap plug flange beside the bottom flange and push a bolt through the top flange and the bottom flange and fasten a nut on the through bolt loosely. Then rotate the top plug cap over the bottom flange. The bolt will hold the two flanges in alignment so all the remaining bolts can be fastened and seal both flanges. Finally, tighten all bolts. Red Adair used this method to cap the runaway oil wells during the Gulf War.
    Dave Hatch, Sarasota, FL

    June 5, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  51. George Wilson

    a combination of textured vegetable protein and vital wheat gluten near the shore line could absorb the oil and be carted away before coming ashore

    June 6, 2010 at 5:23 am |
  52. steve dias

    drop a 12 foot diameter by 40 foot steel pipe which would have a flat flange having a 15 foot downward point welded to it around its square perimeter to stabilize the first section dropped over the present weld pipe stub. This diameter pipe would be constructed with an interlock to accept the second section and then onto the oceans water this time and as the pipes are being set the admitting oil from the well could be sucked after a couple hundred feet of the sections are set...once the pipe reaches water surface....barges and cables could also go around the pipe to stabilize it like and oil platform...then the super pumpers would pump oil and water out of the cofferdam. Once the water is pumped out only the water will be flowing into the pipe....taking time to reach the surface at which time solid concrete could be pumped into the cofferdam making a solid cap.

    June 6, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  53. Bob James

    The goverment is dropping the ball by letting those who caused the problem come up with a solution to stopping the problem. BP is too biased to come up with the best solution. Every option they have explored is to try to find a way to keep the oil flowing so they can start making money again. The comments that have been made have offered great ideas on stopping the flow but BP is no thinking that way. They want to keep the flow going so they can sell the oil.

    As an engineer my solution would be to set explosive charges to pinch off the flow. The Navy could have done this the first day. Obama needs to take some leadership and take over the operation and have BP pay the bill.

    June 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm |