We Need More Ideas!!

After this weekend’s disappointing news about Beyond Petroleum’s latest attempts to plug the well, we had some long conversations around the office about what BP is doing wrong.  While we’re amazed at their undersea robots and the things they can (and can’t) do, they obviously fall short in being able to complete the job.
Maybe they should have used NXT Mindstorms robots.  Or maybe BP should host a prize, like the Google Lunar X Prize, to cap the well (as much as Dexter Industries loves Louisiana, we don’t have the money . . . yet).  Beyond Petroleum is running out of ideas, and clearly the good folks who’s lives depend on the Gulf are running out of time.

Even we had some better ideas (IE, if we’re going to throw the sink at the problem, why don’t we line up the sinks we’re going to go in rapid succession . . . ie, as soon as the “Top Hat” fails, why isn’t the “Junk Shot” right there inline rather than two weeks away?).

So what are your ideas for plugging the well?  Comment it, and we’ll send it to President Obama and the president of BP, and give you credit.  Let’s hear some crazy ideas . . .

UPDATE:  We added a cool picture of a robot that BP put up on their website.  Pretty cool remote controlled robot.


  1. Anonymous June 1, 2010

    I used to eat bear claws, two at a time, and get 'em jammed RIGHT HERE!!! Why can't that work, eh?

  2. Dexter Industries June 1, 2010

    A really, really big bottle of Dawn soap.

  3. Gene Cole June 1, 2010

    Detonate a low-yield (20 Kt) nuke on or in the breach to fuse or close the hole. We already have data on the effects of an underwater nuclear explosion at a depth of 2000':


    Allegedly, the Soviets actually used this in the past:


  4. Anonymous June 1, 2010

    Capsize Guam over top of it as per Rep. Hank Johnson's suggestion . . .


  5. Tedro June 2, 2010

    My solution would be to take the Anointed-One and put him in the middle of the Gulf and have him part the seas so that we can put men on the ground that actually have a clue about how to fix this. His plan of yelling at people to "plug the damn hole" has failed miserably.

    This is truly a forum that will seek better solutions than anything our ignorant government can think of. I think Obama and Biden's next plan is to send McGruber… duck tape and chewing gum can fix anything.

  6. Common Snse June 2, 2010

    Why don't we collect all the copies of all the 2,000+ page bills passed by Congress this year and pile them up on top of the wellhead?

  7. John June 3, 2010

    More support for the nuclear option:


    From National Review . . . who seems to want to nuke everything these days . . .

  8. Henry Throop June 3, 2010

    Pumping the 'mud' down there appeared to be working fine. It didn't stop the flow permanently, but it did stave it off for the two days they were pumping — no oil came out then. Keep pumping the mud down, til the relief wells are drilled…

  9. Stephen June 3, 2010

    has anyone tryed duck tape?

  10. Stephen June 3, 2010

    I was really looking forward to seeing the thing set on fire… I volunteer to drop the match. I think that the government is going about this the entirely wrong way. They are looking for the most effective means of plugging the hole. Why? They are forgetting that we are Americans! In our modern manifestation we demand entertainment over anything else. I want to see something blow up or catch fire! With us going on ten years of conflict, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq just don’t have the entertainment value that they used to… I mean how many times can you watch an IED go off? The debate over health care has died down. None of us truly understand the economic crises well enough to really pay attention to it anymore. There have been no major riots lately, and peaceful protests just don’t grab my attention anymore. Now the large amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico is turning into old news! It is time for drastic action by the government and BP. If something does not blow up or catch on fire soon, the entire population of the United States of America may soon loose all interest in politics. Obama is stuck in a tough situation, for Bush all he had to do was ignore Katrina and it got exciting all on its own. Mr. President, I say take action… if not I will be forced to turn to the internet for entertainment… oh, wait…

  11. Roy June 3, 2010

    Let’s see a mile beneath the surface in sub freezing temperatures, a high rho*g*h, non-newtonian fluids didn’t help. Crystallized natural gas makes a cap buoyant. Pretty much screwed on this one.

    Why couldn’t they manufacture a clamp-on structure that would self seal around the pipe a few hundred feet below the break. The structure would contain various valves and some sort of drill that would penetrate the side of the pipe. In hopes of relieving pressure on the top.

    The structure we attached to the pipe will be connected to a holding vessel that could be raised to the surface when full. You wouldn’t need it for long. I imagine the pressure coming out of the pipe would be enough to maintain flow into the containment vessel.

    Meanwhile while the pressure is lowered on the top they could cap the pipe, or try a top-kill or something of that nature.

  12. Anonymous June 3, 2010

    To actually fix the problem: first drill relief holes in the pipe itself. to lower your pressure out of the top enough to cap it with a fitting and closed valve. Than clamp a collar around each of your holes that would have some sort of valve that you could slowly close. Equalize pressure through all of the valves. Then dump in your top kill drilling mud and cement while simultaneously closing/adjusting your collar valves. Done. Problem sovled. Give me a nobel prize and Al Gore's G4 because I did more to save the environment by solving this problem than he ever did. If only it were that simple.

  13. SBacon June 4, 2010

    put a balloon in the end of a tube, firmly affixed to the end of the tube, so that it can be inflated through the tube, put the end of the tube with the balloon in it in the hole, and inflate the balloon in the hole. when the balloon is inflated, pour concrete on the hole above the balloon, and in the tube filling the balloon, to seal off the hole. this means may require pressure relief, and this can be done by putting a pipe through a taurus shaped balloon, and closing the pipe off once the concrete has set.

  14. Anonymous June 8, 2010

    S Bacon's idea sounds like a reverse angioplastie (sic).

  15. Dexter Industries June 11, 2010

    Despite the progress, the well continues to leak. But another idea, non-nuclear, has emerged. Simple and sweet (as with any large ordinance explosion!) . . . this might work as well.


    "The Marine Corps’ most (in)famous technologist has a solution for the Gulf oil spill: Blow the crap out of it, with the Mother of All Bombs."

    "Deploying the GBU-43 MOAB — known as the “Massive Ordnance Air Burst” or “Mother of All Bombs” — would be “proven, safe and ‘green,’” Gayl tells our pal David Axe, of War Is Boring. The bomb consumes all its own fuel, after all. And it’s not a nuclear weapon, like the one the Russians allegedly used to shut down out-of-control wells. If there are no MOABs to be had, Gayl adds, a Vietnam-era Daisy Cutter will do just fine."

    "Either one … can be enclosed in a simple pressure shell, that is augmented with several tons of liquid oxygen canisters, and lowered to just a few meters above the leaking well head. An oxygen-enhanced MOAB or Daisy Cutter detonated at a water depth of 5,000 feet will indeed have an interesting effect on all the well-related plumbing and equipment that is above, at, and slightly below the sea floor…. The exploding MOAB or Daisy Cutter would have an incredible implosive-sealing effect on oil plumbing within the immediate vicinity of the detonation."

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