Tuesday, June 08, 2010

How to plug the damn hole

This oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is, to say the least, horrendous. The environmental impact to wildlife and the coastal ecosystem is sure to last for decades to come, not to mention the economic impact on coastal residents. We're now approaching Day 50, and oil continues to spew into the ocean, so here's my inexpert, wholly uninformed idea on how to stop it.

First, construct a form and drop it so that it surrounds the wellhead (or whatever it's called). This would need to be a little bit higher than the "plumbing" from which the oil is now pouring.

Next, lower a pipe roughly the same diameter as the size of the leak directly over the opening, and just start dumping dry concrete inside the form until it completely fills the form. Yes, concrete will set underwater.

Let the tankers queue up to capture the oil.

Obviously this is an over-simplification of what would be needed, but seriously...how difficult would it be?


Rita Hennessey said...

Eric, the EPA is taking ideas and submissions for technology solutions from the public: http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/techsolution.html

I think you should submit your idea!


Eric said...

Thanks Rita! The EPA site is looking for clean-up solutions, but it directs you to this site for capping and containing:

I submitted it...who knows?

Anonymous said...

Oh Eric, I would love a booze up with you, you must be a laugh a minute.

When I look at the photo, with the Stein jar nearly covering your rugged looks, can't help imagining your solution is a bit like Homer Simpson sitting at MOs bar, helping to stop a nuclear meltdown at the plant.