Another idea for plugging the hole in the Gulf in a relatively short time.
The drawings are of course not done to scale. They are conceptual.
I suspect that BP engineers are totally focused on using the existing blowout prevention machine that is not working as the main part of their fix. Consequently, their thinking is running along the lines of what the machine’s capacities and weaknesses are. This may prevent them from thinking ‘outside the blowout preventer,’ so to speak. There should be some engineers spending their time thinking of the problem as if there were no blowout preventer at all. Just an open pipe in a hole with lots of pressure spewing out hot oil and gas. How would you plug that?
I might plug it with a huge concrete and steel cap weight that had a perforated pipe extending from beneath it. The weight and its extending perforated pipe would be slowly lowered over the gusher hole. The perforated pipe would slide inside the gushing well pipe until the huge cap weight above was sitting on the ocean floor. Then cement could be pumped from the surface down a long pipe which would connect to the giant cap weight and its perforated pipe now sitting inside the well pipe. The cement would push down this pipe extension and out through the perforations to plug up the well pipe.
I wonder if this idea holds any merit at all. Perhaps the best part of the idea is for engineers to consider options outside of the blowout preventer.