BP Oil Leak: Back Up Plan if Top Kill Fails

Lani Shadduck's picture

The back up to the back up plan in BP’s continuing oil leak touts the name "top kill," and promises to be serious business - that is, if it works. However, if the plan, which involves placing heavy fluids over the leak, fails, the oil giant is preparing yet another backup plan scheduled for sometime next week.

London-based BP’s handling of the Deepwater Horizon’s explosion and subsequent oil flood is beginning to resemble a cross between “Groundhog Day” and a Shakespearean tragedy. Multiple attempts to seal the leak have only led further speculation that the company, in fact has no idea what it is doing; and it’s bumbling around has only brought more damage than not.

The top kill method certainly resembles a glass-is-half-very-full effort. It essentially involves using a manufactured fluid known as drilling mud to plug up the leak. Two vessels containing 50,000 barrels of the mud will pump the mud into a pipe that will extends down almost to the seafloor. From there, the fluid will split off into two flexible hoses that connects to a manifold, which is supposed to regulate the mud flow into the well.

According to BP spokesman John Curry, “[The drilling mud] is heavier than the oil and the gas. The objective is to put it into the well so it will reduce the pressure and flow from the well.”

BP Oil Leak Threatens Coast, Wildlife

The worst oil spill in history, is turning into a PR nightmare for both the Obama administration, and BP. While Obama calls for further oversight and threatens to take over BP’s muted efforts to contain the spill (even sending Interior Secretary Ken Salazar over to express his anger), BP remains obstinate revealing little and refusing to comply to the administration’s exasperated requests.

BP asserts that it alone has the expertise and know-how to deal with the spill. It has refused to stop using toxic chemical dispersants claiming that the chemical is the least toxic and dangerous. While true, the sheer amount of dispersant being used currently has never been tested. Furthermore, because BP and its rig belongs to the private sector, the government really cannot step in. BP has even managed to ban journalists with help from local sheriffs from a wildlife refugee in Louisiana.

The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is what next? The “top kill” method seems to be yet another, make it up as we go shot in the dark. Not to worry, however, BP already has a Plan B. It will implement what is called a “junk shot” – essentially shooting all manner of junk (think golf balls, tires and rope) into the leak and then sealing it all up with cement.

Whatever, the next step is, new efforts to save the fragile ecosystem and wildlife ought to be first and foremost. The oil slick has already reached the coastal marshlands in Louisiana. Images of oil-soaked wildlife have begun to emerge, will continue for a long time. The true environmental impact of the spill will not be truly realized for years and perhaps it’s too late to reverse everlasting damage.

Written by Lani Shadduck


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
It's good the marshlands are taking a hit because they absorb due to the cubic volume in plant roots, a vert amount of oil that would have otherwise gone to the south east or the beaches of Louisiana. Sure it's an economic nightmare for those there. But between that and the beaches...you make the call. Oil will soon cease to be a transportation fuel for land vehicles progressivley due to advances with biotechnology nanotechnology and resources of natural gas...solar cells and fuel cells brought to be affordable with nano tech, and super capacitors plus enhanced battery tech along with a progression toward nuclear fission and then on to fusion...will mean that humanity or at least the developed countries, including the us, will be off fossil fuels completely by mid. Century...however the road there is full of many perils, not to mention resour e wars, energy price hikes, and government regulation that forces renewable adoption now, when such tech will soon be obsolete in only fi e years time due to nanotechnology. A cap and trade bill would be devastating economically yet provide only a very small xerease in co2 levels that even if you believe gw is man caused would do very little to prevent ninety five percent of theca detriment. Y only about a fraction of a degree, but most of the damage happens in the first degree or two of inrease, any more increase u get diminishing returns. More important to environmental impact will be hidden and poorly understood effects of toxins, such as the chemical dispersants used by bp and oil spill not to mention n phosphorus depletion in the soil later on in the 21st century, which are all not being put sufficient attention due to the co2 hysteria, that although may be warranted, exaggerates at the expense e o more pressing eniromentral problems. So although we will have higher standards of living at the turn of the century I predict duet new energy technologies that not only produce electricity but water as bioproduxts and higher. Rop yields, I do believe we would have suffered environmental degradation, perhaps reversed over course of a century by what I predict will be self aware machines in the industrialized world . We will get all o our energy w with the tehnologoes just mentioned and nulear fusion, and a ll our resoures for industry, minerals from asteroids thte will be less expensie two mine ..after all blow ng up an asteroid is muh more acceptable than a mountain on earth...once cheap access to space becomes a reality with scramjet tech anc later space elevator tech. If there is a gep phase for either energy or resoures, a launh loop or project orion can be assembled last minute to save our ass due to cheap access to space and space based solar power which is currently all within our tech capability but is highly ontroversial...each of those options but I am owanfident we will. Use them wif we are in a bind. It will be great rap this ewntury, but I predate s nuclear skirmish and a slow shift of the economy anchor oc the world from the west to aasia, with increased unrest and civil strife in the western world due to demsoagraphi m igrations and shfts of wealth, along with problems in the middle east, India, and afira....I predict a deflation in chinas growth this decade, perhaps even political upheaval and civil serif as well as an economic collapse globally, But despite the naysayers, i dot believe the end will be nigh, only new beginnings and later greater prosperity.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
what you sould do is to make a lid for the pump and then put a pump in the pump so that the oil well come back down and go back to its orginal place.the pump thats in the pump leave an opening so that it well flow back into its place.this is just my idea of how it could stop but it might not work.i hope you get this message and read it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
what you sould do is to make a lid for the pump and then put a pump in the pump so that the oil well come back down and go back to its orginal place.the pump thats in the pump leave an opening so that it well flow back into its place.this is just my idea of how it could stop but it might not work.i hope you get this message and read it.

Submitted by james giles (not verified) on
You should force a long pipe in the well with a type of balloon with strong material, something like what the used at NASA to land the mars rover, Get i fare enough in then quickly inflate the balloon like material to stop leak for some time then quickly fill in the well.

Submitted by Luc Gauthier (not verified) on
Nail it or screw it , 4 inch bigger than the hole , use circular tube and as soon you put it in the hole, fiiled up the tube with send....

Submitted by jason kerr (not verified) on
the idea i have is the same idea that when a engine freeze plug blows out they should take a piece of hard rubber that is soft enough to expand out drill a hole put a bolt and nut through it and tighten it it will sqeeze out and stop the leak

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
pipe down meltable substances and then fuse it shut with a long phosphorus welding torch Just like coterizing a wound only the differance is this wound just happens to be i the ocean floor.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The large steel conically topped structures seemed to hit the mark. The problem with the freezing at depth could be solved by welding controllable heating elements around the conical top of the structure. With a Long flexible hose attached the freezing should stop and since heat rises; Will cause a steady, controlled flow of gas and crude oil to the surface for collection.

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