BP Oil Spill Live Feed, New Live Oil Spill Feed Bypasses BP Site

BP Oil Spill Live Feed, New Live Oil Spill Feed Bypasses BP Site

At around 11:30 am this morning (Wednesday, May 26th), BP cut off their live oil spill feed due to the launching of the procedure they called Top Kill.

Apparently, BP didn’t want the public watching the procedure as it happened – in case things didn’t go as planned and / or they wanted to avoid the press (and bloggers) critiquing something they have absolutely no idea about. So BP just cut off the live oil spill feed altogether.

New BP Oil Spill Live Feed Emerges

So somehow PBS has obtained a BP live feed of the oil spill and actually has put together an iFrame code that you can embed into your site to watch it live.

Here is the new live video feed, embedded into this article thanks to

For some reason this BP live oil spill feed looks totally different than the one that was streaming from BP’s own live oil spill page early today (the one that BP cut off).

The one from the BP website looked like the petroleum was all shooting out of once pipe – like a firehouse shooting water.

The live oil spill feed above looks like the petroleum is shooting out of several different holes along the oil pipe.

So is it possible that the feed above is a different camera sitting at a different angle than the one showing on BP’s website (or was showing on their website)?

231 replies on “BP Oil Spill Live Feed, New Live Oil Spill Feed Bypasses BP Site”

Have you ever used liquid N2 before? It would just evaporate off the oil and form air bubbles. Now, flash freezing concert with N2, that's a whole different story. However, if you flash frooze concret it probably wouldn't "set" correctly. Therefore, it would be too brittle. This idea is a fail.

ring around the wellhead in a circle with explosives 15 25 50 foot deep 20 holes or more

detnonate crushing the the hole in the center

ring around the wellhead in a circle with explosives 15 25 50 foot deep 20 holes or more

detnonate crushing the the hole in the center

wouldn't be able to create enough pressure to even slow it down. just a big a*s fireworks show that no one would see.

why dont BP / experts make a BIG funnel with pipes and set it on top of the hole. and let the oil flow through the pipe onto a vessel / tank?

Explosives: Miss and make it 1000 times worse

"Big Funnel": They tried that — remember? The huge concrete and steel structure? At the depth and temp we are talking about, the leaking gas combines with the water and freezes into hydrate crystals, clogging everything….

Exactly the point. Let the thing clog, and then stop. isnt that what they are trying to do now with the top-kill procedure?

Why didn't BP just drill the relief well shallower then the top of the production zone. Could have intersected the original hole around 3000 feet below sea level. We would be done already.

Because the rig that drills/ perforates in to the damaged well at 3000 ft would be blown off the face of the earth. Just for fun. If the numbers are right and the zone was around 17000 being balanced with 14.3 ppg mud. That equals 14.3x17000x0.52= 12641 psi. Seeing that pressure at 3000 ft would be 12641 psi divided (.052x3000ft)= 81 ppg mud to balance formation pressure (The earth under your feet only has a weight of 21 pounds per gallon on average if you don't believe me get a gallon and put it on the scales). Even on the high end mud weights top out around 22 ppg so they would be seeing around 9209 psi on the choke which would be suicide. They will only gain access to the damaged well when it is possible to control the pressure. Do not want to risk any more human lives.

The oil is not good i agree, but the heart breaking thing for me is the 11 families that no longer have their father, son, brother, grandson, grandfather. I'm a drilling rig supervisor for a major oil company and this has sent a cold chill down my spine thinking about my son and what it would mean to my family for me not to come home after my 2 weeks of work or if i made the decision that resulted in someone here not to return to loved ones. Just my 2 cents. BP made an huge mistake. Let's just pray the relief wells make gods speed and keep turning to the right. That is the only real solution the rest of this jazz is a pipe dream. The math does not support it. But i hope they prove me wrong.

The heart breaking thing for me is the estimated 1.3 million dead and 2.5 million displaced Iraqis since the start of the war, curtesy of corporate America, including BP.

None were harmed due to Saddam's genocide. That's what helps me sleep at night. I think your numbers come from msnbc right? I like how everyone likes to demonize whether they have proof or not.

they need to blow the sucker shut like they had to when a local above ground rig blew and it tore a huge hole in the pipeline that vented natural gas. it burned over a month before they finally authorized the use of explosives. it worked first try.
they also used explosives in the gulf war when the pipeline and wells were set afire.
kaboom. done.

does that well look like its on fire? explosives only work when the wells on fire. the explosion burns off all of the oxygen thats fueling the creating a vacuum at the nozzle, thus putting the fire out.

They use explosives above ground on oil wells that are BURNING. The explosion uses up all of the oxygen and snuffs out the fire making it possible to access the well.. THEN they work at closing off the well head

So why not taking a big hydralic ram with some kind of pinchers down there and pinch the opening shut. What is the pipe or tube made of?

its not just one pipe. its 3" steel tubing inside of 8" carbon steel casing surrounded by cement surrounded by an 18" carbon steel conductor and more concrete around that. you got a big hydralic ram that'll pinch that shut?

… and after they blew out the fire from the burning wells in the gulf… guess what came out of the ground? Duh! OIL!!!

If you think saying 'black people can't swim' isn't racist then you need to get a dictionary and stop TRYING to make everything racist! That card is worn out.

if they can insert a smaller pipe in the larger pipe as they already did why cant the attach an industrial strength balloon, bellows or air sac on the end, put it 10 feet or more inside the leaking pipe and inflate it quickly with some sort of liquid or air substance to seal the inside

the balloon needs grippers on the exterior such as small spikes or something to grab the interior of the leaking pipe

Some good partial solutions, string them together. Take the original nearby 100 ton structure that clogged up, reinstall it. Already have heavy jetty/ballast rock or whatever heavy mass, already loaded on ships in coordinated positions at the ready. As the dome begins to clog up with methane clathrate again, make use of the brief opportunity. ASAP drop as much mass on top and around as possible. Then encase it with concrete. Build concrete mass surface area to use extreme pressure at depth to do the work of sealing. Please get on it, this is the worst human caused environmental disaster in recorded history.

I think the reason they pulled off that dome to begin with was because of the risk of the pressure. They can't just pressure lock it. It will explode again. That's why there was talk of installing another blow-out-preventer (a multi-million dollar device designed to withstand that pressure)

From what I've read, the BP and US Government engineers working on this are really questioning the condition of that well. It's flowing a lot of liquid and may be wearing out inside. If they try to squash it and the pressure blows out the sides, oil could start coming up around the surrounding ocean floor which would be much harder to stop than just trying to seal the wellhead.

This man made geyser is a mile under water,and the well is another 3 miles below it. drill on two to 4 sides down about 800 feet into the rock and blow that hole shut! Hell 50 feet might even do it! BP is just trying to save this well and it is killing the gulf coast!

What's the hold up? Try any reasonable method to fix this sh**, anything. If something isn't done pronto, we are going to lose the whole Gulf Coast and everything that depends on it, for many, many, many generations. What's are the human, environmental and financial costs going to total? Any guesses? At a time when world financial markets are on pretty shaky ground as the ramifications begin to ripple through our economy, this could be the catalyst that finally drags us into a real global crisis, game over. We need to cap the well now.

I haven't read through all of these comments so maybe it has been suggested but what about hydraulics? I'm no engineer but I imagine the jaws of life prying open a car…can't we crimp the pipe?

yep, answered…
its not just one pipe. its 3" steel tubing inside of 8" carbon steel casing surrounded by cement surrounded by an 18" carbon steel conductor and more concrete around that.

Heat the container that froze up and try that approach again. I'm pretty sure we can find adaquate thermal transfer means to keep the container vessle warm while it caps the well.

Yeah, everyone who prays should be praying. If we have to wait until August for something to actually work (the relief well), at the rate that we all see it flowing, the entire Gulf will be sludge to say the least.

Two words – Epic Failure

Why not fly up to the moon and cut out a piece to plug it up? PLEASE!!! If we can go to the moon then we can plug up a hole here on earth!!! Where are these other countries who have submersibles or anything to help us? As usual, we are on our own! But we would be there for them-I'd rather be an American than one of them!!!!!

For the record many countries ESPECIALLY IRAN (whom you dicks are trying to sanction even further) have offered help. Its your government that has not acknowledged these gestures… I'd rather be ANY of them rather than you bunch of bigots.

Thanks for correcting me! I just heard that today from our President who didn't bother to give his reason for turning them down! Now a correction for you…THIS is NOT my government. And if you look up the definition of the word "bigot" you will see that YOU are the bigot in this conversation. Name calling and pointing the finger…so this must be YOUR government!

as well as beyond petroleum, they are one of the leading manufacturers in solar, and wind power generating equipment… just saying.

I think I'm on your side. However, your statements are not clear. You are proud to be an American but this is not your government? I did not vote for our current President, but I could not be any more Proud of this country that allows us to pick and vote for whom ever we choose. You are speaking out of both side of your mouth. DON'T FORGET IT TAMY, THERE IS ONLY ONE AMERICA. And I love ALL of it.

If Manax's method will work. For the sake of the Southern fisheries, the fishermen, tourism, peoples jobs and families, our economy, get on it. The oil can always be extracted later. This is a complete waste of a limited resource that benefits no one and will ultimately incur huge financial loss, possibly tipping us into a real depression. Who's gonna come out ahead in that one?

I have been praying that they will be able to find a solution. I know this is a man-made disaster, but my hope is that God will bring insight into potential solutions to the crisis. WE need whatever help we can get.

Has anyone thought of the amount of pressure we are dealing with? What is the weight of a column of wate a mile high. That is what the oil is pushing through to exit the well. Is that a correct assumption?

not positive but do believe that's about 2200 psi kind of makes you think at what pressure the oil is gushing out at?

I know the steel used in uparmoring personnel carriers can resist so much pressure. Don’t know the specifics, but know the steel is made in Sweden.

Where is FEMA in all this. Is this not what these guys do for a living. Emergency Management? Time we whittle down our bloated do nothing collect checks govt. agencies.

several good solutions have already been suggested just in the last few hours. we have to try those first before we can conclusively say we are screwed. let’s get this moving toward a possible solution, and wrap it up quick, we are working on a pretty intense deadline. there’s an awful lot of unemployed construction folks hanging around waiting for something interesting to do. we’ve got try. anybody in for renting a sub this weekend?

What about your solution of relief wells? (That's got make it non-zero if I follow your math). How long will it realistically take to drill those wells? Can something be done to slow the rate of the damage well in the mean time?

Yes you are right. It's just alot of ideas i read on here would work good in a movie not real life. They spudded the wells in May, so i'm thinking they are pretty close with the predictions of August- Sept. time frame, but that does line up with hurricane season so who knows. I think the junk shot followed w/ cement has a chance to slow the rate of oil but it would be temporary at best. It has been proven time and time again that killing a well with a "top kill" is a last resort that rarely works due to the fact that you won't be able to get competent materials in the well to hold up to the pressure from below.

Hurricane season is a serious concern and adds immediate pressure to get an workable solution soon. If there is a bad season and the oil spreads, it's gonna be a much larger geographic area and impact we are dealing with. You have a lot of knowledge and experience, what's gonna work to immediately slow the damaged well? What's the downside of Manax's idea of explosives at 800' or shallower below the sea bed?

The only even possible temporary solution is the junk shot/cement that i see. Hurrican season means for the drilling rigs that they must stop work and head in for safe harbor. Which is a very long process. Because even if it is possible to cause a cave in. This is the sea floor we are talking about it has no strength just sediment that has fallen to the ocean floor it has no compressive strength. When you spud a well like this the first process would be to actually drive casing in to the sea floor as far as possible to provide strength from the sea floor caving in on your well bore. Kind of like hammering it into the sea floor. If you are able to hammer pipe in to the ground it has little to no strength. The best thing would have been for the well to bridge off deep in the well but with casing lining the entire well bore it did not happen.

have to be on target, as at that depth the water pressure is @2250 psi so your weight wouldn't even hold down a square foot

Sea water weighs 8.8 – 9 pound per gallon so about 2300 psi of hydrostatic pressure at the sea floor.

I keep hearing that the blowout preventer failed because it did not have hydraulic fluid. Since the obvious solution of merely recharging the fluid has not happened, what else is wrong with the preventer? Or is it not possible to recharge it when its installed?

And why is it that they can thread a ‘siphon pipe’ in and it does not clog with hydrates, but the tank does?

Also, tell me more about why the tap hole needs to be so much deeper than a few thousand feet? I assume BP is balancing drilling deeper (= taking longer= spilling more oil, but = greater chance for success) against drilling for less time (= drilling shallower, but having to deal with more pressure when they tap the line). What’s the balance point of risk?

Also you would expect to see clathrates forming around the cooler expanding plumes, (as it's an endothermic expansion). Why don't we see that in the video?

BOPs are hydraulicly acuated with fluid in normal operations, but they have a back up system that is ran by charged nitrogen bottles that provide the power to close the rams or bag of the stack. ROVs and the BOPs have nitrogen bottles on board that are the back ups to hydraulic failure. The problem is see is that inside the 21" riser you see laying on the sea floor is a string of 6 5/8" drill pipe that is incredibly strong. I believe it is rated for close to 1.5 million pounds before it would deform. On the drill pipe where the connections are is an 11" tool joint that if it is across the stack. The stack will not close. The tolerances of this equip is to the 1/32 of an inch.

the siphon pipe is working due the the smaller diameter is causing the fluid from the well to flow at a higher rate to the surface. Slowing the formation of hydrates. If you have seen the report the amount of oil being recovered is declining. I would bet the it is due to hydrate formation. So it effects both but with the high flow rate it slows the formation.

It has to be deeper due to the fact that we control all wells with hydrostaic pressure. This a column of fresh water is calculated as follows. Fresh water weighs 8.4 pounds per gallon. If you have well bore that is full of water you can calculate the pressure as long as you have true vertical depth. A 5000 ft column of fresh water would weigh as follows. 8.4 ppg x 5000 ft x 0.052 (this number is constant that converts to psi)= 2184 psi, if you were holding this column that is the pressure that the column of water exerts at the bottom. With this well it has been stated that it is at a depth of 17000+ ft and it required 14.3 ppg fluid to be balanced.( mean the fluid held static, did not lose fluid to the well or gain gas/oil from the formation)

At the depth you have a hydrostatic pressure of 17000ft x 14.3 ppg x 0.052= 12641 psi. That would be the pressure of the well at any point you intersect. In this equation if you intersect the well at a shallower depth then obviously the mud weight must go higher. Limitation on the mud are that about 22 ppg is maximum. I know there are some crazy mud systems that are able to go up close to 35 ppg but are highly toxic. So you have to have surface equip and casing that is capable of with standing the pressure. If it cannot the the pressure will cause the gas/pressure to go outside the casing or explosive surface equip failures. Which in turn causes you have no control because your BOPs are bypass because they can only control what you have inside the casing. It would help if i was able to draw a picture.

BTW, unlike others, I am assuming that the reason this leak isn’t plugged is not based on incompetence or some ulterior motive to save the well, but because this is a seriously difficult engineering challenge. Call me a liberal if you must….lol

At the beginning of this disaster CNN had a man on saying that BP and their drilling contractor had used an inferior blow out preventor, different than accepted technology the rest of the world, including Brazil and other countries use. He even stated the cost of this preventor at 500K. saying t the oil companies lobbied the government against the use of the more expensive device. Anyone aware of the reason that this is not being discussed?

I would have to see the exact info. In ultra deep water it is hard for me to believe you would ever want to use an inferior bop stack and by inferior i don't know what he is refering to exactly. BP would not have been the one to foot the bill on it. The stack is always provided by the contractor in this case Transocean. So it is in the oil companies best interest to get you money's worth. I have not even seen how the stack was configured. I doubt outside of BP and Transocean no one knows for sure. I know in the ultra deep water off Brazil some companies use riserless bops but that is a fairly new invention. It's hard to comment on something w/o all the facts.

If your shopping for shoes and you walk into macy's you see 3 pair of shoes, all the same, but one of them is half the price of the others, which would you choose? If Macy's told you that those shoes may fall apart but not one has in the past 25years, would you still buy it? Now upsize that order times 100,000.

Casey: as per hydrostatic pressure…so the problem with a shallow drill is that there is no mud dense enough to be fluid yet provide the pressure needed to counter the pressure in the wellhead? Thus, they need to drill deep enough so that the total mass of mud is enough to counter the wellhead pressure?

Yes it a cummulative thing so the deeper you drill the more pressure you are able to build with your fluid column. The weight of the dirt, rocks, and sand is only about 21-22 pounds per gallon. We use heavier materials such as barite and hematite to add weight to the fluid. This is also the reason i have little faith in a top kill. You could pump nothing but dirt, sand, concrete, rocks you name it down to stop it but it does not have the hydrostatic pressure to stop it. The well will just spit it out. Hence the reason they want to shoot junk to clog up the holes followed by cement to give it a change for the cement to harden.

The live feed cam just panned down low….it looks like the BOP is intact and at the ocean floor, wtih the leak above it. Why not shear off the pipe right at the BOP, and bolt a new BOP on top of the original one? Or is that just stupid?

No you are not stupid that is close to tactics used on land. I know that they have all well control companies(there are specialized companies that do this kind of work such as Wild Well Control, Boot & Coots, Cudd, so on) working on solutions at 5000' of water. Not sure what limitations are.

you woman, this is why this stuff happens. we need real men out there controling these rigs
not men with womenly emotions. do you need a tampon for your bleed

Yes only GOD will bring an end to this and i quote the words of (Revelation 11:18)… But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, ………….." and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”

Actually, humans are gonna have to fix this. A "God" that supposedly has the power to stop this catastrophe, but instead, callously watches with indifference…. I'm thankful there is no such monster out there.

Casey: Pump in concrete with hardening catalyst, or hardener that's activated when in contact with oil, to speed up the clogging process.

Believe me they will be pumping the cement hot. It is something that is done everyday in this field. But if you get it too hot it will set up in the line you are trying to pump it down. Then there is no access to the well.


Let Obama take over this well, I've worked in the oil business for 20 years, he can take it and in 5 years turn the country into paying 14 dollars a gallon, which will send the economy to hell, but at the same time is good fore, y'all wanna b**ch and complain? Don't b**ch when gas prices are 14 bucks a gallon, and don't b**ch when were drilling trying to keep up with Obama and his electric cars, don't b**ch about the price of gas, oh and while you're at it, and paying that, tell the airline industry to shut all airports down the next time there's a wreck, shut Nasa down the next time they have their 4th wreck, and the next time there is a big freeze, shut hedging oil down, by all means please, this world has lived on oil forever, when you see something different let me know, til then be smart and let us drill, if you don't, we will just be busier later, so either way, oil wins, take your pick

wow, seriously we should not be dependent on oil. this is the last thing our planet needs. we are destroying this beautiful planet we live on, for such stupid, useless things that we REALLY could live without, or at least with much less of!

why cant u just put a big expandable rubber dome over it with a bunch of tubed to intake the oil from the dome…why is it so hard to fix i mean dont u have back up plans for things like this. i would think drilling for oil in deep water would have back up plans for mishaps sorta like nasa has for the space shuttle or space station or the mars rover or hubble…dam and those r in space…wth…what a shame temp. walls should have been put up ASAP when gov asked the white house this is obamas katrina he has no one to blame but himself hes golfing drinking beers doing fund raisers wtf…what a joke really

ohhhh better yet maybe obama can get that little boy to put his finger in the holes like he did with the dam when it was leaking….between him and bp i think they have enough thumbs to fit all the holes….what a sad joke…

Plant Rush's butt squarely over the riser. Plugged. We need oil, the gov can do regulation, but the oil company owns the toots that are going to be needed to fix this. We all drive, we all fly, we all need oil. We just have to make sure we work smarter and safer and we need more Americans to be doing it. Right now it is a Dubi based Haliburton, a Swiss based Transocean and an English BP. A lot of the guys that used to know how to make and fix things are getting old, the wealthy guys who used to run things are all playing poker on Wall street or acting like Hedge fund hogs. The truth is foreigners are doing the work, making the money. That BOP, Chinese made the rig Korean. Most of the equipment, foreign made. Some have sent in ideas on how to fix it, but with todays American engineers if you asked, can we go to the moon, they argue it can't be done and then maybe start building a ladder. Experience is the fruit of the tree of error, lack of experience means they will make mistakes unless they have wisdom. wrap a compression saddle, hot tap through a valve fab and wrap a 'strainer" around the riser and wedge and clamp one into the end of the riser and then clog it up with thread packing and fiber. Then try what they are trying. Right now it is a 130 degree kink in a 20 in pipe. Wear with gas is greater than with fluid, so the top is eroding, plus what is going on down in the runaway well around the casing? They are getting experience, but the truth is we are all partly to blame, exported jobs, shopping cheap, killing trades and unions, and unions are democracy in the work place. Crying its socialism and acting like sociopaths. Thinking the world is flat. we are all kind of like those folks in Nigeria, except they know they are third world with no industrial ability. They are building schools we are trashing ours. We were once great when the greatest generation was running things, but with the hippies and neo cons we are a lot like those third world guys except where they got dirt roads, and we have pot holes. We get mad at MMS for being corrupt but they are just doing what they see the politicians doing on K street, we need change but the tea people are wanting to return to the same things that got us into this mess Rush telling, republicans to want Obama and America to fail and not one with the courage to stand up to a billionare blow hard bully. and the democrats need to just wake up and smell the coffee and just tell the far right and the far left my way is the highway and you guys want to hang out back here in right and left field, good bye, and get this country to work. But for now, like it or not we need Oil and we need BP they screwed up, but they said they will own up to it. So lets hope it works, lets fix the Gulf and not just the casinos like they did after Katrina, lets fix the whole place and then get started on the other 48. World ain't flat, its round. We got two wars, a mess, an economy on the rocks, no time to get cheap, no time to give the fat cats another wasted tax cut. Time to get Main street and factory street to work smart, and to work safe. Heck we cannot even build a border fence in the middle of a pretty flat desert .

Reading all this it is very clear we have no business drilling into the earth like this. Does anyone know that we are currently VC funding a wacky idea to drill deep into heated earth to extract heat? All these unknowns are so intensely risky and who pays for when the risk comes true, the environment and the public. If Obama does not get moving on this now, this could very well not just be his Katrina but his Waterloo moment.

at $4000 per barrel penaly cost to BP that currently relates to $150 billion. Are we sure this company has those deep pockets? I think it high time to start seizing BP assets.

its easy. shrink government and hold the people who are paid our tax dollars accountable. no more overseers to oversee the original overseers. then hire more people to oversee them. stop it already. enough fire them all and hire non government employers to fill the positions. no need for big fat pensions at taxpayer expense anymore. let the capital market compete and the best wins and if they slip you will always have someone ready to pick up the pieces with a better attitude and fresh look, new ideas always looking to better themselves because they know others are looking to take their spot. keeps people on their toes. and something else to think about is why not when companies are hired to do the work and oversee the laws in place make sure those said companies have backup fail safe plans so things like this could be avoided or stopped within days not weeks or months. nasa does it shoot look at all the missions gone wrong that they were able to solve because they had backup plans or knew what they were doing. this is just plain stupid bigger government means bigger mistakes bigger problems bigger costs to us the tax payers who pay the salaries of these career polititians. thats the first place to start the weeding and pruning of the the political weeds that just care about themselves and their agendas. so much for yes we can and hope and a different open see it on c-span agenda. typical bull…

One you don't see is volenteers cleaning it up. Just ta bunch of people complaing. If you work in the coast, this has shut you down and you sitting there with free time and a boat. You should be out there cleaning it up and showing the world you care or are competent and not lazy. (See Nashville response)

i do believe their are plenty of people working their around 20 thousand from bp. don't know if their bp employees or a combination of both. and the people r working while they stil can before they can't fish the waters for a long time…duh

I thought we were smarter. Comparing the Gulf MURDER to the Nashville flood crises is like comparing molecules to the Empire State Building. Cleaning it is nice, but useless. The people who made their living on their boats are too busy sending resumes out to other parts of the country (and world); even if BP fixes it there will be no oceanculture in our liftime; enough to make a living; or even clean enough to eat. Sheesh. I grew up on the Gulf Coast. I know what flooding does…..a week or two at most of no work, of clean up, and we're back in business. What we're seeing here, this BP mess makes all the rest (including Katrina) look like Mr Rogers Neighborhood.

OK so you have a boat. What do you do, sail out and deploy your fishing net? Maybe you could use plastic buckets and bail the oil into the boats hold? Really, what do you expect volunteers to do?

Obama with a wet suit and a Big O on his chest to the rescue. Since he has mastered walking on water, walking underneath and repairing the well could be his encore.

If they successfully screwed a relief pipe into the leak and are sucking some of the oil now, I do not understand why they can't lower a larger pipe around the smaller one to capture all of the oil and let it flow into a supertanker. Then concrete the junction to seal the leak. The larger pipe could have a shut off valve at the bottom or a transfer valve routing it to another pipe. It would be a good thing if they could capture the oil and refine it. BP needs all the revenue it can get to pay for the ruined businesses along the coast. All of this and the other solutions offered need to recognize that at 5,000' the Goodyear Blimp would be compressed to the size of a tennis ball.

You may have hit upon another potential solution set. A super strong membrane, like an underwater super blimp, attached to the damaged well. As the crude trys to fill the container, the total water pressure over the expanding surface area at some point equals the well pressure, an it comes to equilibrium. And BP at some point can still salvage the collected oil. With 6 billion people, we outta be able to solve this.

The people of Louisiana aren't praying hard enough. They need to join hands with one of these TV evangelist who could really prove their stuff .

I am not sure of the engineering answer as I'm not an engineer, but I do know a few things. Obama can do nothing, thanks to GHW Bush Sr. Immediately after the Exxon Valdez he signed a bill that makes the oil company responsiblle for fixing all damages done. If it is done at sea, the Coast Guard oversees it, if on land, the EPA. Congress' silence is deafening, as is the President. There is no way they cannot know this, and, also know that
an emergency meeting needs to be called to amend that bill and take it out of the murderers hands. Yes BP execs are murderers. They were told by experts to use the very cheap mud packs but it took to much time and BP wanted that oil fast. We see the results. It is at least negligent homicide. We've heard nothing of a trial. But more importantly we have lunatics trying to fix a problem that they created. What we need is for the Coast Guard and EPA to remove them and bring in engineers and others from other firms who know what they are doing, obviously BP does not, and simply fix it. Would it cost us tax dollars. Yes it would. There are times when big government is necessary. I lived in Ms during the virulent 1964 Civil Rights Movement. That was one of those times. The people in charge did not know what they were doing. I am not for big government, but I AM in cases like this. Would I pay a few more dollars a year to save America's economy? Yes, wouldn't you? Please. contact your Congressperson today and demand an emergency meeting to amend the Exxon Bill so that BP can be removed from the project, and experts from legitimate oil firms can be brought in to fix it. Then try BP execs for murder just like wew would anyone else who did something so horrific. Thank you.

well blaming it on bush senior is a laugh. is the government in the drilling buisness. no so they have no clue what to do. people r trying to give suggestions. it's funny more big government is not the answer. we already r 13 trillion in debt not including intrest we own automotive companies,insurance,housing which has no limits to what amounts of cash they want,the 3 billion a yr in the red mail service,s.s,medicaire,medicide ect ect ect now have the government take over this…a BIG NOW THANX. obama should never have spoke those harsh words about pres bush and katrina a natural disaster not man made. oh wait they live in a fish bowl. the bush and cheney weather machine was the cause of all that went on…please…karmas a biatch…lol

Sorry to distract from the suggestions about how THIS ongoing disaster can be mitigated, but there are some IMMEDIATE lessons I believe we should have learned in the past five weeks.

I have no hydrologic or petrogeologic solutions to suggest. But IMHO there's an equally important action that should begin NOW, without waiting to see whether "top kill" or the relief wells work. One of the first things any firefighter or police officer or first-responder learns is "keep the damage from spreading". There are over 4,000 offshore oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, and it seems that there has been absolutely no oversight of the systems supposedly in place to prevent similar disasters happening on other rigs (either because of corporate greed or terrorist actions).

Contrary to the assertions that BP "doesn't know what it's doing", I'd argue that they know EXACTLY what they're doing. Big Oil has done ALL of this before — from ignoring repeated safety warnings, to watching a rig explode and sink, to admitting that their "fail-safe" blowout preventers (BOPs) had never passed any reliability testing, to watching millions of barrels of poisonous crude oil spew into the Gulf of Mexico.

The facts? This is almost a mirror nightmare image of the 1979 Ixtoc catastrophe, in which an oil rig operated by the corporate predecessor of TransOceanic blew out after safety warnings were ignored and the BOPs and the backup BOPs failed (sound familiar?). After the explosion and fire sank the Ixtoc oil rig, millions of barrels of oil were spewed into the Gulf over the next 9 months despite measures almost identical to the current "top hat" and "top kill" schemes, including the drilling of "relief wells". And those efforts took place at a depth of less than 200 feet.

Canada, unlike the US, requires oil companies to have relief wells drilled and tested BEFORE beginning offshore oil extraction. Shouldn't we demand that relief wells be drilled and fully-tested BOPs installed IMMEDIATELY before allowing ANY further offshore oil extraction at the thousands of other oil and gas platforms in the Gulf?

No I think this all is nuts. What I want to see is more nuclear research and more investment into electric vehicles. The Nisson Leaf by all accounts has sold out before it has hit showroom floors. I am sure the Chevy Volt the same thing would happen. The market is demanding electric alternatives to transportation. I hope this spells the end to this irrational nutso need for oil. I think we need to stop looking for oil and start looking for electrons.

its easy. shrink government and hold the people who are paid our tax dollars accountable. no more overseers to oversee the original overseers. then hire more people to oversee them. stop it already. enough fire them all and hire non government employers to fill the positions. no need for big fat pensions at taxpayer expense anymore. let the capital market compete and the best wins and if they slip you will always have someone ready to pick up the pieces with a better attitude and fresh look, new ideas always looking to better themselves because they know others are looking to take their spot. keeps people on their toes. and something else to think about is why not when companies are hired to do the work and oversee the laws in place make sure those said companies have backup fail safe plans so things like this could be avoided or stopped within days not weeks or months. nasa does it shoot look at all the missions gone wrong that they were able to solve because they had backup plans or knew what they were doing. this is just plain stupid bigger government means bigger mistakes bigger problems bigger costs to us the tax payers who pay the salaries of these career polititians. thats the first place to start the weeding and pruning of the the political weeds that just care about themselves and their agendas. so much for yes we can and hope and a different open see it on c-span agenda. typical bull…


I'm sorry to see this thread deteriorate. I for one appreciate the layman-technical info being shared here rather than the political backbiting.

Even if this country decided to wean itself off its oil addiction tomorrow, it would be years before less destructive energy sources could be developed. Meanwhile the immediate threat continues at thousands of other oil rigs.

According to the MMS, 72% of oil production in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico comes from wells drilled in water depths of 1000 feet or greater. To repeat my earlier comment, there's apparently NO requirement that any of those wells have fully-tested-at-depth BOPs installed, or relief wells in place.

From its Gulf of Mexico business unit in Houston, BP operates the the Atlantis Oil Field (200,000 barrels/day), Holstein, Horn Mountain, Mad Dog, Marlin, Nakika, Pompano, and the Thunder Horse Oil Field (250,000 barrels/day). BP and other Big Oil companies also operate more than 1100 wells in the Greater Prudhoe Bay Field in Alaska (you may remember that in 2006, a worker for BP discovered a large oil spill in western Prudhoe Bay, resulting in the largest oil spill on Alaska's north slope to date. BP said it had been 14 years since they had used a pipeline inspection gauge ("pig") to clean out its lines because the company believed the use of the pigging equipment might damage pipe integrity.

We don't have the luxury of arguing which president was at fault. There's plenty of blame to share over the past 50 years. Big Oil has bought our congressional representatives as well as the "regulators" who were supposedly ensuring that disasters like this wouldn't happen. I would respectfully argue that we can't afford to let Big Oil write their own rules any longer, even if we have to bite the bullet and pay gas prices similar to what most of Europe has been paying for years.

You have the facts, so I'll get off my soapbox and let this blog return to discussion of possible ways to stop the current uncontrolled spill. If the public doesn't demand an immediate halt to new and existing deepwater oil operations until appropriate and effective safety measures are in place, our apathy may be the source of our own destruction.

I'm confused what do you mean by fully tested bops? "Full" BOP testing is performed regularly as required by law every 30 days or installation on well bore on land. As far as having relief wells in place, there is no difference between relief wells and exploration wells. You would be drilling in to the same formation with both. You keep refering to Canada that has rules that require "same season" relief wells. That is for large platforms to have a well drilled in case intervention of a well on the platform is requied.

They need a two punch approach. They need to hire six super tankers to begin skimming the surface, of the gulf, in formation, to capture this oil floating on top. The super-tankers can then begin to separate and dispose of oil and slline water………….. That should have started two weeks ago……………………The Commander of the Coast Guard has no prior knowledge of this technique therefore some one needs to make him aware.

Here's an idea. Think of a vertical car tunnel…made in sections. Make a huge tube, about 50 feet across and only 20 feet tall….lower it down so it surrounds the entire wellhead. It shouldn't 'clog' with ice since its so large and open. Then lower another one on top if it,,,and another one on top of it, etc. Eventually (and yes, I know we're talking about hundreds of these things) the sectional tube will have risen to a height where it can be capped off with a device that can pipe off the oil.

It's time to start on the clean up. They need to hurry & scatter hay across all the visible oil. The oil sticks to hay & when it washes up on shore, gather it to process & burn for energy. Otherwise this spill could destroy much of the country very soon & the southern coastline for many years to come.

Well, at least there is a live feed somehow. This non-BP branded live feed reminds me of the fake Twitter account that is causing some online reputation management issues to BP.

BP is not destroying the pipe because not only do they lose pipeline, they also lose their leasing rights to it, which means they couldn't redrill next to it to tap back into the original well. BP knows exactly what they are doing, its all about saving the oil-screw the Gulf in their mind. They purposely skimped on using an acoustic shut-off valve to save $500,000 when the sole purpose of that device is to allow a ship on the surface of the ocean directly above one of these pipes to be able to remotely shut-off the well. This would have been over and done within hours, since BP had suspected some potential problems with the well days before and could have had a "safety ship" sitting above the well should anything go awry. As for clean-up, hire Kevin Costner for a pretty penny, have him mass produce his machine, get it to work in the Gulf, and put it on BP's tab.

I see now that they are no longer showing the mouth of the leak and instead some random views of machinery they are no closer at all to solving this problem.

Why not put a large balloon in it then fill it with air or whatever is needed, They do this kind of stuff with Heart patients. wait till the hurricanes come thru, we havent seen anything yet.

not an expert, and not sure if this would be given weight, but maybe we could funnel a compound that expands greatly and solidly when combined with water and/or oil. one thing i could see could cause issue with this would be delivery. In not sure if top spill is doing just this or simply covering the hole with gloop. on second thought: why not get the mythbusters crew to devise a plan. they specialize in thinking outside of thinking out of the box.

The feeds we are seeing during the top-kill are from PBS; We see 3 leaks rather than one; which, in BP tradition, they've purposely set up that way. I dont think they knew PBS had cameras down there. Uh oh. BP needs to be tried for murder and leave our seas….IMMEDIATELY.

All I keep hearing is who is to blame and who has to pay. At this point, WHO GIVES A CRAP ABOUT WHO IS TO BLAME OR WHO HAS TO PAY?!! Worry about that AFTER the leak has been stopped. Any company, business, or government who has had any means what-so-ever to help BP stop that oil leak but, has not provided their time, money, knowledge, and equipment is just as much to blame as BP for not doing a damn thing!!

Casey: not sure if you're still following this thread.
The problem is the pressure. Why not eliminate that as a problem by basically building a containment wall around the wellhead, letting the oil gush out and depressurize. I'm thinking of a series of almost zero-buoyancy tubes, held together on a cable, that get lowered down to make a long, very wide 'tunnel' that surrounds the wellhead. The oil will then fill this tube and spill out the top, but as the tube gets added to, eventually it rises to a depth where it can be capped and siphon hoses can draw off the oil at a rate so that the internal pressure does not increase. Any salvaged oil would be a benefit.

From what i'm reading now, that is basicly BP's next plan. They are going to cut off the riser/drill pipe off the top of the BOP stack so there will be just the one leak coming from the top of the BOP stack. Then run a containment dome on the end of 21" riser pipe over the well head & stack. This to me would make the most sense instead of all the other bull they are trying. This way you don't have 3 or 4 leaks just one. I just know that hydrates will once a again be the biggest problem to over come. Typically we use heat or glycol to combat hydrate formation. I hope they will try running a small parasite sting capable of injecting hot fluid or possibly glycol(and yes i know how harmful this stuff is but against the drastic decline of oil being released in the ocean i think it would be worth while.) in to the containment dome to combat this. They would have to be able to keep the temperature above about 50 degees F to really do any kind of good. Ideally closer to 65 – 70.

I did want to add that glycol can be recovered from the oil/gas w/ a glycol dehydrator. And that I should have said ideal temperture would be above 90 but i don't see any way to raise the temp from 32 to 90.

The feed shows two distinct and separate areas of flowing oil.
the first is a pipe that really black oil is coming out of, it looks to be laying in a trench at the bottom of the ocean the end looks like it is a clean break.
The second is a pipe that the oil looks to be coming out of the top of a large yellow structure, the pipe looks bent over and the oil is coming out in a couple of different "torn" spots in a rough, bent over type of break, the oil that comes out of this is more whitish (more methane).
They seem to put the camera on the clean break pipe during the day, and then in the evening all you see is brackish water (I assume while it is moving to the other location) then at night, you can watch the robots cut, remove, weld and work on the big metal structure (last night the camera did a "recon" of top hat laying on the gulf floor).

woops! – the only things they tried initially, were to allow them to recover oil from the leak (ie containment = $$). They keep using the excuse that the depth is why they can’t fix the problem. Then they should not be allowed to drill in depths that they can’t repair the problem in!!!!!!

To the guys currently trying to cut that pipe.
The blade keeps on jamming for identical reasons it would right up here on the ground.
There is not enough clearing.
What you need to do is to make another cut just an inch or two from the first (partial) cut.


FINALLY a voice of common sense! Thanks for the excellent post. You’re not alone. The media echo chamber of the extremes is misleading people to think “if you’re not one of us, you must be one of them” It is the refuge of the intellectually lazy (ok, I’m being charitable) to blame Obama (or Bush). Let’s fix the problem and make sure it never happens again. Kudos to you for your eloquence.

Let us all thank the Bush administration for all the deregulation. Nice job Bush, we will live with the Bush mistakes for generations to come. it's not over. B.P. Stop treating people like slaves and double up on the clean up effort 1 billion dollars is not an effort lets go. One trillion + it's only money, think of all the lives you have destroyed. Time to pay the piper. Next time if you are going to do this kind of work. #1 think worker safety, use top of the line equipment that won't fail at the depths that you work at, And stop rushing things the job will get done. There is no one in this rig makes enough money, to rush things, The job will get done and you still make a trillion. What you go on rushing workers cutting corners, save 1 or 2 million, for what this is what happens there is no amount of money worth what damage you caused the WORD. Not right is done, God help us, and forgive us.

PS I have no job for doing the right thing. I ask the "CEO do the right thing and QUIT" Donate your salary and time for clean up effort.

Send the good ideas to BP… They are not reading this comment board. they have a phone number to call on their website for ideas.

The idea of a large containment pipe, no need for it to be solid, simply a "curtain" of chain mesh lowered down would prevent the oil flowing out for miles around. The oil could be sucked up if the quantities are accurate. . Rather like a fine meshed fishing net. These are made by the kilometer, cheaply, and is available NOW. This could be dropped and steadied with a convoy of small boats, anchored around the perimeter, a tanker with the appropriate pumping equipment placed in the center. The oil would be contained in that specific area. This assumes the rates of discharge is manageable. Leaving it to dispurse in miles of ocean is ludicrous.

you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time ……………………………………

What you are dealing with here is massive pressure, both on the sea floor and that which is pushing up the drill pipe(2000-3000psi) so the tophat idea was never going to work, simply to much volume + pressure + contents(oil and water) = cristlization.
no 1. Get replacement rig over wellhead,(done) no 2, Clear and cut off wellhead so you have a straght and direct entrey .no 3 Insert smaller diameter (the graeter the pressure the smaller the diameter)drill pipe,this will be kept capt to prevent oil from gushing from it whilest being pushed down inside the old ,well pipe,this pipe being small enough to allow the oil to pass up the 4 After reaching the reqired depth (this depends on how much down pressureyou can excert on the upwelling)slide a larger outside caseing pipe down to the wellhead but far enough above it to allow the oil to escape.no5. Uncap and capture the oil from the smaller inside 6, Slide larger outside casing down over or preferably butt joint to old well pipe.

no 7 Pump a apoxy- very fine cement mixture or simller down betwen the smaller inside pipe and outside casing. The uncaping and capturing of the wells contents from the smaller pipe should releive enough pressure for thisoperation to be carried out.

An old Kiwi no 8 fencing wire codger from downunder.

Cheers J D .

PS If thay had done this right from the start this disaster would have been done and dusted by now.. Keep it simple…

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