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(MIT Technology Review)   BP: "Basically, we're out of ideas"   (technologyreview.com) divider line 616
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28510 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 May 2010 at 2:08 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-05-21 08:05:35 PM
The Southern Dandy: globalwarmingpraiser:
My personal opinion.

Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

We should include all the idiots who want to drill off US shores or in US wildland reserves, and think that drilling new wells in the USA is going to make a difference in oil prices.


You really no idea how supply and demand work do you. Guess what, you are why people talk about unicorn farts.
 
2010-05-21 08:07:10 PM
globalwarmingpraiser: hyperflame: My personal opinion:

Every Teabagger that screamed "Drill Baby Drill" should be put in front of some kind of committee... a "panel" of experts who decide whether it is cost-effective to keep that person alive. Perhaps we could call it a "Death Panel". It's a bit over-the-top, admittedly, but we can have a committee go over the name.

Then we shove those people into the leaking oil pipe. It might not solve the problem, but at least we'll raise the collective IQ of national discourse.


My personal opinion.

Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.


Deal.

In 10 years, this country managed to get to the Moon. Perhaps we can't shift to fully renewable energy sources within 20, but we can make a good deal of progress.

/If we had started 30 years ago, during the 1973 oil crisis, we might actually not have needed this particular oil well. (new window)
 
2010-05-21 08:07:38 PM
im2lagged2frag: its not load bearing, it just has to support itself and connect to the sea floor and a ship up top. maybe 50 foot diameter, just to guide the oil and gas. stick tubes in to suck out the stuff that is heavier.


but it *is* load bearing. it has to hold the pressure difference due to the difference in density of the oil and water.


can't draw a picture, but think about a pillar of oil surrounded by water. at the base, the pillar of oil weighs different than the water.
 
2010-05-21 08:08:35 PM
Nineinchnosehair: This doesn't seem like a really bad plan, why wouldn't this work?

Wouldn't be stable in the water column unless the end was weighted with an amount of weight greater than the difference in density between the water & oil multiplied by the volume of the tube.

Without significant end-weighting, the tube would develop some distortion that would tend to float, and the tube would end up floating to the surface (since it's contents -- oil -- are lighter than water).
 
2010-05-21 08:09:12 PM
globalwarmingpraiser: The Southern Dandy: globalwarmingpraiser:
My personal opinion.

Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

We should include all the idiots who want to drill off US shores or in US wildland reserves, and think that drilling new wells in the USA is going to make a difference in oil prices.

You really no idea how supply and demand work do you. Guess what, you are why people talk about unicorn farts.


Tell me about supply and demand. Tell me how the meager supply available in US oil fields is going to affect prices compared to the massive supply OPEC controls.

Please explain.
 
2010-05-21 08:13:23 PM
hyperflame: globalwarmingpraiser: hyperflame: My personal opinion:

Every Teabagger that screamed "Drill Baby Drill" should be put in front of some kind of committee... a "panel" of experts who decide whether it is cost-effective to keep that person alive. Perhaps we could call it a "Death Panel". It's a bit over-the-top, admittedly, but we can have a committee go over the name.

Then we shove those people into the leaking oil pipe. It might not solve the problem, but at least we'll raise the collective IQ of national discourse.


My personal opinion.

Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

Deal.

In 10 years, this country managed to get to the Moon. Perhaps we can't shift to fully renewable energy sources within 20, but we can make a good deal of progress.

/If we had started 30 years ago, during the 1973 oil crisis, we might actually not have needed this particular oil well. (new window)


Your right on that one. We have to keep drilling, but in 10 years if half of our cars are not natural gas powered we are idiots.
 
2010-05-21 08:13:50 PM
globalwarmingpraiser: Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

While the last 50 miles of transport would have had to of been done by delivery truck, and there's some plastics involved with the wiring insulation - very little oil based products were involved with the production of my PV panels. Enough that if you really wanted, biodiesel could cover the transportation . . .
 
2010-05-21 08:17:19 PM
im2lagged2frag: what if the chimney was made of plastic sheets instead of reinforced concrete? like a couple plys of ag-bag?

its not load bearing, it just has to support itself and connect to the sea floor and a ship up top. maybe 50 foot diameter, just to guide the oil and gas. stick tubes in to suck out the stuff that is heavier.

could be assembled in a couple days. wouldn't stop all the leakage but could reduce it substantially maybe.


Maybe, would certainly be quicker to construct, but it would need to be rigid enough to withstand a mile of ocean currents that try to push it flat and have enough tensile strength to withstand the ship's constant rising and falling with the waves/tides.
 
2010-05-21 08:22:38 PM
MrSteve007: globalwarmingpraiser: Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

While the last 50 miles of transport would have had to of been done by delivery truck, and there's some plastics involved with the wiring insulation - very little oil based products were involved with the production of my PV panels. Enough that if you really wanted, biodiesel could cover the transportation . . .


You are not counting the energy to build them in the first place. Our entire transportation system is petroleum based.

The Southern Dandy: globalwarmingpraiser: The Southern Dandy: globalwarmingpraiser:
My personal opinion.

Maybe we should include every idiot who thinks that we can just magcally get to a fully renewable form of energy without oil in the next twenty years. That way we will have gotten rid of more stupid people.

We should include all the idiots who want to drill off US shores or in US wildland reserves, and think that drilling new wells in the USA is going to make a difference in oil prices.

You really no idea how supply and demand work do you. Guess what, you are why people talk about unicorn farts.

Tell me about supply and demand. Tell me how the meager supply available in US oil fields is going to affect prices compared to the massive supply OPEC controls.

Please explain.


Between oil shale and the proven gulf, east, and west Coasts we have more oil than you realize. But it needs to be done in a safe and economical manner.
 
2010-05-21 08:23:07 PM
SchlingFocker: I'm waiting for hurricane season.

A big ole Cat 4 comes through the Gulf, picking up all the oil and water and dumping it all over the coastal cities.

A nice oily sheen layering everything as far as the eye can see.

If it doesn't happen this year or the next, it'll happen. There are millions of barrels of oil in that deposit, and it's all going to come out into the Gulf.


This 1000 times.

"Sorry sir, your claim has been denied as the damage was caused by one foot of crude oil not wind or water."

/Cover all the beaches and a a few miles inland.
 
2010-05-21 08:26:13 PM
globalwarmingpraiser: You are not counting the energy to build them in the first place. Our entire transportation system is petroleum based.

They're built using 100% hydro power. The silicon is refined, also using hydro.
 
2010-05-21 08:33:57 PM
MrSteve007: globalwarmingpraiser: You are not counting the energy to build them in the first place. Our entire transportation system is petroleum based.

They're built using 100% hydro power. The silicon is refined, also using hydro.


And how was the silicon mined. Not against it but right now, everything requires petroleum. FTR I love what you have done to your house and am planning on it myself.
 
2010-05-21 08:40:29 PM
The Southern Dandy: My dad worked on the Jennifer Project to pull a Russian sub out of the mud from the bottom of the Pacific. He used to talk about what a biatch it was to get that thing unstuck from the mud...there's got to be a way to get a funnel stuck in the mud so that even the frozen hydrates can't unstick it. There's gotta be some minds in the Navy or DARPA that can resolve this.

It was estimated that the Golf that the Golmar Explorer tried to recover was going up to 200 mph when it hit the bottom and that's why it was stuck. I doubt that they are going to get something going that fast anywhere near that damaged BOP and risk knocking it off the wellhead making the spill much, much worse.
 
2010-05-21 08:46:23 PM
BuckTurgidson: /How's our luck been going so far?

Just wanted to say thanks for bringing some actual industry knowledge and information to this thread without riding an agenda like a tired pony. I've learned more about this whole thing from five of your posts than in the other 550 in this thread.
 
2010-05-21 08:48:21 PM
dbaggins: im2lagged2frag: its not load bearing, it just has to support itself and connect to the sea floor and a ship up top. maybe 50 foot diameter, just to guide the oil and gas. stick tubes in to suck out the stuff that is heavier.


but it *is* load bearing. it has to hold the pressure difference due to the difference in density of the oil and water.


can't draw a picture, but think about a pillar of oil surrounded by water. at the base, the pillar of oil weighs different than the water.


well more like seawater with oil in it versus the surrounding seawater without oil in it. not talking about creating a sealed pipe, just a coloumn for at least the majority of the oil to flow through, for now, until the problem is actually fixed.

you figure there'd still be too great of a pressure difference, resulting in the flexible plastic chimney collapsing or tearing outwards?
 
2010-05-21 08:52:02 PM
i540.photobucket.com

Disapproves of this thread

/Obscure?
 
2010-05-21 08:54:45 PM
Radioactive Ass: The Southern Dandy: My dad worked on the Jennifer Project to pull a Russian sub out of the mud from the bottom of the Pacific. He used to talk about what a biatch it was to get that thing unstuck from the mud...there's got to be a way to get a funnel stuck in the mud so that even the frozen hydrates can't unstick it. There's gotta be some minds in the Navy or DARPA that can resolve this.

It was estimated that the Golf that the Golmar Explorer tried to recover was going up to 200 mph when it hit the bottom and that's why it was stuck. I doubt that they are going to get something going that fast anywhere near that damaged BOP and risk knocking it off the wellhead making the spill much, much worse.


What the shiat, a golf moving at 173 knots?

HOW?
 
2010-05-21 09:03:35 PM
Bootstraps? Oil is natural and nature will take care of it.
 
2010-05-21 09:28:07 PM
globalwarmingpraiser: And how was the silicon mined. Not against it but right now, everything requires petroleum. FTR I love what you have done to your house and am planning on it myself.

I agree, there are plenty of areas in our society where petroleum based products are needed and still currently required. Air travel for one - along with heavy machinery. Our nation needs to get our act together on electrifying our rail, reducing the need for long-haul trucking, and finding ways to reduce petroleum use for personal transportation (through efficiency, alternatives - electric/natural gas, public transportation, and even a steeper use tax on personal transportation fuel).

I'm sure you agree, peak oil in the US happened long ago, and worldwide peak oil is very likely within our lifetime. We need to start making some real effort today to lessen the impact of being so reliant on one, dwindling, source of energy. Using what we have today, while it's still comparatively abundant, to steadily expand non-fossil energy sources, should be a major priority.
 
2010-05-21 09:33:51 PM
500+ comments and I got post this, you people disappoint.

http://www.binbin.net/photos/bars-leak/bar/bars-leak-radiator-sealer-135ml.jpg
 
2010-05-21 09:35:16 PM
^^^^^my internet skilz are broken right now.
 
2010-05-21 09:47:30 PM
Apparently, stalling is the most cost effective option for BP.
 
2010-05-21 09:47:57 PM
MrSteve007: globalwarmingpraiser: And how was the silicon mined. Not against it but right now, everything requires petroleum. FTR I love what you have done to your house and am planning on it myself.

I agree, there are plenty of areas in our society where petroleum based products are needed and still currently required. Air travel for one - along with heavy machinery. Our nation needs to get our act together on electrifying our rail, reducing the need for long-haul trucking, and finding ways to reduce petroleum use for personal transportation (through efficiency, alternatives - electric/natural gas, public transportation, and even a steeper use tax on personal transportation fuel).

I'm sure you agree, peak oil in the US happened long ago, and worldwide peak oil is very likely within our lifetime. We need to start making some real effort today to lessen the impact of being so reliant on one, dwindling, source of energy. Using what we have today, while it's still comparatively abundant, to steadily expand non-fossil energy sources, should be a major priority.


Actually we have more oil than people realize. But we shouldn't be waiting to run out. There should be plenty left when we have moved on. But the Environuts and the people oppised to anything labelled green are holding is back. As has been said, it wasn't a lack of stones that ended the stone age.
 
2010-05-21 09:51:26 PM
2theruns: Bootstraps? Oil is natural and nature will take care of it.

Either you're a troll (some way to live life, loser), or you're a farking grade A retard. Only two options, congrats on either.

Yes, oil is formed in nature, so why don't you take your natural ass down to the gulf and gobble that shiat up, take baths in it, eat it like it's Hershey's farking syrup, "oil is natural," after all!
 
2010-05-21 09:58:12 PM
current that washes out of the Gulf and up the eastern side of the Florida panhandle.

Since when is the Florida panhandle on the east coast sticking out into the Atlantic? Did it flip when I wasn't looking?
 
2010-05-21 09:58:21 PM
globalwarmingpraiser:

Between oil shale and the proven gulf, east, and west Coasts we have more oil than you realize. But it needs to be done in a safe and economical manner.


OPEC controls reserves that are orders of magnitude larger than the US reserves, so even if we allowed oil companies to drill, mine, or how ever they tap those reserves...it wouldn't amount to spit in a bucket compared to OPEC, and therefore would have minimal affect on oil prices.

Getting off the oil teat is a National Security imperative for the US, and opening up new areas to harvest oil is counter productive to a policy that would wean us of our dependence on oil.

We buy oil on the open market. Oil production is not nationalized in the US, so a few more wells is not going to do shiat for us, except generate more risk of another disaster like this.

We need to focus on renewables now.
 
2010-05-21 09:59:40 PM
Benjimin_Dover: current that washes out of the Gulf and up the eastern side of the Florida panhandle.

Since when is the Florida panhandle on the east coast sticking out into the Atlantic? Did it flip when I wasn't looking?


I think he meant to say the Florida Dong, not the panhandle.
 
2010-05-21 10:01:15 PM
http://www.redadair.com/slideshow.html

Cut and paste because I'm too farking lazy tonight.
 
2010-05-21 10:03:14 PM
TheKingOfMexico: BuckTurgidson: /How's our luck been going so far?

Just wanted to say thanks for bringing some actual industry knowledge and information to this thread without riding an agenda like a tired pony. I've learned more about this whole thing from five of your posts than in the other 550 in this thread.


Thanks. I'll repeat my disclaimer - I'm not in the industry, just some dude who's Googled a lot in the last month. I learned a fair amount from some Farkers here who are in the industry, which got me curious and I've been reading BOP specs and diagrams and brochures and first-hand accounts and MMS lease paper trails and maps and studies and the NOAA Deepwater Response site and the Coast Guard Deepwater response site and industry forums etc. etc. But I'm still just an interested amateur.

If you're interested in getting started yourself,
This article has a nice diagram that helps visualize the well.
Here's a brief description of the drilling process, with labeled diagrams of major gizmos. There was another awesome expert-explains-offshore-drilling-in-plain-English article on an industry blog that I can't find now.
These eBook sample pages from Drilling technology in nontechnical language By Steve Devereux helped a lot.
 
2010-05-21 10:04:32 PM
nosajghoul: Guysmiley: Ships are designed to... stay with me here... float.

you do know.... stay with me here... that ships can sink, and that... stay with me here... 40,000 tons is whats called... stay with me here... displacement

I also have a hard time trying to accept that even these pressures coming out a 2 foot wide pipe could push off 40,000 tons...


A two-foot-wide circle has an area of about 452 square inches. At 2200psi, that's 2200 * 452 = 994,400lbs, or a little shy of 500 tons.

BUT... the oil obviously floats, and there's a shiat-ton of gasses flying out of this hole, too. While the pressure alone couldn't lift a perfectly-fitted 40,000-ton object sitting on top of the hole (unfortunately, there's more than one hole and they're all jaggedy from the blowout), eventually, an object like a ship is just going to rise like a balloon since we've filled it up with methane and lighter-than-water oil.

Of course, this ignores the REALLY obvious point-- is there any part of that ship that can handle five hundred tons of force in a two-foot circle without deforming even a tiny bit and letting the oil squirt out?
 
2010-05-21 10:10:31 PM
halcyon thought: What the shiat, a golf moving at 173 knots?

HOW?


It was filled with water from the large hole in it from (presumably) a battery explosion. It then fell a few miles to where it landed. Think about it, you have what is now a submarine (a relatively hydrodynamic shape) with essentially zero buoyancy with plenty of time to gain speed. That speed estimate was the far end of the speed range BTW, the low end was about 50 kts or so IIRC. It depended on the angle it had as it fell.

That was also one of the reasons many people opposed raising it in the first place. They didn't know how fragile it was after the impact so they wanted to just cut a hole in it and get the decryption machines and books out and leave the rest of it down there. It's not like it was the flower of soviet technology by then.
 
2010-05-21 10:13:25 PM
Kommissar: When I heard NPR say that BP's permanent fix is to drill another hole into the busted pipe and jam. it. with. mud. yesterday evening, I pretty much figured that this spill is going to go on until all water in the Gulf is replaced by oil.

They must not have explained this very well. Pumping heavy mud into the well to balance the pressures is the best way of controlling the well. The NPR reporter apparently didn't know much about well control. We are not talking about the kind of "mud" you may have in your garden.
 
2010-05-21 10:17:16 PM
Poppa Boner: This wouldn't be a dome with a hose. It would be essentially concrete circles all the way to the top. Pressure and ice clogs was the issue with the domes. My plan involves little to no pressure. Just containment. The bonus is BP could actually capture the oil for refinement.

And you believe we can build a one-mile-tall concrete tower in the middle of the goddamn ocean faster than the relief wells? I mean, maybe it would work, if we had infinity dollars and the japanese loaned us Godzilla and a couple hundred giant robot mecha to help with construction, financed by the russian mob and staffed by most of china and india, and every weekend jetskier in america making supply runs back and forth from the louisiana coast.... but jesus.
 
2010-05-21 10:20:20 PM
Bucky Katt: Genevieve Marie: Bucky Katt: Love and Kisses,
Bucky Katt

I assume you don't drive a car or use any other forms of transportation requiring an internal combustion engine?

So my owning a car absolves BP of responsibility for its risky actions? How does that work? Or is asking that question the obligatory conservative talking point for today?


I ride a bike everywhere ( I can carry 99.8 lbs of groceries for 7.5 km) Can I throw the first stone at the BP Board?
 
2010-05-21 10:21:30 PM
At this point the relief well is the only tried and true solution to the seabed blowout. All of these goofy plans are just to make it appear that BP is "doing something" in the interim. Once the new well is dug, the flow will stop. I think that means at about two more months.
 
2010-05-21 10:22:12 PM
Jormungandr: I ride a bike everywhere ( I can carry 99.8 lbs of groceries for 7.5 km) Can I throw the first stone at the BP Board?

If you'd get a haircut, hippie, maybe the weight saved could get you to an even 100lbs.

/Kidding
 
2010-05-21 10:24:21 PM
Radioactive Ass: halcyon thought: What the shiat, a golf moving at 173 knots?

HOW?

It was filled with water from the large hole in it from (presumably) a battery explosion. It then fell a few miles to where it landed. Think about it, you have what is now a submarine (a relatively hydrodynamic shape) with essentially zero buoyancy with plenty of time to gain speed. That speed estimate was the far end of the speed range BTW, the low end was about 50 kts or so IIRC. It depended on the angle it had as it fell.

That was also one of the reasons many people opposed raising it in the first place. They didn't know how fragile it was after the impact so they wanted to just cut a hole in it and get the decryption machines and books out and leave the rest of it down there. It's not like it was the flower of soviet technology by then.


Here are some folks that disagree with ya....

Link (new window, DOE educational link)
 
2010-05-21 10:25:01 PM
Shatner's Bassoon: By the time anyone could build a 1 mile tall underwater chimney (which, as an oilwell cementer, I doubt is possible due to stresses), the relief well has already sealed the well with mud and cement.

If they started manufacturing 10' tall pieces of the damned thing at least they are directing it closer to the surface. It doesn't have to been concrete. Just get that sh*t contained!!

The "top hat" was a f*cking joke and a bleeding waste of time.
 
2010-05-21 10:38:20 PM
'LACKADAISICAL AND NAIVE'
Carville Slams Obama Response To Oil Spill, Warns: BP Is 'Going To Take You Down!'


Truth from a Lefty, finally.
 
2010-05-21 10:50:01 PM
Radioactive Ass: Headso: Coelacanth: Bunker Buster Bomb!!!

I've been screaming it all f'n month...

Since bombs and missiles are either in the air or in space I'd say they can withstand between 0 and 1 atmospheres of pressure.

Even weapons designed to operate underwater can't go that deep. There's no reason for them to do so as they only need to go as deep as the deepest operating depth of enemy submarines. It's also detrimental to fuel consumption to operate that deep due to exhaust gases back pressure fighting sea pressure.

And that's just some of the issues with suggesting such a retarded idea.


This is not rocket surgery- you'd just place it in a CONTAINER capable of withstanding 2500+ PSI, and maintain 1 atm inside. That's not hard.

The difficulty is:
1. We DON'T have a great deal of knowledge on this. Russia did it and got it to work for THEM, with a different yield and geology. Our concern is that it could rupture the entire oil reservoir and lead to a mind-farkingly huge leak with global consequences. As in "you think THIS is bad? You have NO idea how bad it could be".

2. We have major nuclear test bans. All civil use of nuclear bombs was banned too. We don't want to open that box again. Next thing you know, Iran will be claiming that they must develop, construction, and test nuclear weapons to be able to cap THEIR rigs. And who could argue? Not us, apparently.
 
2010-05-21 10:57:02 PM
nosajghoul: Seems it should be possible to make a section of pipe with a valve in it, make the pipe 'aerodynamic' so that the oil flow passing over/through it dosent push it off course, wedge it in nice and tight (optional:explosive bolts that instantly weld it to the inside of the pipe), then at the other end, just turn the valve off.

im2lagged2frag:40,000 PSI. froze shut and floated away a 90 ton cement block. its freezing and its under alot of pressure. building a cement chimney a mile high to direct the flow of oil to the surface might work better.


You also need to understand that the riser pipe is no longer round. It's bent, buckled, damaged, venting in other places than the end, and partially flattened. Plugging the end with a pipe would cause the pressure inside to increase and it'll intensify the leaks elsewhere, and probably enlarge the breaks.

BUT, that pipe's also restricting the flow somewhat. They COULD try to cut it off at the base to get a clean circle to jam a new pipe into it- but doing so would release the full flow of the oil and likely cause a disaster. Well, a worse disaster.
 
2010-05-21 11:00:13 PM
www.theforce.net

We believe a small, one-man submarine could fire a specially modified junk torpedo... the approach will NOT be easy.
 
2010-05-21 11:07:49 PM
uncletogie: Here are some folks that disagree with ya....

Link (new window, DOE educational link)


How did they disagree with me? A hydrodynamic shape designed to have as little drag as possible that weighs ~2,900 tons and has essentially zero buoyancy. What do you think that its terminal velocity would be if falling a few miles through the air? Over 200 mph? I'd have no doubt that it would be well over that number. The only different factor is the extra drag that water imparts compared to air. Again, this is an object already designed to move underwater as efficiently as possible. The only extra drag that it had (not on the design specs) was a big hole aft of the sail.

Those numbers weren't mine BTW, I got them from "Blind Man's Bluff" which dedicates an entire chapter to Project Jennifer. It's a pretty good read if you're into that kind of stuff and they went to great lengths to research the subject matter (as much as one can when doing a book on US submarine spying and other classified operations). The stuff that I personally know first hand (and second hand from some trusted shipmates) they got right so I tend to believe them on stuff that I know squat about. If they say that 200 mph was the upper limit then I gotta go with them on that.
 
2010-05-21 11:20:20 PM
Oznog: We believe a small, one-man submarine could fire a specially modified junk torpedo... the approach will NOT be easy.

I used to bullseye toilet overflows with my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

/couldn't choose between all the "junk torpedo" possibilities
 
2010-05-21 11:34:29 PM
Alright. I've got a question for you eggheads.

At 40,000 PSI (if that number is indeed correct) how wide would a 5000' long pipe have to be to make it so only a slow trickle of oil/seawater was coming out on the surface?

This question assumes that the pipe is infallible.
 
2010-05-22 12:22:49 AM
BP:

"Broken Pipe"

"Burning Platform"

"Beyond the Pale"

...
 
2010-05-22 12:28:38 AM
Poppa Boner

At 40,000 PSI (if that number is indeed correct) how wide would a 5000' long pipe have to be to make it so only a slow trickle of oil/seawater was coming out on the surface?

At that pressure, the oil and gas would be shooting five hundred feet in the air with a deafening supersonic roar.

The pipe they had was fine. The blowout preventer failed as did everything above it. Except the pipe.

Only after the rig sank like that falling crane scene in "The Abyss", only 100x worse, and bent the pipe all over the place did it finally break, and even then only in a couple places.

Nothing wrong with the pipe.
 
2010-05-22 12:31:38 AM
Where's MacGyver when you need him
 
2010-05-22 12:39:13 AM
So is this thread still live? Cuz I'm into a bottle of wine and a tad bored.
 
2010-05-22 12:51:55 AM
Poppa Boner: Alright. I've got a question for you eggheads.

At 40,000 PSI (if that number is indeed correct) how wide would a 5000' long pipe have to be to make it so only a slow trickle of oil/seawater was coming out on the surface?

This question assumes that the pipe is infallible.


A wider pipe would only increase the flow rate, it would however reduce the time frame until the pressure subsided to a trickle. Of course in the meantime you have a huge amount of oil in the water...

This isn't like a pipe with a pump on it, it's more like a huge hydraulic accumulator with a nearly endless spring supplying the pressure. That's probably not the best analogy but it's pretty close.
 
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