Bill Clinton: The Navy may have to blow up the oil well

posted at 8:03 pm on June 28, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via CBS, a little something to file away in case the relief wells that BP’s currently drilling don’t do the trick. Skip ahead to 2:30 or so for the money bit. Mind you, he’s not suggesting a nuclear fix here — that idea still resides in the feds’ “crazy” file at last check — but if the new wells fail and the crude keeps a-bubblin’ on into September, all options will be on the table. An interesting detail from the CBS piece: Assuming the worst-case scenario materializes, would BP sue to keep American bombs away from the leak?

There has been some pressure for BP to simply blow up the well, with critics suggesting the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.

“If we demolish the well using explosives, the investment’s gone,” former nuclear submarine officer and a visiting scholar on nuclear policy at Columbia University Christopher Brownfield said in a Fox News interview in May. “They lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the drilling of the well, plus no lawmaker in his right mind would allow BP to drill again in that same spot. So basically, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with BP: They either keep the well alive, or they lose their whole investment and all the oil that they could potentially get from that well.” (He penned an opinion piece in the New York Times making the argument.)

Roughly 95 percent of the available oil in the field is still underground, so there’s plenty of black gold for BP to mine if they can get it under control.

As for BJ’s point about how the feds are now “taking help from other countries,” that’s true but limited: According to Thad Allen, 15 foreign vessels are now working on the clean-up. And no, they didn’t need any Jones Act waivers. Apparently that only applies within three miles of shore. Faster, please.


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Fabulous…

Khun Joe on June 28, 2010 at 8:06 PM

And no, they didn’t need any Jones Act waivers. Apparently that only applies within three miles of shore. Faster, please.

d’oh! come on folks!

cmsinaz on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Not every hole can be plugged with cigars.

Cicero43 on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

The jokes write themselves.

greggriffith on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Sad day when Bill Clinton has a better understanding of what is going on than the current POTUS.

If anyone read that post at the Oil Drum, this seems like the ONLY solution now.

Vigilante on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

As I understand it, there’s a potential problem of the oil leaking upward through the floor of the ocean if the well is plugged or blown up. This is indeed a very large field.

SteveMG on June 28, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Put the GITMO prisoners on a barge and send them on “clean up duty.”

Wink. Nod. Nudge.

ThePrez on June 28, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Not every hole can be plugged with cigars.

Cicero43 on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Thread winner!!!

Lance Murdock on June 28, 2010 at 8:13 PM

That is is statement is typical of the Sexual Predator from the Oval Office,

always wanting to blow sumpin up!!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Clinton seems to have forgotten about the super powers of the Lawless One. He said he could heal the oceans. BP tried its golf ball plug early on…let’s get the part time President to hit a few into the gulf until he gets a hole in One.

jimw on June 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

Women with oily stained dresses we unavailable for comment.

Electrongod on June 28, 2010 at 8:14 PM

The jokes write themselves.

greggriffith on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Yup, here’s more material for late-night comedians, bloggers, etc.

listens2glenn on June 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM

3 miles from shore is the limit of state territorial waters, although I seem to remember that the former Spanish territory Gulf Coast states were allowed to grandfather in a 9-mile limit from their colonial days.

The territorial limit for the United States is 12 miles, plus a “contiguous zone” of an additional 12 miles (for what is known as “hot pursuit”). However, the “exclusive economic zone” – i.e., the zone in which the United States has exclusive rights to exploit the economic spoils – extends to 200 miles or the outer rim of the continental shelf, whichever is further. This of course would include oil drilling.

In sum, I have no idea why the Jones Act would only apply inside 3 nautical miles from shore. That just doesn’t sound right.

SWLiP on June 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM

The ‘Clinton ponders explosions in small tight tunnels” jokes really do write themselves.

Guardian on June 28, 2010 at 8:19 PM

Why does it take Bill Clinton for me to hear about the Navy as the option of last resort… that’s messed up.

bayam on June 28, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Breaking News from BendOver BackWards News(BBN)

Reports coming in….that the 50 Megaton Warhead is
successful,and the OilWell at Mississippi Canyon Block
252 has been sealed………

However,the shockwave has blown off the capping at the
Tiber Well at Keathley Canyon Block 102,which is down at
35,055 feet!!!

So,we have a new Oil Spill Problem!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:21 PM

Thread winner!!!

Lance Murdock on June 28, 2010 at 8:13 PM

2nd that….good one

cmsinaz on June 28, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Lets ignore the geologists who specialize in oil fields. Lets ignore engineers who specialize in drilling oil wells ‘cuz, obviously they caused the problem, right? Or at least a few of them did, or at least the managers of the company over ruled the engineers. So lets brand them all with the same fault and listen to politicians, non engineers, media pundits, and cab drivers, and lets not forget Nobel prize winning physicists and environmentalists, ‘cuz they smart, you see.

Skandia Recluse on June 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

I am just glad he did not use the term…”Plug the damn hole”…

d1carter on June 28, 2010 at 8:24 PM

the outer rim of the continental shelf,

SWLiP on June 28, 2010 at 8:18 PM

SWLiP: The continental shelf is in the sphere of MMS
influence,er,jurisdiction!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Make Bill Clinton the Blow Czar

Wade on June 28, 2010 at 8:25 PM

But…but,what happens if the frozen Methane Hydrate gets
warmed up,and expands by 164 times its size….and….and
poor Joe Average lights his cigerette with the huge Methane
gas release,and then,

El Ka-Blewy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Clinton is just jealous that some hard tube is able to spew longer and harder then he can…and get all this attention too.

Electrongod on June 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Nuke it from orbit

To quote Nelson Muntz “gotta nuke something”

skanter on June 28, 2010 at 8:29 PM

Question: What if the bomb blows a hole in the ocean floor, releasing billions of barrels of oil, destroying the Gulf ecosystem for 50 years?

Answer: Oops

Paul-Cincy on June 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I still say plug the damn hole with the entire Obama Regime…

Fuzzlenutter on June 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Breaking……….

Castro wants to do his part,and is building the worlds
biggest cigar,

Operation Cigar Plugger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:31 PM

Question: What if the bomb blows a hole in the ocean floor, releasing billions of barrels of oil, destroying the Gulf ecosystem for 50 years?

Answer: Oops

Paul-Cincy on June 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I think that is a very real concern. With all the ocean floor cracks that BP had to content with early on with this well, blowing it up may cause these cracks to leak.

Electrongod on June 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM

“Lets ignore the geologists who specialize in oil fields. Lets ignore engineers who specialize in drilling oil wells ‘cuz, obviously they caused the problem, right? Or at least a few of them did, or at least the managers of the company over ruled the engineers. So lets brand them all with the same fault and listen to politicians, non engineers, media pundits, and cab drivers, and lets not forget Nobel prize winning physicists and environmentalists, ‘cuz they smart, you see.”

And let us not forget the Hollywood geniuses…

Fuzzlenutter on June 28, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Clinton makes me queasy. Let`s hope he sorta is not in the vicinity of the explosion when they blow the well up . . . sorta . . . kinda . . . .

Sherman1864 on June 28, 2010 at 8:34 PM

Breaking…….

Environmentalist Wacko’s in,and within Team Hopey’s
Administration are calling Operation Cigar Plugger
viable,

however,they want an Environmental Impact Study,before
they give it a go ahead…….

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:35 PM

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

F’ing A…

malclave on June 28, 2010 at 8:38 PM

You may not need a nuke, just a slurry of ANFO.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Yeegads…. he actually said “feel their pain”.

Flashback.

tru2tx on June 28, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Not every hole can be plugged with cigars.
Cicero43 on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM
Thread winner!!!

Reporter: “How did you get this idea Mr. Clinton”? Clinton: “Monica called and said, for old times sake, let’s blow this thing up—I was sure she was talkin’ about the well.”

Rovin on June 28, 2010 at 8:49 PM

If blowing up the well will stop the leak, then by all means do it now, do it today. Why didn’t they do it on day one?

No one’s in charge and meanwhile the Gulf is turning into one huge barrel of oil.

fogw on June 28, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Make Bill Clinton the Blow Czar

Wade on June 28, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Duel thread winner!

GrannyDee on June 28, 2010 at 9:05 PM

The MSM has it sounding like the largest output well in the history of mankind.Why isnt the entire gulf coast and eastern seaboard covered in oil now?

docflash on June 28, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Is it not possible to have an intelligent universe of discourse on this site/thread?

disillusioned on June 28, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Comrade Bill C. has a great deal of experience with the spurting gushers. The trick is not to get any on your clothing during the explosion.

joe btfsplk on June 28, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Military experts, gun toting folks here, I have what I call a dumb question.

I am concerned on ways to blow this up in such a safe way that it won’t create some sort of tsunami (another crisis on the hit list?) I saw the Russian nuke way vid on YouTube and well, that was good but it was inland.

Anyhoo, The Won would have to approve and if so far the laundry list of options have not been applied, why think this one will go through? Like I mentioned in another thread, there’s got to be a way to get this guy off of office like on a season finale of “24″, only I don’t recall how that was done, or if it was even realistic.

Just dreaming here.

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM

I am concerned on ways to blow this up in such a safe way that it won’t create some sort of tsunami (another crisis on the hit list?) I saw the Russian nuke way vid on YouTube and well, that was good but it was inland.

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Not sure, a tsunami would require the ocean floor to move substantially like the Earthquake in Indonesia a few years ago.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Sad day when Bill Clinton has a better understanding of what is going on than the current POTUS.

If anyone read that post at the Oil Drum, this seems like the ONLY solution now.

Vigilante on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I think trying to blow up the well is the absolute worst idea. In all likelihood it would not do anymore than blow off the BOP, and make the outflow much worse.

BP started drilling the two relief wells almost immediately after the blowout occurred. These wells are designed to intercept the current well some 10,000 ft or more below the ocean surface and more than a mile below ocean floor.

The plan is to drill into the existing casing, force very high viscosity drilling mud down the relief well into the existing well to shut it off. By intercepting it way down below the floor, the diameter of the pipe is much less than where they tried the top kill, and they have a mile or more of pipe that can be used to block the flow.

The top kill did not work because they had not nearly enough length of pipe to cause proper clogging.

Once the flow is stopped they can send cement down the drill pipe to permanently plug the leak more than a mile under the ocean floor.

Amazing that they can do those things, unfortunately drilling that deep and that far takes a lot of time as we are witnessing.

Dasher on June 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Has anyone tried duct tape?

jimmy2shoes on June 28, 2010 at 9:39 PM

But…but,what happens if the frozen Methane Hydrate gets warmed up,and expands by 164 times its size….and….and poor Joe Average lights his cigarette with the huge Methane gas release,and then,

El Ka-Blewy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM

Atmospheric pressure at 5000 ft below the ocean surface = 2500 psi, atmospheric pressure at sea level 15 psi. 2500/15 = 166 that is where the 164 comes from. Methane at 2500 psi expands a lot when it is brought to the one atmosphere of pressure at sea level.

Then there is fact of the the gas pressure at 18,000 feet where the oil/gas pool is located.

What happens if they decide to try a nuke 5000 ft below the ocean floor, what happens if it doesn’t work. Who pays then? What if the ocean floor cracks and the oil is free to flow on its own accord? And then there is no way to stop it.

Dasher on June 28, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Just dreaming here.

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 9:23 PM

ProudPalinFan:Here are some links!:)
========================================================
Bit Tooth Energy

http://bittooth.blogspot.com/
===================

Storm Watch, 28 June 2010 and BP’s Deepwater Oil Spill Open Thread

http://www.theoildrum.com/
======================

Did Deepwater Methane Hydrates Cause the BP Gulf Explosion?

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100519/did-deepwater-methane-hydrates-cause-bp-gulf-explosion
=================================

Deepwater Horizon: A Firsthand Account

On Friday, April 30th 2010, an anonymous caller contacted the Mark Levin Show to clarify the events that preceded the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Rigzone has transcribed this broadcast for your convenience. To hear the actual radio broadcast please visit http://www.MarkLevinShow.com.
(Transcript/Audio)

http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=92765&rss=true
=============================================

Oil Volcano Pressure Too
Strong For Containment

http://rense.com/general91/oilor.htm
===============================
On the Twenty Mile Gas Bubble
he was a former NASA Administrator/

Richard C. Hoagland reports on BP oil spill gas bubble – Part 1 of 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3_23PFnTZ8
——————
Part 2

Richard C. Hoagland reports on BP oil spill gas bubble – Part 2 of 2
=========================================

Videos of Testamony of the Oil Workers,Captain,
the Drilling Boss,etc!

Deepwater Horizon

Joint Investigation

The Official Site of the Joint Investigation Team

http://www.deepwaterinvestigation.com/go/site/3043/
===============================================

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

http://www.eoearth.org/article/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 9:44 PM

Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure.

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 8:07 PM

Sigourney Weaver Waaay back when she was cute

Bobnormal on June 28, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Within three miles of shore?!?!?!?!? What the firetruck? Could this guy be a bigger boob?

Cindy Munford on June 28, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Plug it with Rosie O’Donnell

lexhamfox on June 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM

…then nuke it.

lexhamfox on June 28, 2010 at 9:56 PM

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 8:28 PM
=============
Atmospheric pressure at 5000 ft below the ocean surface = 2500 psi, atmospheric pressure at sea level 15 psi. 2500/15 = 166 that is where the 164 comes from. Methane at 2500 psi expands a lot when it is brought to the one atmosphere of pressure at sea level.

Then there is fact of the the gas pressure at 18,000 feet where the oil/gas pool is located.

What happens if they decide to try a nuke 5000 ft below the ocean floor, what happens if it doesn’t work. Who pays then? What if the ocean floor cracks and the oil is free to flow on its own accord? And then there is no way to stop it.

Dasher on June 28, 2010 at 9:42 PM

Dasher:)
===================================

Did Deepwater Methane Hydrates Cause the BP Gulf Explosion?

Strange and dangerous hydrocarbon offers no room for human error

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100519/did-deepwater-methane-hydrates-cause-bp-gulf-explosion

———–

The Twenty Mile Methane Gas Bubble Theory!
=========================================

Richard C. Hoagland reports on BP oil spill gas bubble – Part 1 of 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3_23PFnTZ8
—————————

Richard C. Hoagland reports on BP oil spill gas bubble – Part 2 of 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oK-ajsuuAg&feature=related
=============================================

canopfor on June 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Dasher on June 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Agree with trying to blow up the well may be a bad idea. There is no way of knowing what may happen afterward in this case, nor have I known for this to be tried before. I doubt “nuking” is a viable option here with the potential release of fallout into the atmosphere from the ensuing steam generated. The atmospheric pressure may dissolve the steam into the water before it reaches the surface, but there will still be after effects.

disillusioned on June 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM

He still president? Didn’t care for him much, but he’s destiny’s dream man compared to that thing we have in the WH now

clnurnberg on June 28, 2010 at 10:15 PM

Yet another reason to hate Obama – he actually makes me nostalgic for Clinton.

Special K on June 28, 2010 at 10:42 PM

Could Michelle sit on it!

The well I mean.

dhunter on June 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM

“Just blow up the well” is a pretty funny reference. It’s not Ed’s, he’s quoting Clinton, and I’m sure the possibility is on the table — but this it not something there’s a plan on the shelf for. It would be an experimental effort from start to finish.

An underwater nuclear detonation looks like a supercolossally bad idea (even a supercalifragilisticexpialidociously bad idea). It seems clear that the objective would be to relieve the pressure under which the oil is flowing, or at least diffuse it so that the oil flow spreads across release points and slows to an ooze. A detonation of any kind is extremely unlikely to “plug” the hole, I would think.

And that flight into the realm of the unknown is just the “targeting objective.” We haven’t even gotten to how you deliver the warhead(s). Again, it’s not like there’s an OPLAN to dust off. The Navy has submersible devices that could lay charges for remote detonation; presumably it would be something like that. But there’s zero guarantee what kind of effect would be produced until the outcome of the first try was observed.

Note on territorial waters (TTW). At the time of the Jones Act, the US recognized a TTW limit of 3 nautical miles (2000 yards per NM). The UN Convention on Law of the Sea, 1983, proposes recognizing a 12NM limit as the international standard. We signed onto that in the 1980s. But a number of US laws and military procedures from earlier years were written with the 3NM limit in mind, and the Jones Act is one.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM

OT but that pic of Bill is spooky. Like one of those bobblehead dolls his head is bigger than his body!
Is Bill turnin into a Bobblehead?
His head is gettin bigger and his body is gittin smaller.

Call out the liar Bill come on McChrystal did yes you can!

dhunter on June 28, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Well, not every thought is brilliant. LOL*

AnninCA on June 28, 2010 at 11:02 PM

We haven’t even gotten to how you deliver the warhead(s).
J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Some comments seem to suggest doing it from orbit. LOL, is all I have to say here.

disillusioned on June 28, 2010 at 11:08 PM

disillusioned on June 28, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Yeah, I don’t think they were serious about doing it from orbit. I hope not anyway. Little matter of that air-water boundary resistance shift…

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM

He gets rattled and just starts making things up when asked about Jones and blowing and stuff .

borntoraisehogs on June 28, 2010 at 11:19 PM

BTW, at 10:47 PM I meant AP, not Ed.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 11:19 PM

Perhaps Obama might like some black rain…just sayin’!

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 11:21 PM

And no, they didn’t need any Jones Act waivers. Apparently that only applies within three miles of shore. Faster, please.

The major damage to sensitive ecological systems are inside the 3 mile limit. We need some of these major skimmers inside of 3 miles.

chemman on June 28, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Yeah, I don’t think they were serious about doing it from orbit. I hope not anyway. Little matter of that air-water boundary resistance shift…

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Relevant Clip to explain it all

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 11:38 PM

Cicero43 on June 28, 2010 at 8:10 PM

I’ll be sending you the medical bill for the ribs I cracked laughing at that. Oh wait, Obama’s paying for it out of his stash. Never mind.

Thread winner!

TugboatPhil on June 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

eepwater Horizon: A Firsthand Account

On Friday, April 30th 2010, an anonymous caller contacted the Mark Levin Show to clarify the events that preceded the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Rigzone has transcribed this broadcast for your convenience. To hear the actual radio broadcast please visit http://www.MarkLevinShow.com.
(Transcript/Audio)

http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=92765&rss=true

Thanks for that, I read this one; if what he said is to the best of his knowledge and gas had a major play in this, it cannot be blown, IMHO. God knows what else might happen, thousands of lives could die of this; we have enough affected with the oil already.

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Holger on June 28, 2010 at 11:38 PM

Thanks, shipmate. Unbelievably, a piece of cultural iconography I never committed to memory. I’ve only seen it once and will probably go to my grave with that statistic intact.

J.E. Dyer on June 28, 2010 at 11:42 PM

The physics is there to support blowing the well up. We have done underground nuclear tests and know how they behave and the risks involved. Chemical explosives or a small yield tactical nuke can be used. They would need to drill a parallel bore hole into the sea bed. It would have to be drilled into the appropriate strata so that the concussive force would implode the well pipe sealing it shut. The issue since Top Kill failed is whether the current pipe in the bore hole is compromised. If it is damaged the explosive has to be detonated below that damage. In any case if a low yield tactical nuke was involved what little radioactive material is generated would be sealed in the strata around the location of the detonation (think underground nuclear tests). If a detonation closure is required then that well couldn’t be used again which would be an issue to BP.

chemman on June 28, 2010 at 11:50 PM

ProudPalinFan on June 28, 2010 at 11:40 PM

Carbon fuel source + oxygen + ignition source –> rapid oxidation reaction.(Rapid oxidation reaction: burning or explosion.)

If they needed to use an explosive device the gas is not an issue. The oxygen concentration for a fire or explosion of the gas needs to be well above what you will find where the explosion take place. A small yield tactical nuke doesn’t require oxygen at all (a nuclear reaction instead of a chemical reaction) A conventional charge would have its own oxygen supply to drive it and would be consumed well before interacting with the gas.

chemman on June 29, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Bill is of course the expert in blowing it up.

bayview on June 29, 2010 at 12:26 AM

If you need something blown, just bring in Clinton.

Mojave Mark on June 29, 2010 at 1:26 AM

I find it interesting that just reading the headline of this post, Clinton has provided more leadership on the issue of how to stop the well than Obama has in the last 2 months.

ButterflyDragon on June 29, 2010 at 1:51 AM

At least a president is paying attention to the Gulf, even if he is a former one.

NavyMustang on June 29, 2010 at 3:37 AM

There are too many unknowns to say what the best way to deal with an explosive closure would be, and anything said is pure speculation.

In general I’m against a large scale blast for anything but demolition where you don’t care about where the parts go. So nukes aren’t the best option unless you can dust off some of the old ideas by Teller on smallest feasible nuclear devices. Even then you will need to place such a device properly so it doesn’t fracture any impermeable layers over the formation, otherwise you just have the same problem spread out over a longer time and wider area and that would be unstoppable.

Next is precisely placed explosives put beneath an impermeable layer that is under compression stress. The idea is to weaken enough of the area to let the formation close down on the unequal stress distribution and get a semi-permeable seal. That still leaves you with oil coming out, but at a highly reduced rate and a good fraction of that is now captured under a second impermeable layer for later recapture. Just from generalized knowledge only, I doubt that is possible due to the generally flat configuration of layers where there are no salt dome intrusions.

Third, and I don’t think tried yet at this sort of scale, is the multiple small explosions having a single point where the waveforms all overlap to deliver their energy precisely. While done relatively easily for lipotripsy, it may be impossible at the large scale, and coordinating multiple small blasts of shaped charges in the proper sequence to deliver a fraction of their energy at a single point at a single instant may be beyond the state of the art. The great benefit of this method is that you need only drill down to a relatively solid layer for conducting the blast energies, no single blast will breach the conducting layer and yet enough energy is delivered to weaken the drill hole and cause it to implode due to the overburden pressures. That might take some months of computer modeling time… but due to the nature of the feat you can get more than one try at it, just with different sub-munitions positioning.

In the totally ‘out there’ concept is something like a cone of tungsten steel with a shaft of timed explosives behind it, each with relatively thick steel layers between them. It starts out at a diameter less than the drill hole, but the last few blasts will deform the back of it so that it can’t be pushed up the hole. File with quick setting concrete behind it and pray. Yes that is totally SF and no one, in their right mind, would ever try that. But Operation Dart Plug has s certain prosaic ring to it, all other sexual imagery aside, of course.

I’m not all that worried about a tsunami unless there were a catastrophic failure of the entire oil formation due to sudden de-pressurization and implosion. Then you are looking at a Cumbra Vieja sort of event for the all the Gulf Coastal areas. You really don’t want one of those as it would be multiple times larger than the Christmas 2004 Tsunami and way closer to landfall everywhere in the Gulf. Really, I would hate to lose Florida over this…

ajacksonian on June 29, 2010 at 6:23 AM

Jones Act is not about foreign flagged vessels navigating withing U.S. territorial water but instead with commerce. How we have foreign flagged drilling rigs in the GoM, is something that astounds me. I wonder when this changed.

Kermit on June 29, 2010 at 7:08 AM

Why do I snicker when I see a headline with the words Bill Clinton and blow together?

angryed on June 29, 2010 at 7:34 AM

The physics is there to support blowing the well up. We have done underground nuclear tests and know how they behave and the risks involved….

I strongly disagree. Being a physicist AND petroleum geology specialist, I am unaware of any nuke tests in high overburden, unconsolidated sediments with a low fracture gradient at extreme pressures. In all like probablitity, the explosion will compromise the already fragile sediments around the wellbore casing and wellhead, and just spead the production over a vastly increased area, where collection efferts will be much more difficult.

Concerning Billy Jeff’s comment of “let’s blow it up”, i’d like to ask when was the last time that he blew one up? He said he heard the Russians did it, and assigns his logic to that notion. I’d also like to know when was the last time he got some grease on his hands? (And I don’t mean KY) I don’t believe he has any expertise in this area, so he should STFU.

Here’s something I heard – let’s capture one of those fairies like Tinkerbell, and get her fairy dust form her (I’ve actually read about this). We put it on some US Navy trained dolphins that are experts at detonation manuvers (I’ve read about this also). Then we’ll get them to swim down to the well, and while we watch on the ROVs near the BOP, instruct them to sprinkle the fairy dust on the well. We’ll all hold hands and wish REALLY hard for the well to stop gushing. And we will conclude with a rousing chorus of Kumbayah.

Why wasn’t this thought of until now?

gonnjos on June 29, 2010 at 8:36 AM

Some comments seem to suggest doing it from orbit. LOL, is all I have to say here.

disillusioned on June 28, 2010 at 11:08 PM

C’mon man, Aliens came out in 1986. Rent it, it’s freaking great.

madne0 on June 29, 2010 at 8:59 AM

I have been wondering why we haven’t been hearing about this for a while now. I guess BP was probably pushing to prevent that.

Sure the pipe was drilled, but the cost of a new pipe cannot be anywhere near the cost of continuing to clean up the spill year after year.

jeffn21 on June 29, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Question: What if the bomb blows a hole in the ocean floor, releasing billions of barrels of oil, destroying the Gulf ecosystem for 50 years?

Answer: Oops

Paul-Cincy on June 28, 2010 at 8:30 PM

I think that is a very real concern. With all the ocean floor cracks that BP had to content with early on with this well, blowing it up may cause these cracks to leak.

Electrongod on June 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM

The possibility of leaking cracks is a concern, but not even a nuke is going to “blow a hole in the ocean floor”.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The possibility of leaking cracks is a concern, but not even a nuke is going to “blow a hole in the ocean floor”. – Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I am certainly no expert on what would happen if they used a small nuclear device at that depth. However, I remember seeing a lot of videos of underground nuclear explosions. What happens with these explosions is the surrounding earth is vaporized and the earth just collapses.

SC.Charlie on June 29, 2010 at 2:36 PM