BP Took 79 Days To Do Fix Citizen Sent Them On Day 6

A reader claims he emailed BP and the White House on April 28th with the very method put into place to seal the gushing oil well on July 10th, and all he ever got back were boilerplate form letter replies.

Reader jlc107 is a native New Orleanian and 12th generation Louisianian and he’s livid at the incompetence that has come to define the disaster and its response.

He has prior expertise in deep-sea drilling, but the technique he suggested on the second day of the disaster would be intuitive to anyone with basic plumbing knowledge.

“If BP attached the flange a mile below using ROVs, then they can detach that same flange in the same manner. Get the mangled, damaged riser pipe out of the way,” he wrote. “Put a proper and precise valve assembly on a clean short stub flange, open the valve pipe wide open, then attach the assembly in place and bolt on with the valve wide open. Then gradually shut the valved down, making sure that the borehead can withstand the contained pressure.”

Here’s the screenshots of his correspondence, including the graphic he made to help them out:bp_method.jpg

I’m no underwater plumber but what jlc107 proposed seems to be exactly what BP is doing now. If it turns out that this method ends up sealing the well, how many gallons of oil could we have prevented from spoiling our oceans and country if people with the power to escalate information were checking those inboxes instead of robots?

UPDATE: jlc107 has read your comments and would like to respond:

The consumerist.com crowd is tough, often ill-informed/under-informed, and brutally judgmental about people and matters they know NOTHING about.

To correct/clarify a few points:

1) I do NOT have prior experience in deep-sea drilling. I did however, put myself through college working on petroleum supply/service vessels in a Louisiana shipyard during the summers. I was in the midst of a lot of Halliburton mud-pumping equipment and Cameron BOP’s, and interfaced with Halliburton and Cameron personnel/experts, fairly regularly. I am a software engineer by profession, with hundreds of solutions deployed worldwide.

2) My illustrations were not meant to be precise but merely guides or concepts. What has stopped the oil is indeed a form of modified BOP, assembled with readily-available components. No specialized fabrication was needed. This solution could have been in place almost from the start.

3) There was no intent to profit from my suggestions — merely to do the right thing — and get this solved for ALL OF US. We only have this one planet.

4) The riser pipe could have been cut on day two — and it’s flange removed and new valving assemblies attached — tight and clean.

5) YES, I did fill out the form and submit the PDF sketches, consistent with BP’s protocols.

6) The BRILLIANT idea was detach that which was broken and replace with a valving system that will shut it off. You will also note, that in my preliminary email, I did include the CAVEAT “making sure the bore head can withstand the contained pressure.”

7) Considering this morning they removed a faulty choke hub and replaced it with a working hub, all within two hours, and at a depth of 5,000 feet below sea-level, clearly PROVES what I was proposing was relatively straight-forward and doable.

I suppose the wild comments PROVE: those that don’t participate in the solving process — criticize with reckless abandon.

Amazing, how could common sense actually work? I’m not surprised, but apparently the masses are. Go figure!

Cordially,
jlc107

No wonder BP says their staff was “deeply affected” by that infamous “BP Cleans Up Coffee Spill” parody video.

Comments

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  1. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Except wasn’t the riser pipe still attached, and thus in the way, on the 2nd day?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Also, shame on Obama. After declaring oil rigs safer than they have ever been, and accusing on shore facilities for causing previous leaks, all he can do is send a boiler plate letter? He should have attended one less party and wrote this guy back!

      • c!tizen says:

        sarcasm?

        Also, I’m truly surprised that no one has thought to stop the leak with a giant butt plug, you know… a BP.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:
          • c!tizen says:

            well, he is right, they are safer… when they’re properly maintained. I’d say he should throw up some harsher regulations for the oil industry, but every time he says anything about regulating any industry, even if that industry’s lack of regulation almost took this country down, all he gets is posters with swastikas and armed red-necks yelling socialist.

            *Disclaimer*

            -I’m not a political person. I think stupidity is spread equally across all elephants and donkeys.
            -I
            -I have posters, but none with swastikas… mostly just ones of good movies
            -I think pot should be legal and have great reasons to back it up
            -I only watch fox for The Simpsons
            -I think Glen Beck is an idiot mixed with a tool wrapped in a cry baby that was supposed to be a boy, but lost it’s genitals shortly after birth
            -I think the fact that every engineer at BP has failed to plug this hole is a key indicator that BP engineers need to get laid more.

            /end

            • c!tizen says:

              the second disclaimer point was supposed to be

              - I love my guns, but I did the whole heart with a 3 symbol thingy which this site apparently doesn’t condone.

    • Dinhilion says:

      But this guy is special! It would have worked for him!

    • FredKlein says:

      At least Read The Fine ASUmmary:

      “If BP attached the flange a mile below using ROVs, then they can detach that same flange in the same manner. Get the mangled, damaged riser pipe out of the way,” he wrote.

      Sheesh.

  2. smo0 says:

    If this works…. this man should be proclaimed a world hero.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Why? Because he came proposed something that is not what is going to be done? They are not attaching either a BOP or a “ball valve” to the well head.

      • TheMonkeyKing says:

        YEAH! Where the hell is my response from BP about using a ball gag? Huh, whaddya mean, it won’t work? My cousin used one to shut up his fat…oh, nevermind.

  3. MrBryan says:

    Should BP listen to every crackpot with an e-mail address?

    • segfault, registered cat offender says:

      Once they’ve proven that they’re a bunch of crackpots on their own, yes, they should listen to every crackpot with an e-mail address.

    • obits3 says:

      No, but this guy sent them a graphic to show what to do.
      The first thing they should have done was to look at all of the emails with graphics. Next you sort them into categories. Combine redundant ideas.
      Forward a copy of the ideas to BP. Ask BP which ideas they are testing. Have some U.S. department start testing other ideas. Also, perform a universal search of the text emails for keywords. Ideas will still be missed, but if someone makes a diagram, it should be considered.

      • nova3930 says:

        A diagram does not an engineering solution make.

        As an aerospace engineer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been involved in sketching up solutions to problems, including diagrams, that just didn’t fucking work once you get down to the nitty gritty actual engineering.

        And no a plumber could not have solved this “simple problem” with “common sense”. Common sense works great when you’re trying to plug a water line in someone’s front yard. Subsituting “common sense” for engineering knowledge and best practices is a great way to get people killed and/or cause even worse problems than the one’s you’re trying to solve.

        • partofme says:

          This. I’m also in the aero field. As much as I hear stories from researchers who say, “I came up with this idea and drew it on a napkin…” after their ideas work, you don’t hear of all the other little drawings that end up not working.

        • DingoAndTheBaby says:

          While that is very, very true, it doesn’t appear anyone even bothered to look at the ideas in the first place. In order to determine that the sketch just won’t work in a the physical world, you have to at least study it any maybe even make an attempt to test what the sketch outlines. None of that appears to have been done. So while you’re correct, I think you’re over-simplifying the course of events.

    • Chubbybudha says:

      Even if jlc107 is right, and this is exactly what BP is doing, why would BP or the President’s advisors have read this two months ago? jlc107 does not present any credentials, so his solution wouldn’t stand out from any other crackpots ideas.

    • opticnrv says:

      Simply put…yes.

      If you’ve run out of ideas, it’s time to start looking for suggestions. A crackpot can only be labeled as such after assessing his suggestion, thereby exposing yourself to the suggestion in the first place.

      This is proof that the victims of this disaster were not simply telling BP to ‘fix the problem’ they were, in fact, telling them ‘fix the problem, and here are some suggested solutions’. This makes BPs slow response time even more of a failure in my eyes.

    • pinkbunnyslippers says:

      Considering the fact that they’d run out of ideas and started employing things that Jed Clampett would’ve thought of when he struck oil, then yeah – I think so.

      • Limewater says:

        What makes you think they were out of ideas?

        • pinkbunnyslippers says:

          Oh I don’t know – we’re at day 86 with over 215M gallons of oil spilled. I’d say if they had any good ideas, this would’ve been over a while ago.

          • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

            Ideas aren’t the problem. It’s implementation. “Stick a new valve on” sounds very simple. But how do you attach it? What’s the least damaging way(because damage under 7kPSI can lead to a structural failure and a worse leak, not to save property) to attach it? Can the existing structure take the extra weight? Is it at any sort of an angle? etc….

            I think the best analogy I can think of is picture a fire hydrant gets hit by a car and has water(the oil) and debris(gas ice crystals) shooting out the top. The main shutoff nut(on top) is broken, and the dome around that is missing some pieces. From the top of a 30 story building, you need to contain all the water until you can tap into the water main supplying it and clog it. Come up with an idea, then think about how long it would take you to fashion the idea you came up with and put it into practice.

            • Conformist138 says:

              At some point, someone was allowed to drill that well. They were allowed to drill it, it seems, without much of a plan for the worst case scenario. Buildings, which can really only cause impact to their immediate surroundings, require reenforcement and protection from statistically unlikely events, and no one would accept an “oops, couldn’t have seen that coming” from a builder who had a high-rise fall over.

              Golf balls and knots of rope are not an acceptable emergency plan. If they didn’t know how to deal with a mess like this, they had no business being there. Again, something smaller would impact just them, but we’re talking national and global impact from just one of these wells. I can’t accept “they’re trying, but it’s hard” because that should have been addressed long before approval was given.

              Most of the public can’t do anything when massive problems occur, not many of us are experts, so we must cross our fingers and hope that the experts really are experts. When the oil experts turn all Phone-a-Friend on us, I lose faith. When they can’t even manage to do more than blink when real suggestions come in, I sit down and cry.

          • Limewater says:

            That’s kind of silly. They seem to have lots of ideas, but only one pipe spewing high pressure oil under a mile of water. They’ve been working on it constantly since it happened, but they can’t just try every idea at once. They probably had plans for this solution in place inside of a week after the accident, but were trying the safer/quicker to implement stuff first.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      They have been SOLICITING IDEAS-there is a whole center down here right now with like 50 employees fielding phone calls/emails/letters for suggestions. The callers vet the suggestions, and if it looks like something that could work, it gets passed along to BP.

  4. Bativac says:

    This reminds me of every disaster movie ever made, where the guy with the answer just can’t get anybody in government to listen to him, until it’s almost too late. This guy doesn’t look like Jeff Goldblum, does he?

    • nbs2 says:

      I bet a if we had uploaded a virus using a MBP to the BP servers, we could have ended this problem on day 5.

  5. mikeP says:

    So we had 1 intelligent solution, probably mixed in with the millions of ‘FIX IT NOW!’ ones, and the ‘D00DZ, JUST SHUT OFF THE OILS BY TITENING THE SEEL” ones.

    Someone who normally goes through a dozen emails per day now has hundreds of thousands to sort through. Obviously some intelligent ones will be missed. The clerk sorting has no idea which solutions are worth investigating and which ones to discard.

    • shoy says:

      I was one of the “clerks” sorting ideas. I have a Master’s degree in chemical engineering, so yes, I had a very good idea which solutions were worth investigating. Please check your facts before you call someone incompetent.

      • jason in boston says:

        You are too smart for this blog. Common sense and intelligence is looked down upon here.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Right, and the company was providing in their canned response instructions for the guy to send in a form outlining his specific ideas. The people manning the e-mail account needed to sort everything coming in and weed out the idiots from the people with real ideas. If the guy had sent all of his data in and still got a canned response, I could see how it would be cause for being upset. But the canned e-mail was giving instructions for sending information to the proper technical people who could understand what he was suggesting.

        • jefeloco says:

          I’m glad that someone other than me caught that!

          “Oh, you sent an idea to me instead of a death threat, please send your useful proposals here so we can check them out” is the gist I got.

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        Please don’t take this as an insult, as I respect your knowledge.

        Given your degrees, and possible knowledge you might have, would attaching a massive structure like another BOP(which, from what I have read, are usually attached to the sea floor) on top of this very thin pipe be a good idea? Would the pipe and flanges be able to handle all that weight and stress? Also, would a “giant ball valve” work due to the tremendous pressure at work? What kinds of tests need to be done to the existing pipe to guage it’s strength? If you don’t have access to the inside of the pipe, can you x-ray it accurately since the imaging plate can’t be inside, to detect micro-cracks?

        • shoy says:

          As I understand it, BP didn’t really know the extent to which the well casing and BOP were damaged, so they were hesitant to block it in for fear that the whole thing might rupture.

      • craptastico says:

        apparently reading comprehension is not required for a Masters in Chemical Engineering, as in no way shape or form did he imply that you were incompetent, only that you probably had a lot of emails to sift through.

        • shoy says:

          “The clerk sorting has no idea which solutions are worth investigating and which ones to discard.”

          • mikeP says:

            So you are saying that the very first person that reads all emails to BP is someone with a master’s degree in chemical engineering?

            I doubt it. It is likely up to a secretary or PR person to attempt to at least do the first level of sorting. It could have easily fell through the cracks at this point.

            If it HAD gotten to someone with the right background, then it would have been considered seriously. I suspect it did not.

      • grapedog says:

        degree =/= intelligence

        • DingoAndTheBaby says:

          But it DOES = relevant and sufficient knowledge to know if a solution is even remotely feasible. I take it you’re not one of those degree-having people…

  6. JollyJumjuck says:

    I’m sure some genius at either the BP executive level, or some high-up government hotshot found this letter and is now going to take the credit for the idea. Can’t have the hoi polloi giving advice to their betters!

  7. Jesse says:

    I think the delay was more the result of the overly methodical approach taken by BP. Days and weeks were wasted on boxes, pumping heavy drilling mud and other ideas before the cap system was implemented.

    Also, if they had to fabricate the caps from scratch, it could have taken time depending on how complicated these cap systems are. But I’m not an engineer so I can’t say for sure.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Not to mention that each of their attempts had to be run past MMS (or whatever they’re calling it now) and other government agencies.

      Its not like BP can do whatever they want out there…

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      This is called Top Hat 10, which I think shows that it’s a new version. Also, this will NOT be attached to the well. Instead, once they finally remove the flange, newer piping will be installed, and TP10 attached to that.

  8. JonC says:

    Was the new valve off the shelf? If not, then the delay was probably the time needed to build what is a very complicated piece of equipment. They probably went with the solutions first for which they had the parts for (and which were the easiest ones), while at the same time building the new valves for a more permanent fix.

    • Rachacha says:

      Of course it was off the shelf! Doesn’t every Home Depot stock a 18″ ball valve impervious to salt water and pressures of thousands of PSI!!!
      /Sarcasm

      The concept of a ball valve is a simple one to come up with, but as has been said several times, there are a lot of untested things here and just abruptly plugging the hole could cause extreme pressure buildup and could (theoretically) blow the well and the entire pocket of oil making the situation worse than it is.

      The Government pushed BP to install the current valve, but earlier today asked BP to hold off on testing because they were concerned about the increased pressures and wanted to assess the situation further.

  9. Limewater says:

    That’s funny, because I totally solved the Natalie Holloway disappearance five years ago. I knew that dutch guy did it, but the police wouldn’t listen to me!

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    OK, I just did some research. The thing they will HOPEFULLY attach soon is called “Top Hat 10″. So this makes sense to me that they have been revising what they have tried and making it better and better. The riser pipe was not cut until June 3rd, so this readers idea wouldn’t have worked until then. I don’t think that the possibly damaged pipe can support the weight of another BOP, so that is why that idea wasn’t tried. As it is, the new Top Hat 10 will not be attached to the well. Instead, new pieces of pipes will be added, and the new Hat added to that.

    You know what I think? I think there are hundreds of experts who are working on this problem. They know a lot more information than most people do, have access to figures and x-rays of the well that we don’t, and I am willing to bet have reasons why the exact idea above wasn’t attempted, but instead a variant, is being tried now.

    • Limewater says:

      What are you talking about? He had a diagram! A DIAGRAM!!!!! I haven’t seen ANY diagrams from BP!

    • chrisexv6 says:

      Yeah, as much as I despise the companies involved (and to some extent the government), I have to believe they exhausted all of the simple ideas quickly.

      In one of the first “add a cap” attempts, didnt the cap start to freeze up inside because of the hydrocarbons building up as the cap was sunk down to 5K feet? No offense to the guy that came up with the idea in this story, but valve open or closed didnt help that original cap, so why would it make any difference with a piece of pipe?

      I think the logistical complication here is not what to use/how to cap it, but more a problem of how do you build something that you can get down 5K ft under water without having it crush itself or get all that hydrocarbon build up underneath it before it reaches its destination.

  11. psm321 says:

    Did he fill out the form they asked him to in the robot reply?

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    When stuff happens, everyone comes out of the woodwork to offer their two cents. You would not believe how many letters to the editor that newspapers receive from “experts” who think they have the simplest solutions to fixing everything, and how many of these people haven’t a clue about reality.

    His first mistake was using e-mail. He emailed two groups of people whose immediate contacts (the staffs responding to e-mail) have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. These e-mail addresses go to public affairs offices, not to engineers and scientists.

    His second mistake was not establishing credibility. Who is this guy? Like the generic e-mail response read, the public is sending in thousands of ideas – most of them are complete crap. If this guy had experience with deep oil drilling, as he claims, he should have established that he, through professional experience, actually knew what he was talking about. Providing some kind of work record, professional authority (like associations and certifications), and references would have helped to make him look less like a random crackpot.

    What he should have done, if he wanted to be heard, was contact a person who actually understood what he was talking about, preferably someone who has some inside involvement with the disaster and the discussions to fix the problem, and establish that he actually has some credibility and experience, and then ask for a face to face meeting. This guy says he has experience with deep oil drilling, and he doesn’t have any contacts who might be anywhere near the fringe of being involved in fixing something that is pretty much in their own backyard?

    • smo0 says:

      Kind of like my doctor…. you can’t expect exact letterhead professionalism to come from someone who uses their brain in specific areas pertaining to their ACTUAL JOB… and FFS I wouldn’t want her to! Good god…. it’s that type of micro management bs that’s ruining the average american worker bee.

      Some Nobel Prize winners and historical geniuses were riddling with “issues” or lacking in various departments… some were down right racist – doesn’t mean that what they contributed to society were any less beneficial.

      I know I’m going out on tangents but it’s how I think in order to formulate responses.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        ….I give up. I have no idea what you just said.

        • jefeloco says:

          I think he/she read the cracked.com article about racist/crackpot Nobel prize winners; the gist being that just because someone is smart in one field does not mean they are qualified for anything else (including sane life).

          I’m not sure how this applies to what you said though…

        • smo0 says:

          This:

          His second mistake was not establishing credibility. Who is this guy? Like the generic e-mail response read, the public is sending in thousands of ideas – most of them are complete crap. If this guy had experience with deep oil drilling, as he claims, he should have established that he, through professional experience, actually knew what he was talking about.

          Some people may not be so eloquent – but does not mean they should be disregarded BECAUSE of it…. is what I said…. somehow.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            You completely misunderstood what I was saying. You’re saying they should pay attention to him because of his idea because you think it’s a legitimate idea, and he just has a hard time being eloquent. I’m saying that eloquence has nothing to do with his idea. His mistake was not offering evidence to suggest he was someone they should be listening to.

            Let me put it this way: you start developing symptoms and you suspect you’re very, very sick – do you go to a doctor or poll your neighbors? The company and the government have a disaster – they’re talking to the professionals, and not the people who aren’t professionals. If one of your neighbors says, “hey, I happen to be a doctor,” wouldn’t you still want proof that he or she was actually a certified medical doctor before you listened to his or her opinion?

    • partofme says:

      You wouldn’t believe the number of unsolicited submissions NASA gets every year from people who genuinely think they’ve discovered perpetual motion. I once saw some of the training material for the people who respond to them all. It talked about how many of these people really really believe their idea, to the point of thinking there is a conspiracy to squash it. The idea was to form responses in such a way that would hopefully not set them off. It’s pretty amazing.

      Those are all without any prompt. I can’t imagine how many unsolicited submissions have gone to all involved with such a massively publicized problem. It’s no wonder that they set up a method to require people to meet a specific form and include as much supporting information as possible.

  13. Xenth. says:

    Why does the media keep giving attention to people who act like they’re a genius for mentioning something so simple as attaching a new head. Do we really think BP would waste millions on containment caps which capture maybe 30% of the oil if they could easily attach a new flange and capture 100%?

  14. wootbot says:

    So, “Fit Another BOP or Giant Ball Valve” is supposed to be a brilliant idea? That’s on the intellectual and helpfulness level of “Put a big friggin’ cork in it”.

  15. red92s says:

    I doun’t doubt that this guy, and probably a couple hundred other people, all had the “just put a big butterfly valve on it and flip the switch” idea long, long ago. Sounds really easy, right?

    The problems come from not knowing the condition of the well BELOW the existing blow out preventer. There were concerns that the well casing below the sea floor was damaged, and that just shutting a big valve would cause it to rupture under the ~10,000 psi generated in doing so. BP has been conducting seismic analysis and tests for a while now to determine if this approach was feasible. If the casing can’t handle the pressure and ruptures, the problem goes from very bad to ZOMG-bad.

    Even once you are confidant the well casing can handle the pressure . . . design and fabrication of a 30 foot tall device weighing 80 tons takes a bit more time than firing off an email does. BP said weeks and weeks ago that a tighter fitting cap was in the works, but would take until July to be ready.

    BP has hundreds of the best scientists and engineers in the world working on this, both internal people, from other petroluem companies, and government organizations including NASA. Jotting down a potential solution in an email is one thing, implementing it is another entirely.

  16. XTC46 says:

    yes, im sure anyone could have said “just put a cap on it”, the key here is the

    “If BP attached the flange a mile below using ROVs, then they can detach that same flange in the same manner”

    Building something a mile below sea level is incredibly difficult. Doing so when something is shooting oil out with enourmous pressure makes it exponetially harder.

    Just becasue you have a basic concept on what needs to be done to fix an issue doesnt mean you have the fix. Thats like saying “oh to solve world hunger just grow more food” EASY!

  17. Tamar Weinberg says:

    “how many gallons of oil could we have prevented from spoiling our oceans and country if people with the power to escalate information were checking those inboxes instead of robots?”

    Let’s not be quick to judge that these are NOT being checked by people.

    I deal with too many people who act like robots. They get emails, thank you for the support, and move on. They’re not interested in escalating matters that could solve problems within seconds, or even that could save lives. It’s like customer service doesn’t matter to these companies and the email address is there just for show.

  18. goober says:

    I agree that the solution is a great idea and should have reached people. However, I’m sure that the e-mail address in question was likely swamped; even finding the information would take a giant staff to look for a needle in a haystack. And since the majority of e-mails would likely be about claims or just complaining, it’s not as if they were looking for a fix to come in that way.

    Slightly tragic? Sure. Blame-able on BP? This is one time (and only one time, mind you) when I think we have to give them a little slack.

  19. pantheonoutcast says:

    Maybe if he had written his email as a professional, rather than an angry 15 year old on the WOW forums, someone would have taken him seriously.

    Seriously, there’s no introduction, no enumeration of his skills, just a vague reference to flanges, an insinuation that BP doesn’t know what it’s doing, and then randomly capitalized words.

    I would have ignored him too.

    • freelunch says:

      with an e-mail subject line of “Affix a new assumbly and SHUT IT DOWN”…

      yeah – I would have deleted the e-mail too.

      I am quite confident that the engineers at BP had this ‘idea’ well before it was e-mailed in…

    • Fenrisulfr says:

      Agreed; people who write like that fail at using the internet, and likely at life too.

  20. sirwired says:

    The concept sure is simple (and one I’m sure they started working on almost from the beginning), but implementation most certainly is not.

    1) The original valve/BOV was put in place when the well was not gushing oil.
    2) These specialized parts don’t grow on trees; they need to be fabricated.
    3) All the equipment that set up the valve to begin with was no longer on-site or available instantly.
    4) They needed to prevent the very problem that caused the well to blow to begin with.
    5) He clearly doesn’t understand how the BOV works. It’s job is to literally crush the riser pipe after the flange from the seafloor. Why would you attach a new riser for the sole purpose of crushing it with a BOV?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Clearly you don’t understand how a BOP works(A BOV is a blowout valve). A BOP can temporarily shut down the well, and allow the workers to pump in more mud to force the gas back down. The BOP function you are talking about, a shear ram, is usually the last ditch effort.

  21. Torchwood says:

    Hmmm….. one of the first questions that I have is if the pipe was still perfectly round, or did the accident cause the pipe to become misshaped? Also, how do you guide the flange around the high pressure oil?

  22. Sparty999 says:

    My Name is Paul Kojo,

    I represent a Nigerian business man who can fix your leaky well. I will forward you a check for $38 million dollars, and all you have to do is write me a check for $100,000, and you can keep the remainder for your well fixing. Then, my employer will come to your gulf and fix well using a top hat of sorts.

    Please reply soon.

    • craptastico says:

      i’m in. i don’t have the 100k yet, but i just won the UK lottery last week and they’ll be wiring it to my bank account any day now. man i am on a lucky streak.

  23. peebozi says:

    i wish all of these so-called “experts” and so-called “governement officials” would get out of the free market processes.

    bp has an agenda and method here:
    1. profit
    2. at any cost..don’t allow morals or ethics to interfere with #1.

    • l3 says:

      I was losing hope while reading down the page, BUT you Sir or Madam are the only one I see who has the right idea. Kudos to you!

      I think BP played their cards the way they wanted to play. I hate to admit it, but they did play their hand pretty well. Its all comes down to money. I doubt they were losing much money with the oil spill, if not actually profiting from the spill. That is why they took their sweet arse time to slow/stop the spill, to maximize profit. Come on guys and gals, if you can spend three hundred to gain five hundred or more, wouldn’t you do it too if the profit return is a guaranteed? Now change that to billions if not more, and there you have BP’s answer.

      Try level with me here: if BP hires people to “clean” or pick up oil off of the beach, and those people get paid from $20 an hour. Lets say an average person can pick at least one barrel of crude oil an hour. Do the math. A barrel of crude oil is worth about $70. Even for $20 an hour and it takes 3 hours to fill a barrel, BP would still gain a profit. And I am being generous on the numbers here.

      There are also a lot of rumors floating around, which I know probably are not true, but I’m sure a few that are very true. If you heard it, you know what I’m talking about.

    • Rickdude says:

      The idea that the “free market” fixes anything in the corporate world is ridiculous. I work for an enormous corporation in R&D because I enjoy doing it. Sure, I manage to get products placed and I get a pat on the head when it happens, but I make the same money whether it happens or not. Bonus? I make an annual bonus regardless– 3% if nothing happens, and 6% is something does. Do you think that motivates me?

      And then, at the top, you’ve got the CEO. CEO’s that bear the brunt of their corporations failings are get put in the news… because it’s so rare when it happens!!

      When I worked for family owned businesses, things were different; I got a 25% raise one year. I got sent on a cruise for fixing an issue once. And we all cared about the bottom line. But a corporation like BP? No, they don’t give a rats ass.

  24. chiieddy says:

    Did he do as BP asked and fill out the form they linked him to?

  25. aja175 says:

    But this is so much more than just a valve that ya close and BAM no more leak.
    What happens when ya close that valve and find out the casing has been compromised, how about when ya close that valve and find out there is no problem with the casing, but when that valve blows off the end of the BOP?

    There’s a lot more physics involved than just put a cap on the thing and you’re good.

  26. coren says:

    BP probably got thousands upon thousands of emails. They asked anyone with technical solutions to fill out a form about their proposed solution – if he didn’t go through the appropriate channel, of course they ignored him. If I want to register for a class at college I don’t call the science lab, leave a message and then assume I’m in.

  27. NumberSix says:

    I’m sure working thousands of feet underwater is exactly like working under your sink. No wait. I mean it’s nothing like that.

    Maybe it took some time to actually engineer this “simple” solution so it would work down there.

    Just sayin’…

  28. jim says:

    next, he wants royalties on his stolen idea….

    • l3 says:

      Wouldn’t you if the royalties could be 100 million or more?

      The hundred dollar question I would ask is, which individuals ideas did BP combine to make this work?
      Also how much are they going to give them?

  29. ITDEFX says:

    LOL…BP GOT OWNED BY AN EMAIL….. bet you one over paid engineer making 95k a year said…”Now why didn’t we think of that?”

    It’s too bad the author did patient it or else he could have sued BP for billions, then use that money to help clean up the gulf….

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      It’s hard to “patient” a BOP(they are already patented) or a “large ball valve”. Plus, he failed to send his idea to the proper channels as per the email he received. In the first few days/weeks, that email address was also used for people to volunteer their vessels to help the clean up.

  30. baristabrawl says:

    I’m sure they had time to read EVERY email EVERY wack-job in American sent, along with the one person who had the answer. Honestly.

  31. 47ka says:

    I’d like to see him install a toilet 5000 feet below sea level. Let’s see how simple and not complicated that is.

    • truthandjustice says:

      Well . . . for all the smug naysayers . . . It seems in reality, jlc107′s simplistic approach is the one that is currently being used. Furthermore, the changeouts, given the ROV’s and cranes in place, apparently are NOT that big a challenge.

      Case in point, this morning, 15july2010, to deal with a leak in choke valve assembly No. 1, the No. 1 was removed and replaced with choke valve assembly No. 2. And it took less than two hours to do.

      Could it be that we have become so conditioned to ascibe “It’s complicated!” to so much that occurs today, in such a way, that rather than being the reality, “It’s complicated!” has become the convenient excuse to not get the deed done?

  32. jsfetzik says:

    And BP had contracts working on building this device about a week after the accident. These things take a significant amount of time to design, build and test.

  33. jenjenjen says:

    Cool – it’s jlc107 the plumber!

  34. PDCOM says:

    Ya know you could even find this same solution in everyday oil well fire repair. They pull off the wreckage and then put out the fire and then put on a new well valve head. DUH .. Oh yea they even made a movie about it in the ’60s I think Hell Fighters..