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