I got the following note from a friend from my MIT days:
There is a drilled well that, at the seabed, enters a structure that is compromised. That structure cannot be fixed in a timely fashion or at all. Thus eliminate the structure (drag it away, underwater demolition, piecewise removal). Once that is removed, you can create a clean single exit point for the oil/gas. THAT is where you want to apply an engineering solution. Such as, a massive steel spike cylinder with an anchoring mass at the top, lower it in the hole. If you fail, raise it up a little and try again back down. It has to work.
What they are doing now is trying to recover to a state where they start getting oil/gas back out economically relatively quickly. My work has its own blast furnace and can make anything so if the Feds want to say Go there are about 2000 engineers who would volunteer to develop quick fix concepts. Main idea is keep management away and let the engineers fix it, and give us a liability waiver.
These are important points. Two comments:
This idea that BP is trying to take steps that would cap the leak while leaving the well in a state that it can be reopened, is unconscionable if true.
I still believe that its wrong that no one has created a forum for engineers who know how to fix this. The petroleum team at DOE should be running it. Somewhere out there there’s the analog of Richard Feynman following the Challenger disaster, who has the right idea how to fix this. I don’t know of the idea above is correct, but where is the discussion happening of ideas like this?