Gulf Oil Spill Solutions Wiki

Solutions List

11pages on
this wiki

Add your solution

This is a web page everyone can collectively edit just like in Wikipedia. It is a list of solutions. If you have a solution idea, find the category below that best fits your solution and click the "edit" link listed to the right of the section heading. Then, just like with a Word or OpenOffice document, place a short, one paragraph, description of your idea there after the other ideas in that section. If you don't know what section to put your solution in, use your best guess or put it here and other editors will place it in the best section.

For detailed solutions

If you have a detailed solution idea, you can create a new article to include the details. Be sure to create a link to that article in your short description on this page. If you are unsure of how to create a new article, you can leave your entire description here and other editors will create the appropriate article.

Improve ideas listed

You can also expand on the solution ideas already listed here, describing benefits and risks, providing analysis, or indicating sources that would be helpful in further developing the concept. For extensive expansion a new article should be created for that idea. The idea listed on this page should then be linked to that article.

Discussion and debate

To have general discussions about ideas you can click "Discussion" at the top right corner of this page.

Google Wave

You can also discuss ideas using a Google Wave established for this purpose. Google Wave is a simple platform, similar to a wiki, that allows live edits without using wikitext or having to click save. You can use the wave to have live brainstorming sessions with other users. Click Here to go to the wave.

Solution Ideas

Prevent oil from entering the seaEdit


  • access mechanism in BOP that powers the cutting rams. If hydraulically actuated, use functional BOP and attach corresponding hydraulic lines from functional BOP to lines that activate the rams. Then activate the functional BOP ram closing process. There is limited information on the state of the BOP. Due to the lack of information released to the public by BP. It is uncertain if there is rock or some other kind of debris that is preventing the cutting ram form being trigger. It has been suggested that the actuators have been already been triggered but something is preventing them from closing.

Capturing oil immediately after it leaves riserEdit

  • Friedlander Oil Chimney: This is a reinforced sleeve from the leak on the seabed floor to the recovery ships above that literally contains the leak without fixing it. Physical law guides the oil up and prevents it from dispersing in the Gulf of Mexico.[1]
  • Using containment box or dome. Place the dome or box over the leaking oil to capture it and pump it to the surface. BP used a large 4 story box that failed because of hydrate formation. A smaller box called the "Top Hat" was fabricated but apparently not tried prior to other solutions attempts.
  • Use a series of deflated rubber bladders encased in a larger bladder with metal opening on either end, drag it to the bottom of the sea, attach one end to the pipe and the other to a tanker hose and then start pumping. The bladders should have no problem as far as sea resistance or turbulence and should be able to be attached easily enough with robotics, and can be expanded to any size or length needed, then use Kevin Costner's centrifuge that pumps 200 GPM to clean up the mess.
  • Super Hose: Place a large hose, with a diameter sufficient to prevent hydrate clogging, over the leaks in the riser.
  • Just throw a giant bladder on the end of the sawed off riser. If it gets half full, replace it and then pump from the bladder. If the oil wants to rise, make the bladder large enough to reach the surface and expand. If the current wants to take it, just have it self seal end, and another on hand to slap on there.
  • A giant rubber tarpaulin with a tube attached to the ocean floor, low funnel shaped.
  • Create a sleeve/tube/hose around the effluent that reaches to the surface of the sea. To do: Build a flexible sleeve that has a much wider diameter than the gushing column. Then gradually constrict the diameter until the gushing is contained and makes it's way to the surface where it can be refined/sorted. The sleeve may or may not need to be adjustable in its diameter to respond to differentials in the force of the effluent. Ships would need to catch the effluent from the sleeve and bring to facilities for sorting/refining.

Stopping oil from leaving drill pipe/riserEdit

  • The pipe they just cut was above a double flange, disconnect the upper flange and remove the bolts. Then insert long pipes through the holes to act as guides. Then bring down a new upper flange with a manual valve on it which is open to reduce resistance to being attached and place the guide pipes through it's bolt holes. Use large C clamps to clamp the new upper flange valve down, once secure remove pipe guides and reinsert new bolts and bolt securely. Close the valve.
  • create and insert a long umbrella-like device into the center of the leak, that can be activated (opened) from the surface. Open the umbrella.
  • Pump high pressure SEA WATER into the top of the line CONTINUOUSLY until such time as relief wells are drilled -> leak water instead of oil.
  • Pinch drill pipe/riser closed using hydraulic tool placed around drill pipe/riser by crane with the assistance of ROVs
  • Use method like balloon angioplasty in heart surgery. Insert and inflate balloon in riser.
    • Use metal collar around outside of pipe to prevent balloon from moving, replace air in balloon with viscous fluid -- viscous fluid that slowly sets over 3 days (e.g. concrete))
  • Insert polar molecules or ferrous substances into drill pipe then apply external magnetic field to hold them in place and reduce the effective flow area through the drill pipe.
  • Drill hole in riser near BOP. Pump sea water through hole to rapidly cool oil and cause formation of hydrates and other fouling materials. Hole could be drilled in a contained system essentially a miniature drilling operation where the riser is the "well".
  • Shoot a large projectile into the pipe. Think of a cork for a champagne bottle, but it would have to be shot into place like a bullet.
  • Use Liquid nitrogen to freeze the drill pipe and oil beneath the BOP. While the pipe is frozen remove the BOP and cover the area with a cement that could possibly be reinforced with wire mesh and or a steel cage.
  • Cut the BOP from the dill pipe. Construct tube, perhaps using sewer pipes, that surrounds the drill pipe and goes from the seabed to the surface. After the tube fills up it can be pumped and processed from the surface.
    Spill Tube Cover
    Enclosing the drill pipe with a larger pipe.

  • Cork the drill pipe after cutting the BOP from the drill pipe. The cork can be attached to a long steel tube that can be guided into the drill pipe. It could also be jacked into place. The large containment dome could be used as an anchor. Optionally an inflatable device could be attached to the bottom of the cork and deflated once the device is inside the pipe. The cork can then be cemented and or weld to make the seal permanent.
    Corking the gulf oil spill well
    Corking the Gulf oil spill well

  • Shoot a projectile into the drill pipe after cutting the BOP off of the pipe. This projectile could be small or large, perhaps made out of a log of wood, like a telephone or even made out of steel. The outer shell of the projectile could be coated with various materials to help make a better seal or could even have jagged "fish hooks" much like a cheese grater to hold it in place once fired. After the projective is shot into the drill pipe it could be cemented into place to create a permanent seal.
    Shooting a projectile into the Gulf oil spill drill pipe
    Shooting a projectile into the Gulf oil spill pipe.

  • Hydrolic expansion plug with a abrasive outer ring to hold inside of the pipe itself. It can be done with air or hydrolic fluid. This can be done in any depth or any condition.
  • Inject a chemical foam into the pipes that would expand and harden to block the pipes. A hose could be inserted into the pipes by a variety of methods to deliver the chemical.
  • Side cutting to relieve pressure: Facilitate repair of breaches in the riser by reduce the pressure of the leaking oil. Pressure is relieved by drilling holes along the riser through which the oil is captured.

Slow oil/gas flowing through drill pipe in riser by reducing temperatureEdit

Obstructing oil flow at BOPEdit

    • Heavy mud is pumped into the well at the BOP to stop the flow. This would then be followed by pumping cement to seal the well.
    • A molten material such as steel is poured into the BOP. The smelted steel would instantly harden turning the BOP into a solid peice of metal.

Obstructing oil flow beneath BOPEdit

Removing oil already in the seaEdit

  • Burn oil using fire booms.
  • Burn oil near leaks while oil is still underwater and in high concentration. This would require large amounts of energy due to the pressure, temperature, presence of water, and absence of oxygen. A furnace would likely be required that is capable of vaporizing the water that is taken in along with the oil and gas.

Eliminating oil using chemical applicationsEdit

  • apply dispersants on sea surface
  • apply dispersants at source of leak on sea floor

Eliminating oil using bio-agentsEdit

  • disperse oil eating bacteria on oil covered sea surface
  • disperse oil eating bacteria at source of leak on sea floor

Recovering oil from sea surfaceEdit

  • use Oil-Fix oil absorber. Here's is how it works: The absorber only has to be brought to the points (e.g. by ships or by plane). There it sucks the oil out of the water. 10 kg can suck out 100 l of oil. It is floating also when it is full of oil, so you only have to fish it out (e.g. with ordinary nets or meshes). After taken the oil away from the absorber it can be used again. It is an organic material so it can do no harm to the sea – even birds can walk on it. To see TV reports about it visit
  • Cleaning oil using hay: It has been proposed to use hay to soak oil up using hole. Large amounts of hay could be put into the sea which will soak up the oil. The hay could then be collected on the coast when it washed up. Alternately, hay can be put into large nets and boats can drag nets across the surface of the sea and soak up the oil. A video demonstration of using hay to soak up the oil can be found here.
  • Stop use of dispersants: Dispersants dilute the oil and may cause it to remain below the sea surface. Stopping use might allow more of the leaked oil to reach surface in concentration to be recovered using other technologies listed here.

Stop oil from reaching the coastEdit

Physical obstructions to stop oil from reaching coastEdit

  • use booms that float in the sea to prevent surface oil from reaching coast
  • It has been suggested that a large oil "chimney" be put around the leak. It would cause all of the oil to rise to the surface in a contained area where it can be pumped from the water and later be processed.
  • Equip oil super tankers with massive pumps to process oil in the Gulf. This technique has been used before in Saudi Arabia on a blowout that leaked much more oil than what BP and the Government claim is leaking from this blowout and it recovered over 85% of the oil lost. Oil super tankers would be empty of oil and massive pumps would suck up massive amounts of oil and take it to port where it could be further processed and the captured oil can then be processed and used later. In comparison, it is reported that as little as 5-15% of the oil leaked from the Exxon-Valdez spill was ever retrieved. It has been reported that this technique has been suggested to BP who declined to use it because it would cost them to much money. BP then threatened to sue if a revelation of this suggestion was made public. With the latest news reports that massive plumes of oil are now floating beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, which may be due to the use of dispersant to hide the amount of oil that is actually leaking, this method may not recover the 85% of oil that was covered in the Saudi Spill. However, if the use of dispersant is stopped the oil that raises to the surface could then be collected and processed.
  • Similar to the oil chimney concept, but in order to capture the flow with lesser concern for the ongoing pressure to interfere with the fix, create 2 extra-long half-pipes (we are talking giant pipes, but halved lengthwise). With a tanker floating above ready to receive, pull the 2 half-pipes together at the source of the main leak with perhaps an army of pipe fitters at the ready to clamp it all together very quickly.

Preventing oil from reaching the coast in ways other than using physical obstructionsEdit

  • seed clouds over gulf to reduce temperature and create low pressure in atmosphere to generate wind that blows oil to sea.

Ideas for methods and technology to increase underwater operations capacityEdit

In this section place ideas that increase the operations options so that the 5000ft between the surface and leak are less an obstacle. Essentially answer the question, "what tools would enable us to treat this spill more like it were on dry land?"

  • Use the 100 ton containment boom used in a prior solution attempt as a fixture and datum for sea floor operations. ROV's and other equipment could be attached to the boom allowing the use of higher forces and more controlled motion relative to the leak.
  • Create a large concrete and steel submersible workstation with docking capability that would allow robots designed for standard atmospheric environments to operate on the sea floor.

Uncategorized Solutions-solutions that don't fit in above categoriesEdit

  • Stop spraying dispersants, especially the toxic corexit dispersant.T here are experts who think that oil dispersants of whatever variety shouldn’t even be used in the Gulf.Dispersing the oil neither eliminates it nor decreases its toxicity. All dispersants do is to break the oil into small particles, where it becomes less visible. But the oil’s still there, spewing toxicity at an even greater rate (due to higher surface area), except now it’s pretty much impossible to skim or trap or vacuum or even soak up the oil particles at the shoreline because most of it will never make it to the shoreline. Instead, the toxic crude oil AND the dispersant will be spread all over the ocean’s waters. In effect, to “disperse” the oil means it will never be cleaned up. If we must desperse it rather than clean it up, "There is an oil dispersant called Dispersit, manufactured by Polychem, a division of U.S. Polychemical Corporation. Dispersit is a much less harmful water-based product, with about one third of the toxicity that Corexit 9500 presents. Corexit 9500 is a harsh petroleum-based solvent which is dangerous to people and sea life. Dispersit’s human health

[1]effect is “slight to none.”Dispersit is also on the EPA’s approved list of dispersants"

  • Using Marine Drilling risers to control the physical properties of Hydro-stasis, the pressure of the source is reduced. The solution is the same as the process of Oil extraction, with modifications to the Drill Casing; allowing the release of excess pressure from the Wellhead. Warming the "Bell", reduces the formation of Hydrates. Controlling buoyancy of the "Bell" is paramount to correct positioning; achieved using Ingots and a Gasoline filled Ballast. The Perforated Casing is positioned into the "Bell" before placement in the water, or it can be lowered over the casing to create a sealing "Flange" where the two meet. Once in place, the Oil pressure will create a "locked" position for the two parts. The Casing is lowered to the wellhead, then anchored to the Seafloor. The Outer Casing then acts as a "sleeve" around the Marine Drilling Riser that contains the "String", or Drilling Mud. As the Oil pressure increases, it flows out of the perforations and allows for the volumetric pressure to be gradually decreased by pulling the "String". Remaining Inner Casing and Marine Drilling Riser is then slid down to the wellhead through the bell, completely stopping the oil from leaking out of the perforations.

Solutions Posted Other Places OnlineEdit


  1. Friedlander Oil Chimney
Advertisement | Your ad here

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki