Ingeniest of Engineers Required

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Ingeniest of Engineers Required

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Old 05-10-2010, 12:50 AM
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Ingeniest of Engineers Required

Just wondering what concepts may be under consideration re the Gulf Oil Leak Dome and how to get it to work? , if it can!
[B]Disaster looms in Gulf of Mexico spill[/B
The dome lowered to fix the disastrous US oil spill has clogged with gas, hindering its success.
Concern has grown that the US Gulf coast is facing a whole new level of environmental disaster after the best short-term fix for a massive oil spill ran into serious trouble.

BP's giant containment box lay idle on the seabed as engineers furiously tried to figure out how to stop it clogging with ice crystals, preparing for attempts to resuscitate their vital mission in the next day or so.

The British energy giant, which owns the lion's share of the leaking oil and has accepted responsibility for the clean-up, has tried to banish the notion that the so-called "dome" is a "silver bullet" to end the crisis.
There is a fear that as the oil spreads it will eventually do so right around the tip of Florida and be taken by northerly flowing currents up the east coast of the US. - that's a scary scenario

And is it stay tuned Hollywood for the next disaster movie, perhaps even some form of reality disasters show?

Back to Reality
From the description of the problem, it seems that sea floor bed temperatures allow these crystals to form that are clogging the dome to the extent that it can not even be fully lowered in a suitable way and/or the oil cannot fill the dome so as it can be pumped out.

On this assumption
My suggestion:
The concept of this Dome is that a pipe/hose gets attached to then have the contained oil pumped up to waiting barges or tankers to ship to shore.

Hopefully, said pipe/hose is already available and barges/ships are set-up above to take delivery for that would really have to be the case for this dome concept to have a realistic chance of working.

That being the case the pipe/hose needs to be attached to the dome and pump above before lowering and in such a way that pumping can be continuous and simultaneous with lowering for that may create a flow that prevents crystals build-up.
It could be that a suction snorkel also needs to be part of the dome so as warmer higher level sea water is induced to circulate for warming and that may need to be a permanent feature.

For whilst previously the oil coming out at pressure would have sufficient temperature to flow to the rig above without cooling significantly enough to stop flow, the dome concept is going to create a heat exchanger effect or an ice box if you like that will have a greater cooling effect.

All that makes for a much more complex doming operation and quite possibly more work needed on the dome.

Plan B
I hope they are already well under way with preparations for getting the secondary holes drilled in to attempt plugging this hole well before the cyclone season arrives.

But Oh what a mess in the meantime!
Could go close to bankrupting BP with clean-up costs.

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