A coutnerintuitive idea to plug the gusher
May 31, 2010 2:30 AM Subscribe
Please tell me why this idea about stopping the unstoppable gusher will not work: I remember vaguely learning of something called Venturi's law in science class - that if you restrict the flow of a fluid, the pressure goes up. Thus to lower the oil pressure enough to allow the mud to push it down, perhaps they should actually open it up rather than try to plug it.
posted by Astragalus to technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It seems that the top kill has been failing because they cannot counteract the pressure of the oil enough by injecting dense fluids to push the oil down into the hole: the mud and junk just gets blown right out before it can even accumulate above the oil to push it down. It seems the logical thing would be to open up the well, not try to squeeze it tighter: doing so would lower pressure (as well as release a disturbing volume of oil) but if the pressure can be lowered enough by de-constricting the well, say, by opening the bop rather than trying to plug it up, it could lower the upward pressure enough that a very quick, powerful injection would kill it more easily. If it were possible to lower the wellhead pressure enough to pump mud at a higher pressure, it seems like a win. Perhaps they could cut off the bop, and stick a humungous hose in there, and just pump at a higher pressure to accomplish the top kill. What is wrong with this idea?