Gallery: BP to Try “Junk Shot” to Halt the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill


It sounds to us like BP is now grasping at straws trying to outsmart the growing gulf coast oil spill. As their next plan of action engineers will shoot a pile of trash at high speed into the blowout preventer at the site of the leak on the ocean floor. Experts in the oil field call this maneuver the “junk shot”. Not exactly the tactic we’d like to hear them using to fix this catastrophic situation. Which leads us to wonder, why there aren’t more sophisticated solutions to BP’s leaky problem?

The blowout preventer (shown above) is really the only fall back that oil companies have when their drilling goes awry. They were created to automatically shut off flow of oil wells in case of emergency. It seems that one major reason we’re in this mess is that BP installed a faulty — of course they didn’t know it was faulty — blowout preventer at the base of the Deepwater Horizon oil well. When the well caught fire and sank on April 22nd the blowout preventer failed and oil started to gush into the ocean. It seems that oil companies have spent untold amounts of cash making sure their oil rigs pump as much oil as possible as efficiently as possible while leaving the “in case of emergency” situation up to a device that can — seemingly quite easily — turn out to be defective.

Now that we’ve experienced the aftermath of a catastrophe, we’ve seen that beyond their “trusty” blowout preventer, oil companies don’t have much in the way of stopping a leak. With their last solution — the containment domes — not working, engineers are going to fill the faulty blowout preventer with shredded tires, rope and golf balls in an effort to clog the safety mechanism and stop the oil flow. Supposedly once they have the faulty mechanism plugged they can install a new blowout preventer and regain control of the oil flow. It doesn’t sound too promising to us, but let’s turn this question to the audience. What kinds of solutions do you have for stopping the Gulf Coast oil spill?

Via Earth 911


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  1. Karlin May 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    No, it wasn’t a “defective blowout preventer” – it got broken during previous operations and they KNEW it. The drillers noticed “chunks of rubber” and alerted the BP guys, but the BP guys ignored it and pushed ahead anyhow. And then it exploded.

    That came from the testimony of Mike Williams.
    See this link>

  2. Fury5498 May 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Ive seen a bunch of different solutions and Im glad that Obama finally told the head of the whole operation to,\”Plug the Damn Leak.\” The solutions that make the most sense to me are dredging the coastline to make a coastline barrier reef which would prevent all of this oil from collecting on the shore. Yes some of this oil has already made it to the shore but a lot of it has not. If we wait too long though it will make it into the marshes and coast of Louisiana as well as our neighboring states. Another good solution I heard about today is making a blockade using Supertankers. These tankers have pumps that could pump the oil and water into tanks, take it to another vessel or refinery that could seperate the oil from the water and be returned back to sea. It would take 5 of these supertankers to do something like this. As long as we have to sit here and let the people running this show tell us well we can do this but it will take a couple of weeks or a month, I dont understand why this is being allowed to happen. I live in Louisiana and I\’m just going WTF people. We are talking about livelyhoods here about to be devastated more so than when Rita and Katrina came through this area. I just hope that whatever they do they do it soon because Hurricane season is just about to start and all we need is a big storm to blow all this mess inland. We wont just be talking coastline anymore if this happens. We might just see this oil spill end up in places like Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and the list goes on. DO THE RIGHT THING PEOPLE AND PLUG THE DAMN LEAK NOW!!!!

  3. notthenuthere May 18, 2010 at 10:43 am

    WOW, someone seriously did not do their homework here…… the \”Garbage Shot\” or \”Junk Shot\” is a binding agent of glof balls, Tied Rope, Tennis Balls and a long term Biodegradable \”Glue\”. It\’s not like their throwing Milk Cartons in it?!?! This technique was invented during the Gulf War to stop surface blow outs. It\’s very effective, except noone has ever tried it underwater. Furthermore, that is not a Blow Out Preventer. That is a Surface Valve. A BOP is over 6 stories high. Regardless, people are working around the clock to help stop this. If you really want to be helpful, log off your I-Pad, and get your butt to Louisiana and help me clean up these beaches.

  4. bpisdeadtome May 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    What’s even better is that if the junk shot “works”, a few months from now we’ll be seeing oil gushing out underwater after the pressure blows out the side of the Mississippi Canyon. Using a crude last-resort method, despite other much more viable options that are being firmly advocated by other oil companies, in a location that is known to be geologically unfit for it, all while slapping Mother Earth across the face: BP, “Make the day a little better”.

  5. Bitbyte May 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I don\’t understand why they don\’t just use SuperGlue or a stronger version of plumbers foam that they use to fill cracks? Why use junk? Are they idiots or just really smart? I can\’t tell.

  6. goodbyegalaxy May 12, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Solutions that solve the problem in a few days have been announced as solutions that require months also. I hope intermediate solutions are under design. One could be a system that works by sheering the pipe off the top of the blowout preventer (not shown) and designing and building a new vertically bolted preventer that bolts around the existing bulk head that allows oil to flow until its in place. Designing, machining and delivering something like that could take a month.

  7. cybervigilante May 12, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I’m in favor of a “junk shot.” Load a big tube up with Goldman-Sachs investment bankers and shoot them into the well. Kill two birds with one stone.

  8. sickspeed May 11, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    i dont know why they dont just try hovering a giant upside down funnel over top the leak with a heated screen filter in it to melt any frozen debris chunks. assuming the oil is buoyant, that is.

  9. matt7195 May 11, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I feel like we’re stuck in a terrible bugs bunny cartoon where Elmer tries creative and senseless ways to get Bugs and scraps each one to try something stupider. It would be funny if it didn’t make you want to cry.

    What I don’t understand is why the dome solution was scrapped instead of fine-tuned. If the only problem was crystallization on the outflow, the same device could be used again with a cap and explosive blow-out trigger to clear the blockage once it’s lowered.

    But of course asking for an oil company to work logically and address problems as they arise is like asking monkeys to create a court of civil law: they won’t listen, and you’ll probably end up with poop on your face.

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