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?

deepwater horizon, oil spill, gulf of mexico, blowout preventor, oil slick, bp, solutions, clean up

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