Question of the Day: When, in the Gulf, is it time for a “last resort”?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

About a month ago,* I suggested what I thought was the obvious, that the use of carefully engineered explosives would do what BP obviously can’t, seal the open hole it made in the bottom of the Gulf floor under the Deep Water Horizon. In light of today’s new estimates of the extent of the problem, I think it’s reasonable to suggest that the use of explosives be given renewed and very careful consideration.

Some people have effectively dismissed of the use of conventional explosives by focusing their criticism on those few nut balls who have recommended nuclear force. Needless to say, the use of nuclear weaponry is nonsensical and unnecessary, and no one is seriously considering it.

Understandably, more reasoned experts have called the use of explosives a last resort. It’s tricky business that needs the input and management of our best scientists, engineers and industry experts, and which cannot be left up to BP to implement whose track record is abysmal, to say the least.

The simple objective is to focus enough force onto the well head to press and fuse it shut. Easier said than done? Of course. What isn’t? Is it a last resort? Maybe, but it’s doable, and last resorts are, after all, what you do when you’ve run out of options, when you’ve lost confidence in the ordinary solutions, when the scope of the damages from a continuing problem become unbearable, which is pretty much where we are now.

What? We’re supposed to wait for the relief wells BP is drilling? Does anybody out there really believe they’re going to work?

*“They’re the “BP” in ‘bupkis.’ The solution they haven’t and won’t consider.,” published May 18.

**“Scientists up estimate of leaking Gulf oil”, by Ray Henry, published today on


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