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BP Robot Seriously Hampers Oil Spill Containment

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the skynet-not-bothering-with-the-sky dept.

Earth 264

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "A high-tech effort by BP to slow the oil gushing from its ruptured well head led to a large accident yesterday that forced the company to remove a vital containment cap for 10 hours. Robots, known as remote operated vehicles, were performing multiple operations at the disaster site when one bumped into the 'top hat' cap and damaged one of the vents that removes excess fluid, according to the US Coast Guard. The robots weigh around four tons, and are controlled from vessels on the surface using advanced IT systems with both manual and automated functions. BP removed the cap for nearly 10 hours ... in order to assess it after a discharge of liquids was noted from a key valve. The cap's removal left the oil gushing out of the wellhead, largely uninterrupted. Admiral Thad Allen, US National Incident Commander for the response, told the media that part of the problem was the number of robots conducting simultaneous operations at an immense depth. A dozen robots are circulating the wellhead." Another factor that may hinder containment even more is the increasing potential for tropical storms in that area of the Gulf.

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Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697772)

If you use slashdot you are a fucking bastard.

Re:Slashdot (0, Troll)

drew_92123 (213321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697866)

I use /. almost as much as I use your momma... get over it.

Re:Slashdot (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698034)

But... to do that, you'd have to be using /. and his momma at the same time... you perv!

Re:Slashdot (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698120)

Give the guy some slack...maybe it's the only way he could do the GP's momma without throwing up in his mouth.

Bad robot... (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697778)

No soup for you.

Re:Bad robot... (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697850)

What would a robot's ideal soup be? Hot soup would interfere with the cooling systems, so it would have to be cold, it's a robot, so obviously petroleum would be a must, and needs a good amount of salt. Oh, hey, robot soup is oil in ocean water.

This whole mess is probably caused by robots trying to get delicious, delicious robot soup.

Re:Bad robot... (5, Funny)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697958)

"The key to great robot cooking is to start with a good oil... and eat it" - Bender

Re:Bad robot... (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698094)

Robot cooking: the art that gives "bite my shiny metal ass" an entirely different meaning.

Re:Bad robot... (1)

flosofl (626809) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698006)

What would a robot's ideal soup be?

Gazpacho with a petroleum base?

Gulf Coast Style Salad Dressing . . . (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698190)

Maybe if BP drilled for vinegar, and just let all that flow out as well . . . they could turn the whole disaster into a tasty salad dressing?

Re:Bad robot... (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698072)

This reminds me of all the accidents caused by SUVs. With nary a mention of the driver.

How about Bad Robot Driver!!

How many hours was that guy on shift without a rest? How long ago did he have soup? Coffee?

 

Re:Bad robot... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698170)

And who is controlling the robot? This is just a blame game, the robot didn't do anything.

Re:Bad robot... (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698628)

And who is controlling the robot? This is just a blame game, the robot didn't do anything.

No way man! Robots are jerks! Remember the man in my dream? The one standing on the hill? It was a freakin robot! A stupid, boring robot!

I, for one, (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697784)

Welcome our new robot underlords.

Re:I, for one, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697818)

Please enjoy a buffet of oil, courtesy of BP.

Re:I, for one, (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698144)

Please enjoy a ocean full of oil, courtesy of BP.

Fixed it for you...

Good news is that soon your car really will be able to run on a cup of sea water!

Welcome to amateur hour... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697786)

It's time to get the pros in to finally take care of this mess. Might I suggest the Keystone Cops?

Pacemaker robots? (3, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697790)

A dozen robots are circulating the wellhead.

So the well is alive now and needs to have a platoon of 4-ton robotic pacemakers?

Re:Pacemaker robots? (1)

Maarx (1794262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698526)

A dozen robots are circulating the wellhead.

So the well is alive now and needs to have a platoon of 4-ton robotic pacemakers?

I think what parent tried to say is that "circulating" is the wrong word. It should say "A dozen robots are circling the wellhead."

Note to TFA author: While using big words makes you look smart, you undo all your hard work when you use the wrong word simply because it sounded close enough.

Re:Pacemaker robots? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698634)

*touches finger to nose*

Bump (1)

w00tsauce (1482311) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697794)

After that the top hat was the first post.

Brilliant (1, Troll)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697798)

Get BP out of the equation NOW. Is it not obvious that they cannot handle the situation at all? Unless BP pays a disinterested third party (and I hate to say this, but one picked by the government) to get this capped permanently, we will never see an end to this "cleanup" operation.

Re:Brilliant (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697826)

Get BP out of the equation NOW. Is it not obvious that they cannot handle the situation at all? Unless BP pays a disinterested third party (and I hate to say this, but one picked by the government) to get this capped permanently, we will never see an end to this "cleanup" operation.

Instead you would suggest...who, exactly? Oh, that's right--no one. There is NO ONE who is set up and ready to step in for this. BP doesn't own any of the robots or much of the gear that's being used to try to contain this--it's all contract work, basically. If you "got BP out of the equation" it wouldn't change a damned thing. The same crews with the same robots would be doing the same thing, except someone else would be paying for it. Probably the US Taxpayer.

Re:Brilliant (1)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698014)

Instead you would suggest...who, exactly?

Benthic Petroleum!

Seriously, though... Halliburton? Boeing/McDonald-Douglas/insert-defense-contractor-with-undersea-experience-here? Demote the Coast Guard and get the full Navy in charge? Hard to say...

Re:Brilliant (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698106)

Yeah, Navy has a LOT of undersea oil exploration experience. Right!

The best experts are already on the job, except for the ones BP wants to hire, with spill cleanup expertise from the mideast, being kept at bay by the US Government.

Re:Brilliant (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697854)

I hear a lot of people saying that. I hear very few people offering suggestions of companies who already have this sort of equipment ready. Any suggestions?

Re:Brilliant (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697934)

Any suggestions?

Aquaman and Voltron.

Re:Brilliant (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698080)

Ok... any non-fictional suggestions? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Re:Brilliant (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698088)

It is about the only time Aquaman will ever be useful.

Re:Brilliant (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698162)

Aquaman would do what we already can but won't allow ourselves to do: plug the leak with dolphins.

Re:Brilliant (4, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698054)

I hate to tell you this, but BP has more incentive than anyone to actually fix the problem, since they are going to be paying for the damages for the next 20 years.

Re:Brilliant (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698368)

really? i'm not sure they can afford the damagess even if they operate for the next 200 years.

Accidents happen. (4, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698152)

I know that BP has a worse safety record than other drillers, but that doesn't mean their ROV operators are less skilled. I'd like to see you (or anyone else) pull something like this off without making at least a couple mistakes.

Black hurricanes (1)

tadauphoenix (127728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697804)

..covering the south. This ought to be worth watching. Earth just might clean itself up yet just as these companies are hoping.

Re:Black hurricanes (4, Interesting)

e9th (652576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697940)

According to the National Hurricane Center (sorry, .PDF), [noaa.gov] hurricanes themselves won't affect the spill much one way or another. But they will seriously interrupt the recovery process, such as it is.

Kindra Arnesen's speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697806)

BP and the government are responsible for an enormous coverup. The entire population of the Gulf Coast is sick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkYJDI8pK9Y

We have to seize BP.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (2, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698114)

Uh huh. Seize a petrol company tightly knit with a foreign government that happens to be one of our allies and also a nuclear power.

Let me know how that works out.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698420)

Never mind shaking the foundation of capitalism at the same time, validating administration critics that they will use opportunism to favor socialization of some sectors. I'm not sure I can ever agree with seizing a company because it's basically reneging on an agreement between the government and the company. These circumstances should be accounted for by raising the liability and that will help slow the amount of errors they make because put simply their insurance, whatever it may be, will go through the roof as the risk goes up.

I would bet we will see quite a lot of speculation and price fluctuations soon based on how congress reacts to this gigantic mess. They've already voted against raising the liability once.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698126)

If BP is seized it will quit laying golden eggs. BP isn't human, so damaging the shareholder value does _nothing_ against the employees who screwed up.

Paper entities don't feel pain, people do. Find and punish the malefactors to deter future screwups and to SAVE BP, whose stock is held by many US and other pension funds.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (2, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698386)

Find and punish the malefactors to deter future screwups

That's never going to happen [chron.com] even if anyone were serious about it. Making BP's investors pay is a whole lot easier than getting those responsible to pay.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698624)

Making the company pay is completely different from bankrupting the company.

Dead cows don't give milk.

Re:Kindra Arnesen's speech (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698642)

If BP is seized it will quit laying golden eggs.

I don't think people are too happy with the "golden eggs" that BP is laying.

so damaging the shareholder value does _nothing_ against the employees who screwed up.

The first problem is identifying who actually screwed up. Was it some worker who made a mistake and hit the wrong button or something? Or was it his manager who asked him to bypass some safety measure? Or perhaps the manager's manager who asked for unrealistic metrics while looking the other way on ethical violations? Or was it the manager's manager's manager who knew all this was going on and just didn't do anything?

How do you assign blame, and how do you prove it? Once you've figured that out, how do you punish them? Do you throw them in jail? I'm not opposed to it, but it doesn't help clean up the oil spill. You could fine them billions of dollars, but I don't think the individual employees have that money.

And here's the thing: when you get down to it, the shareholders invested in a company that was behaving unethically. It's the shareholder's investment that allows BP to function this way. When CEOs act unethically, they do it in the name of serving the shareholders. Don't the shareholders bear some responsibility? Isn't part of the problem that the "owners" of the company failed to ensure that their company was "doing the right thing?" I'm not sure that we should be seeking to punish shareholders, but I also don't see why they should take a pass.

As I see it, we have a systemic responsibility/blame problem. We love to blame people, but our system is explicitly set up to limit liability of anyone with wealth or power so that entrepreneurs won't be too risk-averse to build new business ventures. However, I think we've gone too far. The problems of the last decade have not been because people are not risk-averse enough.

People aren't investing their money, they're gambling it. Corporations cut corners and endanger lives to save a few bucks, creating situations where serious accidents become likely. When accidents occur, we let them off the hook. We say, "we shouldn't punish these corporations, because that will just hurt share holders!" and so not only do we not punish them, but we bail them out. I bet if we do go looking for an individual to blame, we'll get fed some low-level middle-management-type who was just passing along orders. Nothing will happen. Nothing will change.

frist? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697816)

psot

BP engineers are morons... (-1, Redundant)

drew_92123 (213321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697846)

They easily could have welded on or otherwise secured a large ball valve to the top of that well head and then slowly closed it... Even if one didn't exist it could have been built in a couple of weeks...

Re:BP engineers are morons... (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697904)

Hm. 1+ mile underwater welding. That sounds ... um, rather difficult.

They had a hard enough time dropping a giant cap and not having it pop off due to the pressure...

Re:BP engineers are morons... (1)

drew_92123 (213321) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697978)

Underwater welding happens all the time. And if it were a problem, you could use clamps to hold it or drill holes and bolt everything together or both...

Re:BP engineers are morons... (4, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698076)

You have two problems at work here: you have to do this under a shitton of water, and you are trying to cap a pipe with a shitton of pressure behind it. If it were as simple as "simply clamping/bolting a cap on it", then I suspect it would be done by now.

Or hey, maybe I'm wrong and you should be busy sending your resume to BP right away instead of posting on slashdot. ;)

Re:BP engineers are morons... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698132)

Those two points are precisely my point. hehe.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (2, Funny)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698574)

How many LoC's is a shitton and how many Shittonnes does that equal?

Re:BP engineers are morons... (4, Insightful)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697926)

Clearly this idea was rejected because it is far too simple.

Very few things are easy when you're 5000 feet below sea level and dealing with pressures of 2k psi.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698074)

And then the pressure builds up behind the top of the wellhead, forcing oil through the porous sandstone compromising the integrity of the sea bed possibly causing a complete rupture of the ocean floor leading to the entire contents of the oil deposit rushing into the gulf. There's a reason they quit trying to top kill it. There's a reason they removed the broken pipe at the wellhead allowing more oil to flow into the gulf. This is bad, but the alternative is far worse.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698216)

They have been proceeding cautiously to avoid making the situation worse. Their next step is to remove the pipe at the flange above the BOP and bolt a new pipe in-place, but they're been waiting to see if that will be necessary first. I don't think welding anything is a good idea at this point.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698378)

They have been proceeding cautiously to avoid making the situation worse.

Worse? I think that word needs qualifying, in this context. They were making sure not to drill a second, larger hole directly beside it? They were refraining from dumping heavy water into it? Ma and Pa's Tackle 'n' Bait would have done a better job at containing this by now.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698638)

Thank God BP have people like you around, to point out how idiotic they are and offer helpful suggestions.

I'm just assuming you have a doctorate in marine engineering here, by the way.

Re:BP engineers are morons... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698296)

Now, it couldn't.

The hubris you must have...

Re:BP engineers are morons... (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698504)

Every time one of their fixes fails, and I'm tempted to say things like "those guys are idiots!", people like you come along to demonstrate what true idiocy looks like.

Thanks for puttin' it in perspective.

OK (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697856)

This disaster is horrible, but on the other hand we have several 4 ton robots circling a well a mile beneath the water.

Humans are awesome.

Re:OK (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698110)

Obviously this is a cover-up for a Metal Gear project. Those robots are just the Gear's protection.

Re:OK (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698176)

Except apparently they are bumping into things they aren't supposed to be.

So maybe: Humans are pretty damn good, would be more reasonable.

Re:OK (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698188)

We should have had more and better robots, fittings should have been optimized for ROBOT manipulation, and robot teams should be ready to deploy to _each_ exploratory rig 24/7.

The undersea environment is even more hostile than outer space. Both merit building superb robot systems to work where man can't or shouldn't venture.

Re:OK (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698218)

To paraphrase Homer Simpson:
"To Humans! The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

Re:OK (3, Informative)

grandseer (1653283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698286)

There are no robots down there. Robots use artificial intelligence to asses a situation and act accordingly. What we are using here are Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) controlled by a human. No robots. Sorry.

Re:OK (1)

PietjeJantje (917584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698530)

Robots are cool. I suggest they get one to do their PR, as the human variant didn't do so well. But if a robot were to do those press conferences, everybody would love BP and totally forget about the disaster even though it is the subject.

BP's in charge here (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697888)

And you all can kiss its oily metal ass!

BP is lying again . . . (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697902)

Admiral Thad Allen, US National Incident Commander for the response, told the media that part of the problem was the number of robots conducting simultaneous operations at an immense depth. A dozen robots are circulating the wellhead.

The operators got bored, and decided to play a few rounds of Robot Wars . . .

Re:BP is lying again . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698626)

Kinda related.
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/6/4/ [penny-arcade.com]

captcha: profits.

Re:BP is lying again . . . (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698640)

Actually, Admiral Thad mulling about made the robot nervous. That guy is one toughlooking SOB. I'm waiting for him to get annoyed enough with the whole thing and just stop the leak with the butt of his tortured cigar or something.

My God! (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697918)

What was that robot thinking?

Re:My God! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698438)

It obviously hadn't been drinking enough booze.

Re:My God! (1)

Trisha-Beth (9231) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698572)

It was kinda hoping nobody noticed, but it clearly heard one of the other robots saying "Butter Phingers".

when everything made by man'kind' fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32697930)

Then that must be "it"?

Re:when everything made by man'kind' fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698030)

"kindness"??

Release the feeds (0, Troll)

bl968 (190792) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697950)

If there is a dozen ROV's around the well, why are they only releasing the feeds [isevil.org] from 8 of them.... They should release the rest of them.

Re:Release the feeds (0, Redundant)

bl968 (190792) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698022)

I was incorrect they do have 12 feeds available [bp.com] ...

Funnel Time (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697992)

They need to drop a large (like circus tent sized) funnel over the well head, and have a long wide tube leading up to the surface from there. The oil would rise through the tube, and because it is wide (say 5 metres) it wouldn't get clogged by those methane crystals.

Re:Funnel Time (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698184)

These days, suddenly, everybody is a petroleum engineer [nocookie.net] .

Re:Funnel Time (2, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698332)

The problem with making a wide pipe is that it would need to be very thick in order to sustain the pressure difference between a mile high column of oil and a mile high column of water. It would be too heavy to put in place as a result. Also, it's not likely to solve the hydrate problem, since the hydrate crystals would still build up on the inner surface of the pipe. They solved the hydrate problem by preventing seawater to enter the recovery system. A large containment dome would sill allow seawater in.

Increased potential for tropical storms? (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697998)

I thought pouring oil on troubled waters [phrases.org.uk] was supposed to calm them!

Oil, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes (1)

Decessus (835669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698012)

When a tropical storm or hurricane eventually goes through the Gulf of Mexico and through this oil spill, is it possible for the storm to pick up the oil and dump it hundreds or even thousands of miles away as it makes its way across land?

Re:Oil, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698042)

The chief concern I've heard is that the hurricanes might drive the oil deeper into the wetlands, doing harm to one of the critical ecosystems in the area.

Re:Oil, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698122)

The other one I've heard is that the oil could get into water supplies further inland.

Re:Oil, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes (1)

Decessus (835669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698244)

Another poster found this [noaa.gov] (PDF) which says that the oil spill will not have any significant impact on the hurricane and that hurricanes draw water vapor from a much larger area than is being covered by the oil slick.

Re:Oil, Tropical Storms, and Hurricanes (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698414)

Check out Dr. Jeff Masters Blog at wunderground.com [wunderground.com] , especially the "Resources for the BP oil disaster" section at the end of each new blog entry. His My post on what oil might do to a hurricane" [wunderground.com] entry concludes:

Unfortunately, there is a decent chance that we'll get a real-world opportunity to see what will happen. June tropical storms tend to form in the Gulf of Mexico, and we've been averaging one June storm every two years since 1995. This year, the odds of a June Gulf of Mexico storm are probably a little lower than usual, shear from our lingering El Niño may bring wind shear levels a bit above average. I expect there is a 20% chance that we'll see a June tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico that would interact with the oil spill.

Also, we now have TD1 [wunderground.com] which might make it to the GOMEX and has tropical storm / hurricane potential; and it's only June.

What's the big deal? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698124)

So what... When they removed the cap 100,000 barrels a day leaking instead of 75,000? (assuming they are still capturing around 25,000/day)

What difference does that make?! It was still leaking like crazy even with the cap in place.

I don't see what the big deal is other than the robot smashing some stuff. It made absolutely minuscule difference in the amount of cleanup that's going to need to be done.

Large pipe? (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698136)

Would using a slightly larger pipe to slide down over the existing stuff, then running it all the way to the surface for collection be of any benefit? It wouldn't even have to be sealed to the existing hardware, just rammed down into the sea floor. If it leaks as much as 20% you've still contained 80% of the flow.

Re:Large pipe? (2, Funny)

Chucky_M (1708842) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698326)

That reminds me, where did I leave that mile long pipe? I must have dropped it somewhere, if found please call... Assume it will launch and hit the moon (given BP's luck it will) then knock it off its axis and crash into North America causing the west coast to sink into the Pacific and I guess Mr DontBlama will put that bill on BP as well but dont worry BP money is endless right?......

Re:Large pipe? (2, Insightful)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698580)

BP stockholder eh?

Re:Large pipe? (1)

Chucky_M (1708842) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698656)

Do you drive a car?

im beginning to suspect (0, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698212)

BP is complete fail...like this is going to be something that will be forever flaunted in the face of any politician brassy enough to imply a self regulated industry as innocuous as even a q-tip packager is a sane idea.

ive heard everything from "bp is censoring the media" to "bp is burning sea turtles alive" and now "bp is smashing robots into the
well cap." BP has tried FIVE TIMES to contain this spill for over two months now. every wild fancy from broken golfballs and rope to heavy mud and cement has been thrown at this thing and nothing BP "engineers" can come up with seems to be imaginative enough to stop this fucking leak.

in another six months the gulf coast will not only have to contend with the fallout from its annual bevy of hurricanes, but the inevitable complexities coastal crude oil fires pose as municipalities will be forced to extinguish flaming transformers and ruptured gas lines tainted with this shit. ground water table pollution is also a consideration after the hurricane season.

Re:im beginning to suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698452)

Obama and the Federal Government aren't doing much better.

Senator LeMieux on the BP spill [youtube.com] .

One might even think that Obama wants BP to fail. After all, the bigger the crisis, the better the chances of more and stricter regulations passed, including Cap and Trade.

"Never let a good crisis go to waste."

Re:im beginning to suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698476)

Of course government regulation is much better than self regulation...I mean, we should let the government regulate everything so that disasters are impossible! While we're at it we should also pass a law to make it rain gumdrops every other Saturday.

This was inevitable. It was inherently risky. Other inevitable disasters? Massive blackouts on our electrical grids. Artificial satellites crashing into things. Earthquakes tearing apart whole cities not built to handle them. Diseases spreading in the blink of an eye and killing massive amounts of: crops, livestock, ecosystems, humans (choose any one).

Wait...all of those things have ALREADY HAPPENED BEFORE! THEY WILL HAPPEN AGAIN! Why should we give the government more power when they won't be able to stop these disasters any better than a private industry?

Re:im beginning to suspect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698518)

BP has tried FIVE TIMES to contain this spill for over two months now. every wild fancy from broken golfballs and rope to heavy mud and cement has been thrown at this thing and nothing BP "engineers" can come up with seems to be imaginative enough to stop this fucking leak.

My guess is that this wouldn't still be a problem if the engineers had it their way. I imagine a meeting going something like this:

Engineer: Well, we still have a problem with a few potential worst case scenarios. However, we have the proposed plans to handle those situations should they arise.

BP Executive: And it will cost HOW much? No, don't bother, the risk reward isn't worth it. It'll be fine without it, we have a bottom line to meet, after all.

So I personally don't blame any of the engineers for this mess. The attempted solutions failed because it's just not possible to do a quick fix it at that depth with the tools we have. No, I put the blame squarely on the BP execs. Sadly, not a single one of them will be sent to the poor house over this. With luck, BP will be paying to cleanup the disaster, but unfortunately while that means shareholders and pensioners get hurt, the execs and management that caused the disaster won't be overly affected financially.

Undre Pressure (5, Insightful)

Orgasmatron (8103) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698272)

The problem is pressure. There isn't a pumpjack on the sea floor using suction to draw the petroleum out of the well. It is coming out by itself, and under very high pressure.

You could weld a valve onto the top, but if you try to close it, the pressure will seek relief elsewhere. If you get really, really lucky, it just blows out the weld and rejects the valve. Much more likely, however, it would split the pipe under the sea floor where we don't have access. The only hope of capturing anything is if the breech remains above the surface.

One day in July or August BP will suddenly get shit under control and the leak will stop over night. That will be the day the two relief wells come online and provide means to reduce the well pressure. BP started drilling these relief wells in April, and they take a few months to come online. Everything else is window dressing.

i have an idea (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698336)

haul in lots and lots of huge car sized boulders, i mean hundreds of thousands of them,and pile huge boulders on the well site and after a layer of boulders is on it start piling smaller rock aggregate from basketball size to baseball & golf ball size. then start pouring on concrete or cement or maybe clay & sand, eventually they will seal it off, but it wont be a small task it will take a hell of a lot of boulders & rock and cement and/or clay & sand,

Yeaahhh, it was all the tool's fault. Suuure.. (0, Redundant)

sphantom (795286) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698450)

I like how this is all a robot's fault. As if these dozen robots are all flying around the busted well using an AI from the future to do work autonomously.

How about we tell it like it is. Some dude/dudette piloting an underwater submersible accidentally bumped into the well and did damage, and that damage required uncapping the well to fix.

More incompetence from the folks at BP. Nice spin job though.

Disclaimer: I harbor no hostility towards the pilot. It's BP who continuously makes bad decisions about how to handle a situation (such as putting too many bots in the water, or having them piloted by people not skilled enough to handle the situation) and the covers it up by blaming something else.

Sheesh.

And they're STILL cutting corners. (2, Interesting)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698480)

Kindra Arnesen [youtube.com]

BP is a band of complete villains. Putting these psychopaths in charge of the cleanup is like putting the same cast of characters who crashed the economy back in charge of the economy. Fuck these guys.

-FL

ROFLMAO (2, Insightful)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698534)

We will all die!

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