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Posted on Jun 1, 2010

By Mike Luckovich

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By Douglas Muir, June 2, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
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Here’s my idea for putting an immediate stop to the release of crude oil into the Gulf.  We need to deploy something resembling a sturdy hot air balloon in the water above the main leak site.  The balloon could be secured with 15-20 ropes to anchors arrange in a circle around the leak site on the sea bottom. Crude oil and gaseous methane rising from the leak would fill the balloon in the same way that rising hot air inflates a hot air balloon. A large-bore steel pipe could be erected vertically from the sea bed near the leak, with an open top end located near the center of the collected oil above. This pipe would be used to pump the oil and gas away to ships at the surface. Electric heating would be used to avoid the buildup of gas hydrate crystals inside the pipe. The rate of removal would be large enough to prevent the overfilling of the balloon and the resulting leakage of oil out around the open base. A minimum amount of oil and gas would be maintained in the balloon, in order to keep it buoyant and centered above the leak. This temporary arrangement could be operated continuously until more permanent solutions, such as a relief well, are successfully completed.

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By Anonymous, June 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment
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Joke’s on you, Luckovich: people who drive trucks that big can’t read! Err…I guess the joke is still on them.

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