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Renaissance Man. A Husband, a father, a friend and health advocate.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Plug the Darn Hole!

After 45 days, millions of dollars of technological resources use, with tens and thousands of experts and volunteers had only led BP to utilize top kill, top hat, inserting smaller pipe to siphon oil. No success in stopping the leak. Now they are hopeful that the new strategy of cutting and capping will work. It's first time, so we are facing the risks of even bigger spill. Let us all hope and pray that this will work.
What if it doesn’t?
Any suggestions? That’s at least what our team leader would usually do when we exhaust and fail all means to resuscitate a victim from cardiac arrest.
How about combining Surgical Strategies with advance engineered materials, American Engineering and NASA expertise. I’ll explain my take on this on the “My Take” portion.
Looking at all the strategies implemented, I haven’t really seen any effective efforts to plug the darn leak!
When someone is bleeding...we focus our efforts more in stopping the bleed. Makes sense?
Hello America, where are all the brilliant people?
We have gone to the moon and back, not once or twice, but several times.
We have created the tiniest technological gadget that can talk and see images of our friends and relatives thousands of miles away across the other side of the world. We have successfully replaced the human heart with artificial heart.
Why can’t we deal with a 5″ leaking pipe 5,000 feet in the subsea? I cannot comprende!
Let the people speak their minds out…it don’t matter if it’s ridiculous.
There is a very serious consequence affecting everyone’s future with this catastrophe.
Darn! What will happen to the oysters, clams and shrimps? They’re my favorite.
But seriously there are livelihoods that are in jeopardy here.
You think the mortgage meltdown have hit us hard? Think about the fishing industry, tourism, environment. There's more jobs and businesses that are going to be affected here.
We must get our minds together and share ideas to help out. I'm sure some of us can contribute to the solutions. 
Maybe the BP leadership and US Gov. will take some common sense strategies and incorporate the ideas we share into their plans, who knows?
Here’s my take.
I’ve work in the medical industry for years, I have witness and learn a great deal of respect to the skills of our surgeons working with the intricate details of mending damage tiny organs and vessels using only the images seen on the screen.
The Surgeons use engineered gadgets inserted into the body with a tiny puncture. It’s called Laparoscopic Procedure or minimally invasive surgery. They locate the target using ultrasound. Slither in the probes and fiber optic cable like a snake and attack the system with a laser like guided precision. All this is done while the entire body system circulation's fully functioning, of course with the assistance of the anesthesiologist — but in some cases just a local anesthesia where the patient is completely awake and aware of what’s happening, the pain is controlled only by numbing medicine.
Imagine an auto mechanic working on a car with the engine running?
That’s why surgeons get paid that much.
Here’s how it gets interesting related to the oil pipe leak solution.
I’ve seen these skilled professionals poke, cut, remove, connect, stop bleeding, insert something inside (coiling, stenting, etc.) all done from the outside with such precision the percentage of error is very minimal. Recovery is 10 times faster than open surgery.
Now that’s a technological strategy that they can use to mend that “darn leak”.
The technology is here, the material is available. We already have a material that actually mends underwater. It may not have been tested as deep as 5000 feet but it surely can be formulated to adjust and work under such circumstance.
Here’s an excerpt…
Specialist engineering company Furmanite International Ltd. says it is now offering a unique undersea repair service thanks to a new material from Hyperlast Limited that cures in water to provide a totally effective seal. The method was first used in January 1995, and since then, repairs to oil and gas pipelines have been carried out at depths down to 180 meters.
“Furmanite is alone in offering a service that designs, sources materials, manufactures the parts, trains the divers and takes responsibility for completing the repair,” said Furmanite materials technologist Paul …
Integ Pipeline Services – is another company that produces AQP4 Curing Agent. 
This is a highly modified “5-minute” type repair compound formulated for strength and versatility under adverse field conditions. AQP4 Curing Agent is so tolerant of wet conditions that it may even be used underwater or to repair wet, leaking pipes. AQP4 Curing Agent adheres strongly to steel, copper, PVC, geicoat, galvanizing and most other engineering materials. AQP4 Curing Agent is supplied in pre-measured pouches for convenient single applications or in larger containers for easy 1/1 ratio multiple repairs.
Here's the link to their website...
Isn’t that promising? I’m sure they’ve been contacted or perhaps the company might have offered their expertise already.
But the chance of success will be much higher with collaborative efforts. 
Combining the resources with experts like Surgeons, Engineers, NASA Scientist and we the people, suggesting, monitoring (and cheering)...this darn leak can be stop at once.
Here’s the scenario.
Now that we have the skill of a surgeon to deliver the substance, in this case the Hyperlast Material or AQP4, into the broken pipe, just as they would perform a Laparoscopic procedure (5000 feet away), guided only by images (real time underwater video camera). Working alongside engineers that are experts in metal and pressure calculations, utilizing fiber optic cable to reach the target or a remotely controlled equipment use by NASA Scientist and Engineers during the maneuvering of Mars Rover.
A couple of options that can be done.
They've tried pumping the mud to plug the broken pipe, unfortunately it didn't work. Simply because the material disintegrates when expose to liquid.
Why not pump in an expandable absorbent material instead?
There is a highly absorbent material that expands as it absorbs oil or liquid. Similar to what they use as an absorbent nasal packing to stop the nose bleeding. It works like a tampoon (for lack of a better description). It goes in dry and thin, comes out expanded. 
The material can be introduce as a dry pellet substance via high pressure injection through a one way valve cylinder tubing inserted to the leaking hole pushing the absorbent material inside the pipe and into the inner chamber. As it gets push back out by the gushing oil pressure it’ll expand while absorbing the oil. This will eventually expand into a large ball, big and strong enough to cover the exit hole preventing the oil from escaping.
By this first approach the leak should have stopped.
They now reinforce the absorbent plug with a semi-liquid curing agent, AQP4 or Hyperlast Material (whatever works).
In similar manner, inject the AQP4 via a high pressure injector, this time no drilling on the thick hard pipe, but instead, through the absorbent plug  and push it into the pipe as a thin layer allowing it to expand as it gets push back out by the oil pressure to reinforce the strength of the absorbent material. They now have a double strength plug inside the pipe.
To guarantee that the leak will remain contained, a malleable metal or AQP4 can be easily applied to wrapped around outside the busted pipe held down by a compression clamp.
Some might say it’s easier said than done. 
Of course it is! In reality nothing is easy when it comes to execution of the plan...bottom line is, whatever works to shut the darn thing!
Let those robotics do the dirty job of mending the pipes down on the sea floor.
Question is, are they willing to try or even listen?
C’mon smack that pride out of the way…let’s just plug the pipe and move on.                                 
There is no reason why we can’t remotely control a subsea depth of only 5000 feet.
We managed to remotely control the Mars Rover millions of miles away from the Earth. This is where the NASA expertise will come into play.
I’m no scientist…but I play with logic. Hmmmm...yeah, I might have role played it before.
What’s your take? Wouldn't it be nice if we just share our ideas instead of blaming and bashing?
If you are not from United States…your comment and suggestions are welcome.
Let's save the insults and negative feedback for tabloid magazines and showbiz...we only have time to read inputs that makes sense here.
If you have nothing else better to say…keep it to yourself.
Thanks and good luck to all.
My prayer goes out to those who are directly affected by this disaster.
-This Article Ends Here-


  1. It looks like BP wants their cake and eat it too. They have no intention of plugging this leak for good. It is very obvious that is not their intention. They also don't care what happens to the environment, the animals, and people that will be affected so long as they get their oil and investment back later on.

  2. I don't see any logic why they would allow the leak to continue. They're losing money and credibility each day the oil is gushing. That's sabotage for self destruction.

    Thanks for your comment.


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