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BP returns to 'top hat', weighs unconventional methods

A contract worker picks up oil washed ashore on a public beach in Dauphin Island, Ala.

BP is returning to the 'top hat' method it abandoned last month in its latest attempt to plug the Gulf oil leak. It's abandoning use of the diamond wire saw, which was supposed to make a clean cut but jammed in use.

The diamond-tipped saw worked 5,000 under the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, spending most of the day stuck inside an oil pipe. The top hat, which was first put out of commission on May 12, is a containment dome smaller than the one previous used that failed to stop the leak. The device will be placed over the leak in attempts to channel the liquid through a pipe to the surface for collection. The container is 5 feet tall and weighs less than two tons, according to CNN.

Plans are in the works to deploy Dutch technology that would use giant skimmers attached to large ships. The skimmers suck in a combination of oil and water, separate the two and spit the water back out. Ships fitted with the skimmers will head out from Houston soon.

Trying the unconventional

BP has received at least 38,000 unconventional ideas from around the world to stop the oil leak, including the use of oil-eating bacteria around the pipe and absorbing the oil with tons of human hair. Director James Cameron, known for disaster movies like "Titanic" and the underwater thrill "The Abyss", also sat in on brainstorming sessions to come up with a creative solutions for plugging the pipe. Cameron offered use of a fleet of small, remote-controlled submarines that were used in his movies, but was inevitably turned down by BP, according to Reuters.

"I know really, really, really smart people that work typically at depths much greater than what that well is at," Cameron said. Cameron knows many experts in underwater technology who are accustomed to operating various underwater vehicles and electronic optical fiber systems. "Most importantly," he added, "they know the engineering that it requires to get something done at that depth."

Cameron wants the government to take a more active role in handling the oil crisis and monitoring the leak. "Because if you're not monitoring it independently, you're asking the perpetrator to give you the video of the crime scene," Cameron said.

Peter Kemp, editor of Energy Intelligence, says BP won't necessarily dismiss ideas from the outside. "I'm sure BP is looking at every single idea, trying to sift through and evaluate the best strategy to adopt next given the terrible failure rate hitherto."

Perhaps the most alarming idea to reach the oil company was a nuclear explosion over the wellhead, a method which has worked in Russia. BP says it has no plans to use a nuclear explosion as a solution to the crisis.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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I AM ONE OF THE IDEAL INVENTORS THAT CAME UP WITH A FULL CONTAINMENT PLANS TO HELP BP/HORIZON AND THE GULF COAST AND ALL SUROUNDING STATES TO STOP AND CONTAIN, THIS VERY LARGE AND OUT OF CONTROL OIL SPILLING, I HAD NO IDEAL WHAT GOD HAD IN MY SPIRIT TO DO AND TELL I PRAYED FOR BP /HORIZON AND THE GULFAND GOS CREATURES

BP/HORIZON I AM VERY HAPPY FOR YOU LOOKING AT MY REAL TIME IDEAS, A WAYS OF PUTTING MY PLANS TO A GREAT DEAL OF NEED, I KNOW FOR SURE THAT MY PLANS WOULD WORK, THANK YOU BP/HORIZON, FOR BRING IT TO MODE, THE CONTAINMENT DOME/CONTAINMENT BOOM IDEALS

BP/HORIZON WAS IN A VERY BAD SHAPE, FOR MANY DAYS AND THAN WEEKS, SO I WANTED TO PUT IN SOME GREAT INNOVATED IDEALS TO HELP IN STOP/ AND CONTAIN THE FLOW/ AND KEEP THE FLOW FROM KILLING ALL GOD LIVING THINGS, AND MOST OF ALL IS PEOPLE FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD, I HAD SAID THAT BP/HORIZON HAS FOR GOT ME BECAUSE THEY DID NOT GET BACK TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE OTHER FOUR PROPOSALS THAT IS ABOUT CONTAINMENT DOOM HOUSING AND THE CONTAINMENT BOOM AND MANY OTHER PLANS THAT WAS IN MY WORKING PROPOSALS

BP/HORIZON THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR UNDERSTANDING MY NEW INNOVATION PLANS FOR WAY'S TO STOP AND CONTAIN, AND SLOWING THE FLOW,AND MANY OTHERS PLANS THAT WAS SENT TO RESPONSE TEAM

BP/HONRIZON THANK YOU FOUR LOOKING INTO MY 5 PROPOSAL

BP/Horizon FOR GOT ABOUT ME, I CAME TO THERE AID AND SENT THEM FIVE PROPOSAL, FOUR THEM THEY KEPT, ONE OF THEM IS CALL THE CONTAINMENT DOME OR HOUSING/ AND HOW IT WOULD WORK, AND THE CLEAN UP PART, AND WHAT IDAELS WILL WORK ON PICKING UP THE OIL SPILL, AND MANY OTHER IDEAS, WAS SENT OFF.

We already know that they can insert a pipe in the broken one to suck up the oil, why not do the same but instead of suking it up insert a bladder and inflate it to stop the flow, even if its just long enough for an other solution!

If the 100 ton Containment Box will fit over the top hat, I think that The De-icing problem can be fixed either with my idea or some other idea so lets CAP IT and stop this oil madness, at least test my idea that I have tried to get BP to test for a month now, if it does work this could have been done over the pipe that was leaking before top hat was put in place.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Michael V. Caldwell <mikezz32@yahoo.com>

Cc: London BP press office <bppress@bp.com>
Sent: Thu, June 3, 2010 10:08:19 AM
Subject: LARGE 100 TON CONTAINMENT BOX

I am still wishing, hoping & praying that BPs Latest fix works, but if it doesn't and even if it does.

I STILL STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT THE MODIFICATIONS BE MADE TO BPS 100 ton LARGE CONTAINMENT BOX that I mention below: I would have felt a lot more comfortable knowing that BP tested my idea and had the large containment box ready to install over the cut off head just in case that the top hat fails.

BP, PLEASE DON'T CUT THE RISER, TRY THIS FIRST ! ! !
From: Michael V. Caldwell <mikezz32@yahoo.com> Add to Contacts
To: London BP press office <bppress@bp.com>
________________________________

I Thank All Of You For Being On Top Of This & Giving Me THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP WITH MY IDEA TO CONTAIN THIS LEAK WHICH I FEEL 100% CONFIDENT THAT I CAN DO IF BP; JUST DOES A FEW MODIFICATIONS TO THEIR LARGE 100 TON CONTAINMENT BOX As Described below; (and if nobody tests or tries to put my idea into action and when the top hat fails to work and I will explain why I feel that it may fail, they may be desperate enough after this to try my idea and they probably will still be able to use my idea if top hat fails, but look at how much oil that will be flowing into our oceans if the top hat fails. So it makes more sense to me for them to try my idea first then if it doesn't work NO MORE DAMAGE would be done. My Idea is completely reversible and my idea can be tried without cutting the head off and contaminating the ocean further, not only that but if they had my modified 100 ton containment box modified and ready to use, which they would have if they would
have tested my idea weeks ago then all they would have to do is lower to the ocean floor and place it over the broken unit now, thus minimizing any more oil leaks.

My Concerns on the top hat not working are as follows;

I feel that there are too many unknowns and the biggest unknown is the amount of oil pressure that will be coming out of the pipe after they cut the head off.

1. I feel that being that the top hat only weighs 2 tons that the amount of pressure may be too great to install the top hat.

2. I feel that injecting hot water into the unit may not work to stop the icing problem.

3. I also have a concern of what will be gushing out of the unit after they cut the head off, metal parts, debri etc. which if it shoots up and then lands around the base of the ocean floor will make my idea of trying the larger containment box again impossible or more time consuming to do. I am just using common sense on this stuff nothing more.

So common sense tells me why not try to modify the 100 ton containment box that we know is heavy enough to handle the current amount of oil pressure that is coming out of the well modify it, using my idea to de-ice (if BP or someone else has a better plan use theirs to de-ice, the unit..this isn't a popularity contest I don't care who has a better idea) then try this first and if it doesn't work then try the top hat or something else but give this a shot now: Again I ask what do you have to loose and what do you have to gain by trying my idea ?? Answer; An opportunity to control and stop the oil flow that WILL be missed if you don't try it now ! ! BP can keep pumping dirt inside the pipe in the mean time while they are modifying the LARGE UNIT minimizing the amount of oil spill until unit is ready to try. Here is my idea again below and I have more to add to it that I just thought of this morning.

I am still trying to help if BP has to go back to A Containment Box Plan or another Plan that needs a de-icing solution, and their Hot Water Injection Doesn't work here is an Idea that I AM 100% SURE WILL WORK TO DE-ICE and a few other Ideas..

PLEASE PASS THESE IDEAS ON TO BP OR OUR TEAM ! ! ! " FIX FOR ANY CAP ICING PROBLEM"

Here are a few ideas that I strongly suggest that BP tries in their lab the first one is a contingency plan if pumped in hot water does not work for their Containment Box Plan to stop their icing issue.

100 TON CONTAINMENT BOX IS THE ONLY ANSWER TO CAPTURE OIL... ICING PROBLEM No Problem ! ! !

HEAT RISES AND WILL RISE ALL THE WAY TO THE SURFACE INSIDE THE DOME OF THIS UNIT AND INSIDE THE HOSE CONNECTED TO THE SHIP, KEEPING OIL HEATED AND THINNED ! !

COAT ENTIRE UNIT WITH RUBBER, (after sand blasting unit) ESPECIALLY ON THE TOP INSIDE OF DOME, WRAP HEATING COIL WIRE AROUND AND INSIDE OF UNIT,COAT WITH RUBBER.

BINGO YOU HAVE A RUBBER INSULATED ELECTRIC BLANKET WHERE THE HEAT CAN BE CONTROLLED FROM THE SHIP ABOVE THAT IS SUPPLYING POWER TO THE ELECTRIC BLANKET, NO ICING, THINNER OIL TO DEAL WITH ! ! Just turn up the heat as needed.

THE RUBBER ALONE WILL HELP, LOOK AT A SKIN DIVER SUITE.

THIS SAME METHOD SHOULD BE DONE TO ANY HOSE OR PIPE RUNNING UP TO THE SHIP..HEAT RISES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP ! !

A FACT, If you don't believe this statement ask our LEADERS (JOKE)

This Idea is similar to an electric blanket only, (this electric blanket will be made out of rubber), I recommend sandwiching the heating elements between the rubber insulating the unit like an electric blanket inside and out. HEAT RISES and if the hoses/lines that run down are also coated and heated this will help as well.

I recommend installing a very flexible rubber skirting at the bottom of the containment box that will flex around any debri, rocks pipes and create a seal that will keep oil from seeping at the bottom of the containment box. (NEW 5/30/2010, also At the base of this flexible rubber skirting attach water resistant sand bag tubing units that will wrap around the entire base of the skirting to weight the skirting down and help seal off any oil that will try and seep out from the bottom of the skirting. I feel that we can seal off just about ALL OF THE OIL that is POURING into our oceans by incorporating my idea into the LARGE CONTAINMENT BOX NOW. Also as for the power running to the electric heating elements, we can either run external water proof cables of incorporate a internal electric connector that can be installed at the base of the large containment box, that can be plugged into and this would power the internal heating coils inside the containment
box. (just run electric cable to the Unit then plug it in, wrap rubber electric blanket on the outside of the pipes to heat those as well, CRANK UP THE HEAT AND WE ARE READY TO CAPTURE OIL, seems like BP would jump on this one just, they could recover some of the oil and it would be thinner, easier to deal with after heated up and capture the largest amount NOW not later..

We Have NOTHING TO LOOSE BY TRYING MY IDEAS AND A LOT TO GAIN ! ! !

I have worked with different types of liquid rubber and some bond very well to steel and brick and is very durable and are OIL RESISTANT and non Polluting..

(Always Striving To Be Part Of The Solution)

Respectfully, Michael V Caldwell "UNITED WE STAND & UNITED WE SOLVE PROBLEMS IN OUR WORLD"

So the "top kill" and "junk shot" didn't work - and neither has the "top hat"... so what's next? Wait two months for a "relief well"?

OK, I'm not the smartest guy on the planet, but if the "heavy mud" and golf balls and old tires didn't work, how about we take another look at the table of known elements??

How about we use LEAD? Lead is one of the heaviest elements on earth, relatively inexpensive and highly available (and a lot less toxic than the oil that's spilling). Why can we force appropriately-shaped and sized pieces of lead down the throat of this beast and "choke it"? You can call it the "lead choke shot", if you need a catchy name.

It's time to start thinking differently. This leak needs to be stopped up and clogged up. BP needs to forget about pumping this oil to the surface to recover some of their costs for this catastrophy and do whatever it takes to stop the leak.

What do we have to lose by shoving lead down the drill bore? It IS much heavier than the oil and gas and with enough of it, it will slow the flow down. Perhaps it would slow it down enough that the top hat can suck up the rest!

Is the disharge pipe being tweaked by the force of the oil/gases? Is that what caused the binding of the diamond loop saw? A second and third remote device could apply modest pressure above the cut that is counter to the binding forces. Also wondering if they stabilized the lower section of pipe while they were making the cut. It seems too soon to give up on that plan of action. Good luck in every way!

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