Gas under pressure. Boom.
Another tid-bit just in, it's a mine field, where they were drilling, or at least near one. Now, nothing is impossible. No horror too unbelievable. What's next?
The well head beneath the accident site is 5,000 feet below sea level. The pipe that is leaking is 18,000 feet down. (Below that? Below sea level? they never clarify.)
Along comes the Big Dome, a cement condom, placed on the oil leak. The idea is to create the necessary vacuum that will draw the oil into the reservoir at 5,000 feet below sea level, then slurp it up to the ship.
Never been done in deep water offshore, i.e. over the edge of the Continental shelf then down!
Pressure at the end of the pipe is 2,000 (psi) Think of a F-350 pick up truck balanced on a ball-peen hammer for every square inch of any kind of surface. Now, the pressure of the oil coming out of the hole is so great, this 2,000 psi is, well the oil just blows right through that. So much, 210,000 gallons of oil every 24 hours is gushing out of it, perhaps more, ADMITS BP!
I know, right? How do they know the flow rate anymore, THEY HAVE LOST CONTACT WITH THE BUSINESS END OF THEIR PIPE!?
So, put the condom on, try to generate some type of suction and slurp up the oil (sorry) and see if we can maintain a steady flow. Right?
Hold up. There is natural gas coming through the pipe, into the box condom. It comes up as liquid with the oil, hits the 1 degree celsuis water and turns to ice, but then as it rises, or as friction warms it, as the ice heats up, it expands incredibly, then moves right into the gas phase, more pressure. So, you have the differential in pressure from the box condom 2220 psi, to the surface 14.7 psi, drving the flow, plus, the pressure from the natural gas,
The point is, if the seal isn't right and they can't control all that nonsense, what BP could be doing is constructing a bomb that might just rip a larger hole leading to the reservoir, or blow up ANOTHER ship on the surface. And their luck? Not good, recently.
Let's hope and pray I am completely full of it, for the sake of the brave men doing this, whose managers will no doubt - Tony F. Hayward et al - be very far away from this when it goes down.
Hey, surprise me. Prove me wrong!