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What the Russians used was a sub-kiloton fission device, AFAICT, one or two hundred tons. The advantage of the nuke is that it WILL melt the rock and, if properly positioned for a suitable type of rock, could seal the shaft. If oil, gas and sand are currently in the casing, especially if there is a leak from the drill pipe, the force of the leak can cut through anything, as the article showed. It would be nice to know where the materials are coming from and going to.

If the drill pipe is ejected we will have a path at least the size of the casing. I don't know what size casing is used in these wells, and we know that it will not withstand pressures as high as drill pipe. To make casing that would, given its diameter, would be prohibitively expensive. That is another reason why BP's "reckless disregrad" for normal, safe practices was so stunningly stupid. At 250,000 bl/day and with a fine of $4,300/bl BP would face ongoing fines of $1 billion/day. That would surely drive their stock to zero, especially with no end in sight.

The US Government seriously needs to position itself as the first and possibly only creditor of BP in case of such a development. If ever the doctrine of eminent domain were to apply, I would think this would be it. All revenue that the BP organization may generate over the remainder of its existence or the existence of its former revinue producing assets would likely be woefully insufficient to pay for the damages incurred.

The situation could be just that stark.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 04:40:26 PM EST
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