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Re: “Plugging the BP Leak: What's Your Idea?

TOP KILL GRAVITY PLUG USING 1 inch DIA. LEAD BALLS The idea is to lower a multi stage long tube into well after it is filled with lead balls. The total weight after filled is greater then the force of the oil pushung up. The bottom stage of the plug (250 feet long) and (16 inches I.D.)is smaller then the riser pipe, which will allow oil to flow around plug and help center it. The center stage (500 feet long)and (18 inch I.D.) is larger but still allows some oil flow. The top stage (50 feet long) (20 inch I.D.) with a hopper attached is the section that will seal the well. The design allows the plug to float (due to hopper on top) when empty. It can therefore be lowered into ocean under drilling rig. After filled, it can be lowered and guided into well by robots.Below is data for a design for a well head dia. of 21 inches and a well pressure of 5000psi. This design can be adjusted as needed. Data: Force of oil @ 5000psi= (area)(pressure)= (346 square inches)(5000psi.)=1,730,000#s Water pressure @ 5000feet deep is about 2000psi. Force of water on well head is (346 square inches) times (2000psi)=692,000#s The force to overcome= ( oil force)-(water force)= (1,730,000)-(692,000)=1,038,000#s. Density of water=62.4#/cubic foot. Density of steel=488#/cubic foot. Density of lead=700#/cubic foot. Weight of 1 inch dia. lead balls=.2#s. The vol.of hopper( top 8ft. high and tappered to 3ft.)=275cubic foot. The total volume of plug including hopper=1617cubic foot. Total weight of steel used=80,000#s. Total weight of plug after filled =1,211,900. Buoyancy of plug with hopper=100,000#s. Weight of plug minus buoyancy=1,211,900-100,900=1,111,000#s which is greater then well force and therefore the well should seal.

Posted by fasteddie on 06/10/2010 at 1:12 PM


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