Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Technology

BP Prepares Complex "Top Kill" Bid To Plug Well 365

Posted by timothy
from the switch-to-healthier-olive-oil dept.
shmG excerpts from the International Business Times: "Government and BP officials are hopeful after extensive preparations, but are not guaranteeing that a complex attempt early this week to cap an uncontrolled underwater oil spill from a well in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful. The so-called 'top kill' procedure that oil major BP is tentatively scheduled to attempt on Tuesday involves plugging up the well by pumping thick 'drilling mud' and cement into it. While it had been attempted on above-ground wells, it has never been tried at the depths involved with this spill, nearly 5,000 feet below the surface."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BP Prepares Complex "Top Kill" Bid To Plug Well

Comments Filter:
  • by f3rret (1776822) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:35PM (#32316700)

    Just nuke the damn thing, it's worked before and surely nothing can go wrong.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Did they try nuking a well before? I know they used dynamite back in Kuwait, but surely not nukes were used for this purpose, no?

      Besides, nuking a well in the Mexico bay, less than a 100 kms off the coast of the US, is not going to provoke any sort of negative PR and response...
      Not to mention the load of methane hydrate sitting there on the bay floor, just waiting for a shock, like, you know, a nuke going off, to release a metric @55load of methane and turn the entire area into a nautical hell-hole, plu
      • by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @05:04PM (#32316966)
        He's talking about the 5 nukes the Russians used, 4 of which succeeded. Of course the Russian oil wells were surrounded by hard, brittle rock, while the leak in the Gulf is surrounded by mud. Different environment leads to different results.
        • by dimeglio (456244)

          Surrounded by what? The last graphic I saw showed rock. The mud is likely just a few meters deep after which it's the earth crust. Being in the ocean, it's a very hard rock. Maybe it's not too late to nuke it. The damage is as bad but it's going to get a lot worse unless they cap it now.

      • by ls671 (1122017) *

        Dynamite was used in Kuwait to put out the flames (lack of oxygen caused by the explosion), not to plug the well.

        They still had to manually plug the hole after the flames were put out on a live well spitting gazes like crazy. Be careful for sparks and get the big wages ;-)

        Nuking is a pretty high risk gamble IMHO.

      • Did they try nuking a well before? I know they used dynamite back in Kuwait, but surely not nukes were used for this purpose, no?

        Yes, the Russians have nuked 5 wells before. The method is to drill a parallel hole and set off an explosion deep underground, crushing the rock around the original well. Deep underground detonations are quite clean.

        Four times it worked, one time they were not able to drill close enough because of the gas fires on the surface from the leaking well. "Close enough" means detonating

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        Technically dynamite in Kuwait was just used to put out oil well fires, not stop the flow of oil from wells. The explosion burns out all of the oxygen thus extinguishing the fire, it's a neat trick that has been used for decades actually. After the fires are extinguished the wells were then capped through conventional means (I'm not familiar with that process). Nuking a well and dynamiting a well are meant to solve to separate problems.

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      I suggest inviting all of the BP officers and managers and then nuking THAT site from the orbit.

      The hole can be plugged by other oil companies and the money must be taking from BP corporate and personal accounts.

  • Dubble Bubble (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rueger (210566)
    At this point it's pretty obvious that BP is out of ideas - well, aside from a nuke - so maybe chewing gum is the next option?

    You know, If I was drilling oil via a pipe that went 5000 ft straight down into the water I'd have made sure there was a pretty much foolproof way to shut the damned thing down before beginning.
    • Re:Dubble Bubble (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:42PM (#32316768)

      But you're clearly much cleverer than they are. Either that or perhaps you should stfu if you don't actually know anything about the subject.

    • Re:Dubble Bubble (Score:4, Insightful)

      by melikamp (631205) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:44PM (#32316782) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, but would you have any cash left to spare for coke and hookers? Didn't thinks so...
    • Re:Dubble Bubble (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:47PM (#32316818)

      Actually the blowout preventer does exactly that. When it has not been swapped out for a test fixture and damaged (known at the time) known leaking hydraulic fluid.

      The bad cement job was also known to be bad before they replaced the drill mud with salt water.

      There were so many things done wrong. All of them had to be bad for this to happen. B.P. knew these were all wrong and went ahead anyway.

      They belong in prison and sued out of existence.

    • Let's wish them luck.

      The top kill procedure is well known in the oil fields. Pumping mud and cement is what oil drilling is all about.

      Of course, at this depth, things may be more difficult. I read TFA and it makes sense except maybe for this part, which sound too much politically correct:

      His agency has been working closely with BP staff to "ensure that procedures are conducted in a safe, environmentally sensitive manner and reduce any risk of additional impact," he told reporters in a conference call on Thursday.

      Although he used the term "reduce the risk". There is always risk but this procedure seems the most logical one so far for all I know about oil well drilling. So I wouldn't say that "At this point it's pretty obvious that B

      • by vlm (69642) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @05:18PM (#32317082)

        Although he used the term "reduce the risk". There is always risk but this procedure seems the most logical one so far for all I know about oil well drilling.

        1) Research the formation pressure vs the burst strength of the casing. They are way too close for comfort. Statically they're technically OK, before you collapse a drilling rig on top of them and have a month long blowout scour them from the inside out. Bad Slashdot Analogy : Its like using a racing engine, after its been in a crash, to power a fire truck. Its not like the theoretical burst pressure limit of the casing is a factor of 100x the internal pressure... They're cutting it close, maybe too close.

        2) Contemplate that the root cause of the blowout was a cement bond failure... And cement is crazy weak in tension. So hooking up ultra high pressure pumps to push down extra hard, is not exactly the ideal situation.

        So, the relief well is about 1/3 of the way done. It'll work no problemo. Top kill has a modest chance of working, a modest chance of failing without damage, and a modest chance of splitting the casing wide open like a sausage on the grill.

        So its a simple game theory exercise:

        Solution 1 has a 100% success rate but takes three months. PR folks will vaporize themselves waiting.

        Solution 2 has a, lets say, 1/3 chance of doing nothing, 1/3 chance of success, and 1/3 chance of splitting the casing like an overcooked bratwurst, thus increasing the oil squirt rate by a factor of maybe 3. So leak rate is going to zero, stay the same, or increase perhaps a factor of 3, all equally likely.

        Meanwhile the longer you wait, the lower formation pressure/leak rate drops. While at the same time sandstone is scraping out the inside of the BOP and casing making the leak larger. And both effects are very non-linear. So, it starts out very slow, gets very big, and gradually declines.

        Some supercomputer or whatever calculated the optimum solution is : Wait until the relief well is about 1/3 of the way there.
        I have no idea if anyone in slashdot-land can replicate the game theory math that lead to that answer.

        • I generally agree with your point here - just one minor nitpick: How does the tensile strength of cement matter here? From all I learned about the situation, the cement would be subject to lots of pressure, but not to tension. Did I miss something there?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        i love all the people commenting on this that don't work in the resource sector, and have no idea about drilling.

        the reason top kill is only being used now is because it took longer to implement. BP moved in order of swiftness to fix and safety, not cost.

    • Fixes everything.
    • so maybe chewing gum is the next option?

      Actually, it is. Just that it’s itself made from oil. (= rubber parts)

  • What could go wrong? All that can happen is that it doesn't work, and then they'll not be much worse off than they are now, besides having exhausted yet another option.
    Or in the case of success with the pipes actually plugged, all that might happen is that the part of the riser (or part of the pipe lower down even) NOT plugged could rupture from built up pressure lower down ...
    Oh wait ...
  • Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ProdigyPuNk (614140) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:38PM (#32316730) Journal
    You know what I really can't understand ? Why wouldn't there at least be tested methods for this sort of thing? I can't believe that industries are allowed to do things like drill for oil underwater (which is complex and when failure can cost billions USD and human lives) without having set, tested plans in place in case of this sort of catastrophe.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DeadPixels (1391907) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:44PM (#32316784)
      Because having set, tested plans costs money.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sl149q (1537343)

        Testing backup plans for a well leak at 5000 feet pretty much would involve a leaking oil well at 5000 feet somewhere..

        It would be interesting to try and get permission to setup and run such a test never mind the cost involved.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by roman_mir (125474)

      Because nobody ever gets punished.

      There is no need for any government regulations, I am a libertarian/objectivist/minarchist, that's my point of view, I am not here to discuss it.

      My point is that given the myriad of things that can go wrong in any business, in any industry at any time, the real issue is this: is the private business aware that there will be consequences for its actions, should it cause any damage to private property of others, public property, environment in general or any people.

      Government

      • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @06:35PM (#32317652)

        Government should do one thing: punish severely people and firms that those who cause damage to public property, to environment or to people.

        I would prefer some degree of prevention particularly when the price of failure is so uh... what's that word? Ah, yes, so outrageously fucking huge.

        I agree wholeheartedly that the gov is lacking in the punishment department. However, giving the fucking MMS was doing with BP, I see using only punishment as a solitary net to catch offenders. What would stop the likes of BP from fucking and bribing their way out of punishment?

        I'm not a big fan of the death penalty but, you know, maybe China is onto something.

        • by roman_mir (125474)

          I understand your view, but realize just how many times before now Oil has been spilled into oceans, onto lands etc.

          So what has really been done by any regulations so far? Seems that nothing has been done. I am a libertarian for purely practical reasons, of-course my position is ideological, but I do not see another way to fix economy at all. No amount of regulation can do it, and it only makes it worse by growing the government further, which needs to shrink instead.

          Problem with regulations is that it cr

    • by Daetrin (576516)
      I'm not going to claim that BP (and the other oil companies) haven't done anything wrong in this situation, but how exactly do you propose that they have tested any solutions prior to this? Their failure is that the safeguards they had in place weren't sufficient to stop the problem from happening in the first place, not that they didn't intentionally cause such a disaster earlier so they could do testing to determine the best way of stopping it after the fact.
      • Their failure is that the safeguards they had in place weren't sufficient to stop the problem from happening in the first place

        That appears to be a bit of disingenuous spin. You might be right, the safeguards that were SUPPOSED to be in place might have been insufficient, but we'll never know, since even the safeguards that were supposed to be in place were not, and they knew that and continued anyway.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @05:29PM (#32317148)

      without having set, tested plans in place in case of this sort of catastrophe.

      Oh, they have plans. They're working like an anthill stirred up with a stick. Seriously.

      What you meant to ask, but didn't, is why they don't have set, tested plans to fix this kind of thing "instantly" or "within hours" or at least sooner than its going to take.

      Well, that's because no such technology exists. So you simply make failure impossible via paperwork. You need a perfect cement bond job, so you require one. You need a perfect and tested BOP so you require one. The odds of both failing at the same time are astronomical. Which, as you can see, does not mean its impossible, just very rare. I suspect we'll never see an identical failure, its just too unusual. Oh we'll see other failures, just not exactly like this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amorsen (7485)

      There are set, tested plans. They are a) let the blow-out-preventer do its job so that the whole event ends up at the bottom of page 19 and b) if the blow-out-preventer fails, drill a relief well. Well they did a) and it failed spectacularly, so now they're doing b) which takes 3 months. They are also doing a lot of crazy things from c) through z) which weren't ever planned, but that's better than everyone thinking they are doing nothing at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SvnLyrBrto (62138)

        I think the point is that there should be a whole series of set and tested escalating responses *between* "bottom of page 19" and "finally cut off the flow after three months of spilling tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of gallons of oil per day into the gulf, doing untold damage to the ecosystem and peoples' livelihoods.".

        Just off the top of my head, how about always drilling two wells in parallel; so that if one has the big whoopsie, the relief well is already there and ready go go?

        Even the smallest IT

        • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @07:59PM (#32318304)

          Just off the top of my head, how about always drilling two wells in parallel; so that if one has the big whoopsie, the relief well is already there and ready go go?

          Maybe because that would double the likelihood you would get a blowout?

          who understands the concept of planning for redundancy, failover, and recovery.

          You are assuming a level of incompetency the flat out doesn't exist. Even with fail overs and redundancy there will be events that overwhelm the planning. Failovers fail. Backup power dies when you can't deliver diesel fuel to the generators because two airliners were crashed into nearby skyscrapers. (I had servers located at a datacenter in Manhattan on 9/11). Vent flares for Methyl isocyanate don't work because somebody shut them off and you get a Bhopal disaster.

          All failovers and so on do is reduce the failure rate. They don't guarantee there won't ever be a failure.

          There was redundancy in this system at multiple levels. For example the blowout protector had multiple triggering mechanisms, fail safes and cutoff valves. The cutoffs were triggered and went into action even after an explosion and fire that wrecked the platform they were connected to.

          The problem is that they didn't cut off the flow. All they did is restrict it somewhat. BP's X-Rays showed that they cutoffs partially cut off the flow, but not completely. Nobody will know why they failed until the valve is taken to the surface and disassembled.

    • How about building the structure that they have at the bottom on land out of clay. Than place a very large box(say 100ftx100ftx40ft) over that model. Than fill box with cement. Lift box off model and take and cover leak with the box. It should be a very tight fit than cover box with lots of heavy rocks.
  • will they pay ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:41PM (#32316756) Journal

    i just want to see how long, or _if_, it's gonna take for the authorities to stick a huge, multi-billion dolar fine on BP.

    but it's not going to happen, right ?

    the way these corporations learned to manipulate the legal system, the way they're in bed with politicians, is just sickening.

    • Re:will they pay ? (Score:5, Informative)

      by fewnorms (630720) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @04:45PM (#32316798)
      They will and are already paying [thehill.com].
      As they should....
      • by vlm (69642)

        They will and are already paying.
        As they should....

        Correction, "they" are not paying. They simply sell gas to us at a higher cost. "we" are paying.

        • by welcher (850511)
          I dont think that BP can unilaterally raise the price of gas given that some competition exists.
        • by Pulzar (81031)

          Correction, "they" are not paying. They simply sell gas to us at a higher cost. "we" are paying.

          How do you figure? BP is going to sell their oil at a higher price than other oil companies (who's going to buy it from them)?

          The whole "they will just pass the cost to the consumer" argument only works when every company in an industry is hit by something...

        • by Jaysyn (203771)

          And therein lies the punishment. Just because they have to charge more, doesn't mean their competitors such as Citgo & ExxonMobil have to charge more, thereby putting BP at a global disadvantage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dimeglio (456244)

      BP is a corporation. What's the point of suing them or making them pay? All that's going to happen is an increase in your petrol prices (orchestrated together by all oil companies). I think charging BP/subcontractors of criminal negligence is more likely to be a deterrent.

      • Re:will they pay ? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@h a c k i sh.org> on Sunday May 23, 2010 @06:18PM (#32317512)

        Although this old pseudolibertarian meme seems to always come up, that's not actually how markets work. BP is a corporation with a variable rate of profit, in a competitive market in which they have almost no pricing power (oil prices are set in a global market whose price is controlled much more by OPEC than by western oil corporations). The most likely outcome is that BP's shareholders will be the ones to ultimately pay, through lower profits.

      • All that's going to happen is an increase in your petrol prices (orchestrated together by all oil companies)

        I for one would rather pay for my gas per volume at the pump, rather than in income taxes, budget deficits, and inflation. Just add up all the wars, toxic waste cleanups, corporate welfare, the whole fucking nine yards and bill it right there at the pump instead of on my tax return. While you're at it, throw in road maintenance.

        Then let's see how we feel about conserving oil.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by vlm (69642)

      The funny part is watching people desperate to fine BP... Apparently, because they have the most money. Ambulance chaser culture at its finest.

      No one mentions fining Haliburton the cement company, no one mentions fining the owners of the drilling platform, no one mentions fining the govt inspectors whom may have not done their job. No one mentions fining the families of the 11 dead men, whom might have been the cause. Just, suspiciously, fining the company that happens to be the richest. While carefully

  • Oil Spill?? (Score:2, Informative)

    There is an oil spill in the Gulf?
  • does this seem really stupid? They should have smart people working on this kind of thing - the types of people who would be able to take the known variables, plug them into a computer, and predict the results. I'm guessing they didn't do this the first time because the government wasn't all over them, and they didn't want to lose a large reserve. However, this could make the leak much worse.

    @This great guy... are you serious? You don't know about the oil leak in the gulf o mexico? If they don'
    • does this seem really stupid?

      Unfortunately, BP is doing something very intelligent . . . they are wiping their hands from the affair and trying to disassociate themselves from the whole disaster. "What?!?! Liability?!?! Not us!"

      It reminds me of when in a soccer (football) match when a player commits a serious foul. What is the first thing he does? He puts his hands up in the air and shakes his head at the referee, with a look, like, "I ain't done nuthin'!"

      Small children, and large corporations are excellent at this. They say "It

      • by vlm (69642) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @05:32PM (#32317170)

        Unfortunately, BP is doing something very intelligent . . . they are wiping their hands from the affair and trying to disassociate themselves from the whole disaster. "What?!?! Liability?!?! Not us!"

        Seriously? All I've heard from them, over and over, was they're not going to hide behind the legal liability limit. If you can provide any actual quotes that their position is now to do the exact opposite, that would be very insightful.

        • I also remember hearing that it was only 5000 barrels a day. Now that's the amount they're sucking up through one of the leaks.

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      So you are suggesting that someone with experience with this create a computer model so that various approaches can be tested out before doing something to the wellhead itself?

      Sounds like a really good idea. There is one minor problem with that idea though. Nothing like this has ever happened. Nobody has any idea of what the real conditions are at the wellhead other than with a few measurements and visual observation. A model could be constructed based on what is known, but that would be a very incomple

  • The U.S. Navy used to have a research submarine that could go down to 2500 feet: NR-1 engineering and research submarine [wikipedia.org]. This sub was recently deactivated, presumably because they've got something better, probably classified.

    What kind of resources does the USN have that they could use in this situation? It's certainly more than what BP can call into service...

    Leave BP in charge of drilling the relief well. The Navy should direct efforts to stop the gusher, and bill BP for the services rendered. BP will nev

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by treeves (963993)

      2500 feet is only halfway there.
      The Navy has no experience in oil drilling.
      A side note, the engineering officer on the boat I was on (USS Kamehameha SSBN 642) went to be the CO (IIRC) on the NR-1 back around 1992.
      Didn't know they decommissioned her. Too bad. I don't think they have anything "better" now. That one was unique.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by meringuoid (568297)
        USS Kamehameha SSBN 642

        Cool name for a ship with that kind of firepower. I have a mental image of the captain powering up for five episodes or so before he turns the 'nuke half the planet' key.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The Navy offered its ROVs, but the industry had better ones.
  • How about instead of wasting resources giving the world a streaming feed of them polluting the ocean they spend that time and money on actually stopping it.

    BTW, the feed for those that like to see loads of oil pumping into the ocean. http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html [bp.com]
  • by Turzyx (1462339) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @05:54PM (#32317370)
    Pretty much everyone has condemned the way BP has tried to 'save' the well during their attempts to 'solve' the problem, instead of taking a more direct approach, but it cannot be stressed enough. The oil rig explosion was on the 20th April. It's now the 23rd of May. For a company which is in control of, basically a WMD, there should have been contingency after contingency lined up.

    No dice on the blow off valve? Next day try the cap, next day try the plug, then the current 'top kill' method; we'd be at the current progress within a week. At the moment it seems BP is making it up as they go along, that may be all they can do at the moment, but it is unacceptable that there was no preparation or protocol for a worse case scenario, which even this isn't. A tanker full of cement and rubber could have been there within a few hours, this is a disgrace.

    It's going to be a long time before new drilling is permitted in the Gulf of Mexico, I hope that time is spent drafting up legislation that sets up some sort of oil spill crisis management that has direct authority to intervene immediately when something like this happens. This sort of task absolutely should not be in the hands of people who have such a blatant conflict of interest.
    • BP is taking "a more direct approach" of drilling relief wells, but that takes months to accomplish...

      In the meantime, BP is trying all sorts of things, in hopes maybe one or more will work, but mainly to placate the public - most people, understandably, would be very upset, if BP looked to be doing nothing for the next few months while waiting on the relief wells to be drilled.

      Ron

    • It's going to be a long time before new drilling is permitted in the Gulf of Mexico,

      The moment gas goes up over $5/gallon in the US, the new drilling permits will start flowing like oil from a ruptured well. Americans have short memories and empty wallets, and nobody outside the gulf coast states will even remember this happened in two years.

    • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @07:36PM (#32318130)

      No dice on the blow off valve? Next day try the cap, next day try the plug, then the current 'top kill' method; we'd be at the current progress within a week.

      Even if the equipment to do all this is available on site ready to go you could not move that rapidly. For example with the "Top Kill" BP is having to carefully X-Ray the existing valve structure at a depth of 1 mile using robot subs to determine if the structure can withstand the pressure of pumping mud through the system. They have working on determining the risks of this process for at least two weeks. Just rushing ahead without careful consideration of the side effects could do a hell of a lot more harm than good.

      The BP well is the deepest well to ever blow out. It is not surprising that there is difficulty getting it under control. In fact things are moving far more quickly than in the case of the IXTOC-1 blowout which was also in the Gulf but at a depth of only 165 ft. That took nearly 10 months to cap. Total oil released by IXTOC-1 was about 3,000,000 barrels.

  • by SockPuppet_9_5 (645235) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @07:55PM (#32318284) Journal
    There's a few docs online from one of the oil field "auditors" (the ones that value reserves and help measure risk, advise on investing and so are familiar with the science) and it looks to me from those reports that there's a good chance that everyone knows why the well blew out. The BOPs failing is a separate subject. A BOP are like airbags in a car. They help mitigate the damage, and the BOPs didn't. What it looks like is that the cement job failed, and the design of the pipe in the hole didn't allow for a casing hanger. Start with this document: http://www.tudorpickering.com/pdfs/tph.well.slides.pdf [tudorpickering.com] Look at Schematic #3. You'll see the 7" x 9 7/8" (tapered) casing is run to surface, through the 9 7/8" lnr (not run to surface) There is a space and the possibility that the blowout happened from poor cement across the oil/gas formation and then between the 7" and 9 7/8" liner. It would have a free run all the way up to the base of the BOP. This also implies the 7" x 9 7/8" casing is still viable and still has cement plugs in place. If all true, then it also means that this well would have blown out with heavy mud in the casing. For the heavy mud to get down in a large 9 7/8" space with the oil flowing is one thing, as it's being engineered for. For that same heavy mud to get into a much smaller space , the space between the 9 7/8" pipe and the 16" casing (again, look at the red line/arrows in the diagram) with the oil and gas "jetting out" is going to be much tougher. What may happen is the heavy mud goes in, and gets rejected out, and _then_ the call goes out to put in the junk, stopping up the flow partially, and then trying more heavy mud. They've got plenty of mud, so they say, so they'll try this to see what happens.
  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday May 23, 2010 @08:29PM (#32318524) Homepage

    At this point, and I am talking out of my ass here, I think it's time public funds were applied to fix this, once and for all. Prosecute any and every executive related to this incident, jail them, seize ALL their assets to recover the public expenses, and call it a day.

    They fucked up, they neglected to install proper failsafes, and completely failed to plan and execute a proper cleanup. When you screw up this badly, you don't deserve to ever play the business game again. Do not pass go, do not start a new oil scam, go directly to jail and then die.

UNIX was half a billion (500000000) seconds old on Tue Nov 5 00:53:20 1985 GMT (measuring since the time(2) epoch). -- Andy Tannenbaum

Working...