Feds rule out using nukes to seal oil well - Macleans.ca

Feds rule out using nukes to seal oil well

But who suggested this crazy idea?


Well, that’s a relief. The Americans won’t be using a nuclear bomb to try to plug BP’s blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, after officials at the Energy Department stated emphatically that the option is not on the table. If this idea sounds like it came out of left field, it’s because it did. Or at least, it came out of leftist field. According to the New York Times, the Soviets used nuclear devices decades ago to seal off leaking gas wells—the blasts apparently melted the rock down the hole, which in turn filled in the openings. In recent days, the idea got picked up by—wait for it—investment bankers, who are worried about the future viability of deep oil operations in the Gulf. But talk about a risk of unintended consequences. Engineers are already concerned about damaging the well-head so badly the well can never be stanched. What could pose a greater threat to the well-head than a nuclear weapon? Said one federal official of the idea: “It’s crazy.”

New York Times

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