June 9th, 2010
09:27 AM ET

Fix it: Your latest oil disaster solutions

As BP tries various methods to stop the oil disaster scientists, students and imaginative amateurs have suggested ways to stop or clean up the Gulf oil disaster in the days and weeks after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and started the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

CNN is featuring ideas from iReporters and experts alike on TV and taking a closer look at which ones might actually work. iReport: Have an idea on how to fix the oil disaster? Send your ideas

Here is one of your latest suggestions:

You can check out all of the ideas submitted so far on the blog and if you’ve got a solution to share, you can upload your video to CNN iReport.

Send the government your ideas

soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. sarah palin is a twit

    How about a giant tampon ? You'd have to keep it dry it dry until you're ready to insert it into the leak.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Albert

    Install a series of self-threading,smaller outlets below the ruptured part
    of the well conduit.Connect these with a containment unit on water surface;
    once connected,cap on top would not need to bear all the pressure.
    It could then be safely shut.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  3. bgrodin

    insert a tapered hollow tube into leaking well. weld in place. send oil and gas to surface/ship.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tony Hayword

    Maybe BP should try shooting golf balls into the leaking well and see if that stops the flow?

    June 9, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    Drop an aircraft carrier on it. There are 2 decommissioned carriers at Newport, RI (the Forrestal and the Saratoga) and the Kennedy is in Philadelphia. Fill the bottom 3 or 4 decks with cement and fill the hangar deck with ballast tanks to control it's descent. Use ocean-going tugs to steer it's descent and let the carrier land on the broken riser. 100,000 tons of aircraft carrier will definitely seal that puppy up permanently and we dispose of a ex-carrier for a good purpose.

    June 9, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sarah palin is a twit

      Until it rusts. Then we have a leak again.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    Place an inflatable ring or gasket on the well head cap, so that once placed over the pipe that was cut, it will create a seal, preventing the oil from leaking from the bottom. Boeing has inflatable rings that are using in the 737 series landing gear wells, which retains pressure while the plane is in flight.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave

    Implosion of the well should and actually work. Think about it for a second...or two for skeptics. If the total pressure of the weight of earth above the well combined with sea pressure is enough to keep the oil encased in an under ground well, then it stands to reason that implosion of the well shaft should be able to contain the oil in the well. HOWEVER, THINK ABOUT THE ATTEMPTS THAT HAVE BEEN TRIED. THEY ALL CONTAIN METHODS TO CAPTURE THE OIL. BP IS ONLY CONCERNED WITH REGAINING THEIR PROFITS NOW. So keeping that in mind I would have to side with the idea of stuffing it chock full of BP executives. That and all the money they make off of the well everyday, combined with their swollen egos should stop that baby right up.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      You're correct – they are only interested in keeping the oil flowing to their ships! Why aren't they using a solid cap, as opposed to one that has flow capability? If they can attach pipes that far underwater when building it, then they can certainly develop a cap that can be placed on the well pipe, and closed permanently!

      June 9, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying

      I completely agree with you on this – greed is the #1 factor in this oil leak not being stopped. For BP, since day 1, the issue has not been how to stop the oil but how to #1 keep the barrels per day a secret and #2 how to contain the oil since this is a lucrative well.
      I never thought I would say this but Nuclear involvement seems to be the quickest answer that can stop this thing...it should have been considered 50 DAYS AGO!!!!!!!

      June 9, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. heenzie1954

    Forget about production. SHUT THE WELL DOWN NOW. Did the engineers th actually realize what kind of pressures they would have to work with drillig at such depths underwater??

    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. R. Reeder

    It would be great if the sarcastic commenters would come up with something constructive to say. There are many ways that we could fix or help to resolve the problem if we use the ingenuity of the american people to solve them. I for one am glad that CNN put this up so the minds of the american people can do something constructive. It certainly seems like our government is not going to provide any solutions. Here is a list of several thought I had that might be constructive on solving this problem.

    1- we have hydrolic bags that rescue workers use to lift trains of injured people. You could you could use a similar device by injecting it 100 feet or so into the pipe and then inflating it. You could fil the bag with drilling mud or even cement. once in place it would seal off the well. A medical proceedure called and angiogram uses a similar proceedure.

    2- You could use a metal box with a good pipe connection at the top. cover the blowout with the box and then fill it with cement. Once the cement hardens the pathway for the oil will go right up through the clean connection top and they should be able to connect the pipe to the good connection.

    3- This is more for containment. We could employ similar technology to a hot air ballon. position a baloon shapped canopy over the spill and let the oil fill the ballon. once it is filled. release the baloon and it will float to the surface where i can be captured and and emplied. if you have two or three ballons you can just keep replacing the ballon. every day or so. The oil will be safely contained in the ballon and not in the ocean.

    These are just some of the thoughts I have had. I am sure I am not alone. Please let's be constructive and work together to stop this. We need solutions not antagonists.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. BigD

    Jeezus, we can build the Hoover dam, but not plug a leak. BP is hopeless.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chad

    Treat it just like a cap thats in fire. remove the bolts instead of cutting and replace the cap.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. heenzie1954


    June 9, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • C.H.

      I keep hearing people say things in public like "I can't wait until 2012!" as if that will somehow magically make this spill go away. To see it here where solutions are being sought is ridiculous. Are these people for real???

      June 10, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dennis

    Build round steel ring to encompass valve sight and cap it with 48" outlet. Aattach pipe riser with flange to attach pipe to recover oil, Aprox three days to build. Cost 4500.00. Oil company supplies hose and pipe of course. Or even a weighed parachute material made into a large chute to the surface to allow pumping material from surface. Currents? Enough weight and floatation would help and tube filled with oil would also help. At least the oil would be containe d and enable recovery until fix can be made,

    I would say give the problem to the fishermen. They are very common sense people. Thye would have had this contained quickly. Scientists grossly overthink a simple problem. The oil needs to be contained quickly.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. BigD

    What about going to Home Depot a picking up some flex hose to clamp around it.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. DeWayne

    It is obvious from all the pictures and video there is a pipe flange where the broken pipe is attached to the BOP. Why can't the undersea rovers unbolt that connection and bolt a cap or new undamaged pipe onto the BOP.

    Better yet, why isn't there a backup device on the BOP such as a manual valve that can be closed to simply shut off the flow?

    This whole thing could have been prevented. It is dis-heartening to see photos of the wildlife affected and covered in oil.

    June 9, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • heenzie1954

      I thought there were 4 vents that could be closed. Still trying to recover oil for production.

      June 9, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
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