May 13, 2010 6:33 PM by Letitia Walker
HAMMOND, La. (AP) - BP might wind up shooting junk of all shapes
and sizes to plug the nooks and crannies in a giant piece of
machinery that's allowing some of the oil to escape into the Gulf
In the aptly named "junk shot," engineers would shoot pieces
of tires, golf balls, knotted rope and other items into the blowout
preventer sitting atop the well.
They'll try one carefully selected mix in hopes the right sizes
of junk make their way to the appropriate holes. Officials may have
to try a few different mixes before it works, if it works at all.
Once the leak is clogged, heavy mud will be poured in. It would
then be sealed off with cement.
The technique has been used before, including to plug wells in
Kuwait during the first Gulf War. But BP scientists warn it's never
been tried 5,000 feet under the sea.