Energy expert: Nuking oil leak ‘only thing we can do’
Daniel Tencer, RawStory, Saturday, May 29th, 2010 — 7:18 pm
As the latest effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico meets with failure, the idea of nuking the immediate area to seal the oil underground is gaining steam among some energy experts and researchers.
One prominent energy expert known for predicting the oil price spike of 2008 says sending a small nuclear bomb down the leaking well is “probably the only thing we can do” to stop the leak.
Matt Simmons, founder of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, also says that there is evidence of a second oil leak about five to seven miles from the initial leak that BP has focused on fixing. That second leak, he says, is so large that the initial one is “minor” in comparison.
Simmons spoke to Bloomberg News on Friday, before BP announced that its latest effort to plug the leak, known as the “top kill” method, had failed.
“A week ago Sunday the first research vessel … was commissioned by NOAA to scour the area,” he said. They found “a gigantic plume” growing about five to seven miles from the site of the original leak, Simmons said.
Simmons said the US government should immediately take the effort to plug the leak out of the hands of BP and put the military in charge.
“Probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet and detonate it, hopefully encasing the oil,” he said.
Asked by a Bloomberg reporter about the risks involved in setting off a nuclear bomb off the coast of Louisiana, Simmons argued that a nuclear explosion deep inside a well bore would have little effect on surrounding areas.
“If you’re 18,000 feet under the sea bed, it basically wont do anything [on the surface],” he said.
Joe Wiesenthal at Business Insider says the idea of using nukes will be getting a lot of attention now that the “top kill” procedure has failed.
Next, the so-called “nuclear option” is about to get a lot of attention. In this case, of course, nuclear option is not a euphemism. It’s the real idea that the best way to kill this thing is to stick a small nuke in there and bury the well under rubble. … By the middle of the coming week, it will be all over cable news, as pundits press The White House hard on whether it’s being considered and why not.
video broadcast on Bloomberg News, Friday May 28, 2010.