Blogs & Comment

Nuke a busted oil well?

Matt Simmons, the veteran oil analyst who originated the peak-oil theory, told Bloomberg TV yesterday that drilling a relief well will not stem the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. He believes British Petroluems busted oil well does not have a casing and is effectively an open hole.
Incredibly, he declares, the only possible solution is a small nuclear explosion. The idea is to seal the bottom of the gulf floor around the well.
Isnt this rather risky? Couldnt the blast instead cause fissures to open up in the sea bed and allow the oil deposit to discharge its entire contents into the Gulf in a matter of days? Throw in a hurricane to stir up the waters and the environmental nightmare becomes almost unimaginable.
Then again, maybe nuking might work? According to a Russian newspaper, the former USSR had several oil drilling calamities. On five different occasions, officials apparently had success capping the well by detonating underground nuclear devices. Theexplosions apparently had enough force to move the rock bed and squeeze the oil wells channel shut.