BP Oil Spill Solution

Good afternoon concerned citizens,

weird-chickenOn April 20, 2010, a fire and subsequent explosion tore apart the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico near Louisiana. One can only assume this explosion was the result of an encounter between a good-looking CIA agent with nothing to lose and a double-crossing rogue admiral who just tried to kill the president. The “blowout” (i.e. “hole caused by admiral’s bungling henchman accidentally shooting something important with a bazooka”) has released up to 100,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf as of this writing. The entire oil field is estimated to store around 50 million barrels. BP (the folks who own the majority of the pipeline and a majority of your soul) are being held accountable for the problem and for cleaning it up. However all efforts thus far have failed. They’ve tried pouring chemicals into the ocean, lighting the oil on fire, and putting a dome over the rupture. Kevin Costner is talking about some centrifugal separator which could divide oil from water. Listen BP. When all of those efforts fail, maybe you can finally use my solution. This solution is the best choice we have. I used a selection matrix and everything.

Here is my plan, which I shall from this point forward refer to as the Fantana Just Fixed America plan (or F.J.F.A., pronounced “FJFA”). Stage I will be fixing the hole in the pipeline. We know this guy named Seth who has some scuba gear, a MIG welder, and some scrap sheet metal from when he attempted to build a hang glider last summer. Consider that hole patched. Stage II of F.J.F.A. will involve removing the oil from the Gulf. Do you remember New Orleans? It is still pretty much fucked even five years after Katrina. I suggest we stop trying to rebuild New Orleans. Instead replace the city with a giant centrifugal pump. This pump will push the oil-water mixture from the Gulf of Mexico up through the Mississippi River. The blend will travel through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee until it reaches Nashville. There the mixture will sit in an oil reservoir. The oil and water will naturally separate and the oil can be skimmed from the surface whenever it is convenient. Stage II is summarized in the diagram below.

This plan is perfect. Not only does it solve the oil problem in the Gulf of Mexico, it also tackles several other national problems. First it takes care of that problem of a missing Great Lake. This country could use a sixth Great Lake, one which is warmer and further south. Lake Fantana should be a suitable name. I already have a mnemonic for the new Lakes:

My Humble Fantana Owns Eight Spiders

(Michigan Huron Fantana Ontario Erie Superior)

Don’t worry ladies, I don’t actually own any spiders. Aside from creating Lake Fantana, it will finish off Nashville and, one can only hope, country music. That alone is worth the cost and man-hours necessary for this project.

There are some technical considerations. I did a few basic calculations. Fluid mechanics was never my strong suit. But I know how to write things on restaurant napkins. How much power do we need and how much will it cost? Based on Bernoulli’s equation,

P = \frac{1}{2} \rho v^{2} + g Q' h-\text{Denture Cream}/(2\pi)+\textbf{[McDonald\' s Tensor]}  \maltese \overrightarrow{Dick Chaney}

where P is the required power, Q is the flow rate … you know what, just trust me on this. The required power works out to be 38 MW. Running for a year at $4 per kWh, the pump will cost $1,332,000,000. It will cost an estimated $949,000,000 to build the pump, putting the total cost of the project at $2.3 billion. Certainly such a price tag is justified by plunging Nashville into a black abyss – oh! I mean … to clean up the environment … and protect ducklings.

I know there are some civil engineers out there looking over my power equation while screaming “HEAD LOSS! HEAD LOSS! DEAR SWEET KETTLECORN, HEAD LOSSSSS!!!!” Friction forces will rob some energy from the flowing mixture as it makes its long voyage to Nashville. Don’t worry, I thought of that too. As the pump is being constructed, the National Guard will dump some Teflon resin into the Mississippi river to make the bottom slippery and reduce head loss.

There you have it. I just solved, like, nine different national problems in one stroke. Mr. Obama, I will be eagerly awaiting my medal and my Great Lake. When this is all settled, I think it is time the president and others hear some of my other ideas. Like building a moon base.

You’re Welcome,
Bryan Fantana
President and Founder
The Official Moon Base Party of the United States of America


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