'Mystery Plumber' May Have Solved BP Oil Spill
According to a report from The Christian Science Monitor, six weeks ago, a plumber who did not reveal his identity contacted University of California, Berkeley, engineering professor Robert Bea with an idea for how to fix BP's gushing Deepwater Horizon oil well. The man sent Bea a sketch, which impressed the professor so much that he forwarded it to the U.S. Coast Guard.
"The idea was using the top flange on the blowout preventer as an attachment point and then employing an internal seal against that flange surface," Bea told the Monitor. "You can kind of see how a plumber thinks this way. That's how they have to plumb homes for sewage."
When BP successfully applied a new cap to the well this week, Bea, who is helping compile a progress report for the Deepwater Horizon Study Group, said he recognized striking similarities between the concept of the so-called Top Hat 10 and the anonymous plumber's drawing, the Monitor said.
Is it certain that the solution to stopping the oil leak can be traced back to the plumber's drawing? Hardly. BP has received hundreds of thousands of tips on how to combat the leak. "There's a good chance that this was already being designed by the time this [tip] came in," BP spokesman Mark Salt told the paper.
For more on this story see The Christian Science Monitor.