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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 04, 2010, 12:01 PM

ND man claims to have invention that can help stop gulf oil spill

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A cap has been placed over the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, but crude continues to escape through vents designed to prevent ice crystals from clogging the cap. It appears crews will continue to use chemical dispersants to break up the oil.

President Barack Obama is visiting today with the people who live and work on the Gulf Coast. He stopped by a bait shop to talk with fishing industry workers about how the oil spill is affecting their business. The families of the 11 workers killed when the oil rig exploded in April will visit the White House on Thursday.

A North Dakota man who helped to fix a well leak in Fargo during the 2009 flood claims his invention can help stop what's now the worst oil spill in U.S. History, but he's finding it difficult to get the idea to the people who can use it.

Here is one of Blakes' drawings of the design. It's a steel en-shelled casing that goes over the pipe and its rubber lined. It's designed to slowly shut off the oil flow without rupturing the pipe.

Blake has gotten support from other engineers in the region, including at Weisgram Metal Fabricating in Fargo. He plans to build a prototype to demonstrate how his design would work.

He says it's different from what BP has tried because it clamps directly onto the oil pipe, completely cutting off the supply. So far all of BP's solutions still allow oil flow.

BP claims they're taking suggestions like Blake's through a hotline. Blake called the number, filled out a questionnaire and was told he'd be contacted so he could submit his ideas. He says he has not heard from anyone. Blake works as a mechanic for the Army National Guard.

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