Golf balls, tires, other junk may plug the nooks and crannies allowing oil to spew into Gulf

HAMMOND, La. (AP) — BP might wind up shooting junk of all shapes and sizes to plug the nooks and crannies in a giant piece of machinery that's allowing some of the oil to escape into the Gulf of Mexico.

In the aptly named "junk shot," engineers would shoot pieces of tires, golf balls, knotted rope and other items into the blowout preventer sitting atop the well.

They'll try one carefully selected mix in hopes the right sizes of junk make their way to the appropriate holes. Officials may have to try a few different mixes before it works, if it works at all.

Once the leak is clogged, heavy mud will be poured in. It would then be sealed off with cement.

The technique has been used before, including to plug wells in Kuwait during the first Gulf War. But BP scientists warn it's never been tried 5,000 feet under the sea.