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Methane Danger
Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 06:40 PM

 



Post: #1
Methane Danger
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A new and less well known asymmetric threat has surfaced in the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher. Methane or CH4 gas is being released in vast quantities in the Gulf waters. Seismic data shows huge pools of methane gas at the location immediately below and around the damaged "Macondo" oil well. Methane is a colourless, odourless and highly flammable substance which forms a major component in natural gas. This is the same gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. The "flow team" of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil. The constant flow of over 50,000 barrels of crude oil places the total daily amount of natural gas at over 145 million cubic feet. So far, over 8 billion cubic feet may have been released, making it one of the most vigorous methane eruptions in modern human history. If the estimates of 100,000 barrels a day -- that have emerged from a BP internal document -- are true, then the estimates for methane gas release might have to be doubled.

[Image: 20100621tsunami5.jpg]

Warnings

Older documents indicate that the subterranean geological formation below the "Macondo" well in the Gulf of Mexico may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit. It has been a well known fact that the methane in that oil deposit was problematic. As a result, there was a much higher risk of a blow out. Macondo shares its name with the cursed town in the novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by the Nobel-prize winning writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

By some geologists' estimates, the methane could be a massive bubble trapped for thousands of years under the Gulf of Mexico sea floor. More than a year ago, geologists expressed alarm in regard to BP and Transocean putting their exploratory rig directly over this massive underground reservoir of methane. Warnings were raised before the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe that the area of seabed chosen might be unstable and inherently dangerous.

Methane and Poison Gas Bubble

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found high concentrations of gases in the Gulf of Mexico area. The escape of other poisonous gases associated with an underground methane bubble -- such as hydrogen sulfide, benzene and methylene chloride -- have also been found. Recently, the EPA measured hydrogen sulfide at more than 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) -- well above the normal 5 to 10 ppb. Some benzene levels were measured near the Gulf of Mexico in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 ppb -- up from the normal 0 to 4 ppb. Benzene gas is water soluble and is a carcinogen at levels of 1,000 ppb according to the EPA. Upon using a GPS and depth finder system, experts have discovered a large gas bubble, 15 to 20 miles wide and tens of feet high, under the ocean floor. These bubbles are common. Some even believe that the rapid release of similar bubbles may have caused the sinking of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle.

50,000 to 100,000 PSI

The intractable problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure. Experts agree that the pressure that blows the oil into the Gulf waters is estimated to be between 30,000 and 70,000 pounds per square inch (psi). Some speculate that the pressure of the methane at the base of the well head, deep under the ocean floor, may be as high as 100,000 psi -- far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff valves and safety measures were only built for thousands of psi at best. There is no known device to cap a well with such an ultra high pressure.

Oxygen Depletion

The crude oil from the "Macondo" well, which is damaging the Gulf of Mexico, contains around 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits. Scientists warn that gases such as methane, hydrogen sulfide and benzene, along with oil, are now depleting the oxygen in the water and are beginning to suffocate marine life creating vast "dead zones". As small microbes living in the sea feed on oil and natural gas, they consume large amounts of oxygen which they require in order to digest food, ie, convert it into energy. There is an environmental ripple effect: when oxygen levels decrease, the breakdown of oil can't advance any further.

Fissures or Cracks

According to geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be manifest via fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the path of least resistance, ie, the damaged well head. Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic midget submarines working to repair and contain the ruptured well. Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole. When reviewing video tapes of the live BP feeds, one can see in the tapes of mid-June that there is oil spewing up from visible fissions. Geologists are pointing to new fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor.

Fault Areas

The stretching and compression of the earth's crust causes minor cracking, called faults, and the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico has many such fault areas. Fault areas run along the Gulf of Mexico and well inland in Mexico, South and East Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the extreme western Florida Panhandle. The close coupling of new fissures and cracks with natural fault areas could prove to be lethal.

Bubble Eruption

A methane bubble this large -- if able to escape from under the ocean floor through fissures, cracks and fault areas -- is likely to cause a gas explosion. With the emerging evidence of fissures, the tacit fear now is this: the methane bubble may rupture the seabed and may then erupt with an explosion within the Gulf of Mexico waters. The bubble is likely to explode upwards propelled by more than 50,000 psi of pressure, bursting through the cracks and fissures of the sea floor, fracturing and rupturing miles of ocean bottom with a single extreme explosion.

Cascading Catastrophe Scenarios

1. Loss of Buoyancy

Huge methane gas bubbles under a ship can cause a sudden buoyancy loss. This causes a ship to tilt adversely or worse. Every ship, drilling rig and structure within a ten mile radius of the escaping methane bubble would have to deal with a rapid change in buoyancy, causing many oil structures in its vicinity to become unstable and ships to sink. The lives of all the workers, engineers, coast guard personnel and marine biologists -- measuring and mitigating the oil plumes' advance and assisting with the clean up -- could be in some danger. Therefore, advanced safety measures should be put in place.

2. First Tsunami with Toxic Cloud

If the toxic gas bubble explodes, it might simultaneously set off a tsunami travelling at a high speed of hundreds of miles per hour. Florida might be most exposed to the fury of a tsunami wave. The entire Gulf coastline would be vulnerable, if the tsunami is manifest. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southern region of Georgia might experience the effects of the tsunami according to some sources.

3. Second Tsunami via Vaporisation

After several billion barrels of oil and billions of cubic feet of gas have been released, the massive cavity beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalise, allowing freezing water to be forced naturally into the huge cavity where the oil and gas once were. The temperature in that cavity can be extremely hot at around 150 degrees celsius or more. The incoming water will be vaporised and turned into steam, creating an enormous force, which could actually lift the Gulf floor. According to computer models, a second massive tsunami wave might occur.

Conclusion

The danger of loss of buoyancy and cascading tsunamis in the Gulf of Mexico -- caused by the release of the massive methane and poisonous gas bubble -- has been a much lower probability in the early period of the crisis, which began on April 20th. However, as time goes by and the risk increases, this low probability high impact scenario ought not to be ignored, given that the safety and security of the personnel involved remains paramount. Could this be how nature eventually seals the hole created by the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dk-matai/g...19095.html
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Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 06:42 PM

 



Post: #2
RE: Methane Danger
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Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 06:44 PM

 



Post: #3
RE: Methane Danger
Methane-Eating Bacteria Could Save the World

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
By Jeanna Bryner

* Print
* ShareThis

Tiny bacteria hiding out in a witches' brew of bubbling mud not only thrive in the searing-hot slurry but also chow down on its methane.

Two papers published online this week in the journal Nature describe these mud-loving microbes, the hardiest bacteria identified to date.

Found living in mud volcanoes and other geothermal hideouts, the bacteria feast on methane, considered the second most abundant greenhouse gas behind carbon dioxide.

While carbon dioxide makes up the majority of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, methane traps about 20 times more heat and so is a critical global warmer.

And so in addition to expanding the conditions where one might find extremophiles, the discoveries have implications for the global methane cycle.

These specialized bacteria could help to suck up methane from the Earth's crust that would otherwise spew into the atmosphere.

Mud pits

The hellish temperature and pressure conditions beneath the Earth's surface can turn rock into goopy mud, which along with a soup of gases (including methane) and other chemicals, can stream gently (or eject violently) from surface vents called fumaroles.

These "mud volcanoes" support a range of conditions, with some areas reaching temperatures of 158 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) and pH's close to that of battery acid.

Mike Jetten of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands and his colleagues discovered a bacterium dubbed Acidimethylosilex fumarolicum in a fuming vent in the Solfatara volcanic area near Naples, Italy.

Lab experiments revealed A. fumarolicum could grow at a very acidic pH, as low as 0.8, and at a temperature of about 130 degrees F (55 degrees C), consuming methane for energy.

(The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, from acidic to basic. Water has a neutral pH of 7; battery acid and hydrochloric acid have pH's below 1, and the pH of household
bleach can reach about 12.5.)

The bacteria can use oxygen too, but their muddy habitat is nearly devoid of such luxuries, making for a stressful life.

"The only oxygen the bacteria get is from the bubbling of the volcano, which puts air into the liquid," Jetten told LiveScience. "They are always stressed for air, so they're always living under oxygen limitation. The ecosystems themselves are completely devoid of oxygen, so every molecule that enters is immediately consumed."

Another extreme-loving methane consumer was discovered at Hell's Gate (Tikitere) in New Zealand.

Peter Dunfield of GNS Science, a New Zealand government-owned research organization, and his colleagues found that Methylokorus infernorum could thrive at a pH as low as 1.5 and temperatures of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees C).

Methane munchers

Both bacterial finds top the hardiest methane munchers identified to date.

Until now, the lowest pH found to support "methanothrophs" was in peat bogs, where bacteria thrived down to a pH of about 4.

How exactly the bacteria are able to withstand the harsh habitats while consuming methane is still a bit of a mystery.

Genetics do play a role. The research teams analyzed the genomes for the two bacterial species, finding some novel systems that likely allow the methane-consuming microbes to thrive in harsh conditions.

"The new bacterium has a completely new repertoire of genetic elements to do this job," Jetten said of A. fumarolicum. "And it's also quite different from the known methane-oxidizing bacteria.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311742,00.html
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OP
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 07:09 PM

 



Post: #4
RE: Methane Danger
NEW ORLEANS - It is an overlooked danger in oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico's fragile ecosystem.

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.

"This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Kessler said.

Methane is a colorless, odorless and flammable substance that is a major component in the natural gas used to heat people's homes. Petroleum engineers typically burn off excess gas attached to crude before the oil is shipped off to the refinery. That's exactly what BP has done as it has captured more than 7.5 million gallons (28 million liters) of crude from the breached well.

A BP spokesman said the company was burning about 30 million cubic feet (850,000 cubic meters) of natural gas daily from the source of the leak, adding up to about 450 million cubic feet (12.7 million cubic meters) since the containment effort started 15 days ago. That's enough gas to heat about 450,000 homes for four days.

But that figure does not account for gas that eluded containment efforts and wound up in the water, leaving behind huge amounts of methane.

Stack of pipes
BP said a containment cap sitting over the leaking well funneled about 619,500 gallons (2.3 million liters) of oil to a drillship waiting on the ocean surface on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a specialized flare siphoning oil and gas from a stack of pipes on the seafloor burned roughly 161,700 gallons (612,000 liters).

The first of two relief wells being drilled to plug the massive Gulf of Mexico leak also was within 200 feet of the blown-out well, a BP executive said Friday.

Kent Wells, senior vice president of exploration and production, said the next step will be to slowly hone in on the ruptured well and eventually plug it.

Meanwhile, signaling a shift in strategy to fight against BP's ruptured well in the Gulf, the Coast Guard is ramping up efforts to capture oil closer to shore.

Adm. Thad Allen said Friday an estimated 2,000 private boats in the so-called "vessels of opportunity" program will be more closely linked through a tighter command and control structure to direct them to locations less than 50 miles offshore to skim the oil.

Allen, the point man for the federal response to the spill, previously had said surface containment efforts would be concentrated much farther offshore.

Estimates of the oil being siphoned from the well a mile below the Gulf are growing. Allen said more than 1.2 million gallons was sucked up to containment vessels Thursday.

'So devastated'
Thursday was focused on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers chastised BP CEO Tony Hayward during hearings into the spill.

Testifying as oil still surged into the Gulf at between 1.47 million (5.6 million liters) and 2.52 million gallons (9.5 million liters) a day, coating more coastal land and marshes, Hayward declared "I am so devastated with this accident," "deeply sorry" and "so distraught."

But he also said he was out of the loop on decisions at the well and disclaimed knowledge of any of the myriad problems on and under the Deepwater Horizon rig before the deadly explosion. BP was leasing the rig the Deepwater Horizon that exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering the environmental disaster.

"BP blew it," said Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak chairman of the House investigations panel that held the hearing. "You cut corners to save money and time."

As for the methane, scientists are still trying to measure how much has escaped into the water and how it may damage the Gulf and its creatures.


The Daily Rundown

The dangerous gas has played an important role throughout the disaster and response. A bubble of methane is believed to have burst up from the seafloor and ignited the rig explosion. Methane crystals also clogged a four-story containment box that engineers earlier tried to place on top of the breached well.

Now it is being looked at as an environmental concern.

The small microbes that live in the sea have been feeding on the oil and natural gas in the water and are consuming larger quantities of oxygen, which they need to digest food. As they draw more oxygen from the water, it creates two problems. When oxygen levels drop low enough, the breakdown of oil grinds to a halt; and as it is depleted in the water, most life can't be sustained. The National Science Foundation funded research on methane in the Gulf amid concerns about the depths of the oil plume and questions what role natural gas was playing in keeping the oil below the surface, said David Garrison, a program director in the federal agency who specializes in biological oceanography.

"This has the potential to harm the ecosystem in ways that we don't know," Garrison said. "It's a complex problem."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37778190/
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OP
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 07:25 PM

 



Post: #5
RE: Methane Danger
GEOCHEMICAL ASSESSMENT OF GASEOUS HYDROCARBONS:
MIXING OF BACTERIAL AND THERMOGENIC METHANE
IN THE DEEP SUBSURFACE PETROLEUM SYSTEM,
GULF OF MEXICO CONTINENTAL SLOPE
A Thesis
by
ERCIN OZGUL
Submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies of
Texas A&M University
in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF SCIENCE

http://repository.tamu.edu/bitstream/han...sequence=1

Gas hydrate that breaches the sea floor on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico
I. R. MacDonald1, N. L. Guinasso , Jr.1, R. Sassen1, J. M. Brooks1, L. Lee1 and K. T. Scott2

1 Geochemical and Environmental Research Group, College of Geosciences and Maritime Studies, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843
2 Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

We report observations that concern formation and dissociation of gas hydrate near the sea floor at depths of ~540 m in the northern Gulf of Mexico. In August 1992, three lobes of gas hydrate were partly exposed beneath a thin layer of sediment. By May 1993, the most prominent lobe had evidently broken free and floated away, leaving a patch of disturbed sediment and exposed hydrate. The underside of the gas hydrate was about 0.2 °C warmer than ambient sea water and had trapped a large volume of oil and free gas. An in situ monitoring device, deployed on a nearby bed of mussels, recorded sustained releases of gas during a 44 day monitoring period. Gas venting coincided with a temporary rise in water temperature of 1 °C, which is consistent with thermally induced dissociation of hydrate composed mainly of methane and water. We conclude that the effects of accumulating buoyant force and fluctuating water temperature cause shallow gas hydrate alternately to check and release gas venting.
http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/c...t/22/8/699

I was trying to discuss this with Soul last week, but he was not interested..
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Anonymous Coward
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 07:33 PM

 



Post: #6
RE: Methane Danger
Methane Explosion

At the ocean floor lies a sleeping monster, one that millions of years ago devastated the Earth, causing a mass-extinction, and today could be released again. It is silent, invisible and deadly, and contains double the energy of the entire world's fossil fuels combined. It is the frozen methane reserves at the bottom of the sea; capable of causing massive rises in global temperatures and igniting the atmosphere.

Has frozen methane ever been released before?
55 million years ago, 20% of the world's frozen methane reserves melted. This sparked cataclysmic changes in the atmosphere: global temperatures rose by 13 degrees Fahrenheit, melting the ice caps and forcing many species to extinction. 80% of all deep-sea creatures became extinct, and there were severe consequences for land animals. If vast amounts of methane were released, the highly explosive gas would be ignited by lightning, scorching huge area in a fiery hell-on-earth.

What is methane?
Methane is an extremely flammable and explosive gas. At the bottom of the ocean it is found in a form called 'methane hydrate', when the particles are locked in a lattice with water. When this melts, it releases methane gas with 160 times this volume. Methane hydrate is found deep in the oceans, more than 350m down. It is estimated that there is more than 200,000 trillion cubic feet of this gas at the bottom of the ocean; 80,000 times conventional natural gas reserves.

How is it released?
Small bursts of methane hydrate can be released by sudden events that break the lattice, such as landslides and earthquakes on the ocean floor. This releases a large amount of methane from the local area. This has been suggested as a possible explanation for the Bermuda Triangle - an area of ocean in the South Atlantic where dozens of ships and planes have disappeared without trace. The theory goes that landslides release the methane, which explodes on contact with, for example, a plane's engines. This shows how dangerous even small bursts can be.

It would take a bigger event than an earthquake or landslide to start releasing vast quantities of methane hydrate. The current fear is that global warming would increase the ocean temperature to the point where frozen methane starts to melt all over the world.

What would be the effects if the gas was released?
If a large proportion of the gas were released the effects would be devastating. If hundreds of thousands of trillions of tons were released into the atmosphere, the rate global warming would skyrocket. Methane is 20 times more powerful a gas at raising global temperatures than carbon dioxide, so a release of a vast quantity of gas would cause huge temperature rises around the world. If temperatures rose by the 13 degrees Fahrenheit they did during the last release, ice caps would start to melt flooding large areas of the Earth. Worse, the gas would be ignited by lightning, leaving huge fires over areas of land, with coastal areas at especially great risk of destruction. Many cities that escaped the rising sea levels would not be spared the fire.
http://armageddononline.tripod.com/methane.htm
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Anonymous Coward
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 07:38 PM

 



Post: #7
RE: Methane Danger
Methane Explosion

At the ocean floor lies a sleeping monster, one that millions of years ago devastated the Earth, causing a mass-extinction, and today could be released again. It is silent, invisible and deadly, and contains double the energy of the entire world's fossil fuels combined. It is the frozen methane reserves at the bottom of the sea; capable of causing massive rises in global temperatures and igniting the atmosphere.

Has frozen methane ever been released before?
55 million years ago, 20% of the world's frozen methane reserves melted. This sparked cataclysmic changes in the atmosphere: global temperatures rose by 13 degrees Fahrenheit, melting the ice caps and forcing many species to extinction. 80% of all deep-sea creatures became extinct, and there were severe consequences for land animals. If vast amounts of methane were released, the highly explosive gas would be ignited by lightning, scorching huge area in a fiery hell-on-earth.

What is methane?
Methane is an extremely flammable and explosive gas. At the bottom of the ocean it is found in a form called 'methane hydrate', when the particles are locked in a lattice with water. When this melts, it releases methane gas with 160 times this volume. Methane hydrate is found deep in the oceans, more than 350m down. It is estimated that there is more than 200,000 trillion cubic feet of this gas at the bottom of the ocean; 80,000 times conventional natural gas reserves.

How is it released?
Small bursts of methane hydrate can be released by sudden events that break the lattice, such as landslides and earthquakes on the ocean floor. This releases a large amount of methane from the local area. This has been suggested as a possible explanation for the Bermuda Triangle - an area of ocean in the South Atlantic where dozens of ships and planes have disappeared without trace. The theory goes that landslides release the methane, which explodes on contact with, for example, a plane's engines. This shows how dangerous even small bursts can be.

It would take a bigger event than an earthquake or landslide to start releasing vast quantities of methane hydrate. The current fear is that global warming would increase the ocean temperature to the point where frozen methane starts to melt all over the world.

What would be the effects if the gas was released?
If a large proportion of the gas were released the effects would be devastating. If hundreds of thousands of trillions of tons were released into the atmosphere, the rate global warming would skyrocket. Methane is 20 times more powerful a gas at raising global temperatures than carbon dioxide, so a release of a vast quantity of gas would cause huge temperature rises around the world. If temperatures rose by the 13 degrees Fahrenheit they did during the last release, ice caps would start to melt flooding large areas of the Earth. Worse, the gas would be ignited by lightning, leaving huge fires over areas of land, with coastal areas at especially great risk of destruction. Many cities that escaped the rising sea levels would not be spared the fire.
http://armageddononline.tripod.com/methane.htm
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Anonymous Coward
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 07:49 PM

 



Post: #8
RE: Methane Danger
Could Gulf Oil Leak Lead to Methane-Bubble Tsunami? BP Responds

It's not just the crude that is causing problems in the gulf oil spill: Another petroleum byproduct, natural gas, is reported to be leaking in much greater concentrations than previously thought. And not only could the gas be suffocating sea life, but a new analysis warns that a giant, 1,000-year-old methane bubble could soon explode, taking out miles and miles of the ocean floor and causing a violent oil spill tsunami that would threaten the entire gulf coastline.

How credible is this new threat? Surge Desk breaks it down:

The Trouble Methane Has Already Caused

Natural gas, primarily known for its role as a home heating agent, contains between 75 and 90 percent methane by volume. A heat-trapping greenhouse gas, it results as a byproduct in most deep-ocean drilling operations and is highly combustible, although drillers attempt to mitigate its dangerous potential by releasing it in controlled spurts, or "kicks," from a well. Tragically, one particularly strong, uncontrolled kick caused the April 20 explosion that sank BP's Deepwater Horizon platform.

Since then, the oil that has leaked from the Macondo Prospect into the Gulf of Mexico (now pegged at a rate as high as 100,000 barrels per day) has contained about 40 percent methane, according to The Associated Press. The agency notes that this is far greater the 5 percent typically found in oil deposits, and has the potential to create dreaded oxygen-depleted "dead zones" throughout the ocean, wherein no sea life can survive for years. Already, scientists have observed methane concentrations up to 10,000 times higher than normal and corresponding oxygen depletion levels.

As environmentalists have pointed out, the methane released by the BP oil spill is also thought to be adding to global warming, as methane is a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. BP says it's burning much of the natural gas that bubbles up from the source of the leak, but does not account for the portion that has already escaped into the water.

Other science writers have noted that methane does eventually dissolve uniformly in seawater and is consumed by microbes.


The Worst-Case Scenario

The frightening "low-probability" scenario described today by entrepreneur and philanthropist DK Matai at The Huffington Post includes the possibility of a "massive bubble trapped for thousands of years under the Gulf of Mexico sea floor" exploding and setting off a "tsunami [traveling] at a high speed of hundreds of miles per hour."

Matai continues:

Florida might be most exposed to the fury of a tsunami wave. The entire Gulf coastline would be vulnerable, if the tsunami is manifest. Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southern region of Georgia might experience the effects of the tsunami according to some sources.

He also warns of a "second tsunami via vaporization." This could result after the initial explosion displaced all the oil, gas and water around it, producing a gigantic, extremely hot (300-degree Fahrenheit) cavity, which would vaporize all the incoming water, turning it into steam and causing another rupture in the gulf floor. He notes that as time goes on and the gulf well remains unplugged, the "risk increases."


BP's View

BP America spokesman Robert Wine told Surge Desk that Matai's claims were unfounded, saying: "Of course there's natural gas down there. That's what's coming up, that's what we've been burning this whole time. It's what caused the explosion in the first place, after all, so where does this idea of another bubble or explosion come from? It is a bit difficult to comment on the claims of unspecified geologists."

No matter how unlikely a tsunami might be, we've already entered hurricane season, which has a much greater chance of ruining the gulf oil spill response effort.
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/21/...-responds/
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Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 08:37 PM

 



Post: #9
RE: Methane Danger
BP – Beyond Petroleum = Big Trouble

June 22, 2010

“I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest.“
Tony Hayward, interview with Sky News television, May 18, 2010


The public relations television campaign states that BP now means beyond petroleum no longer appears on air. British Petroleum inescapably and unremittingly is now linked as the culpable corporate criminal of the greatest man made environmental disaster of all time. As confusing as the catastrophe seems, no one can reasonably deny the danger the Gulf of Mexico region has already suffered. The only unanswered aspect is how much more damage will migrate from beyond the drilling blow out.

Two months after the offshore oil-drilling platform Deepwater Horizon exploded, the initial report has no specific knowledge of what happened or if it was even a blowout. How much has changed since April 20th. The counting day clock is reminiscent of the CBS Walter Cronkite Iranian hostage countdown. The “Most Trusted Man in America” image died well before his passing. Replacing the naive belief in the accuracy of media reporting, today’s public relations spin is equal to the depth of the wellhead.

FACT: all attempts to cap the flow have failed.

This is no oil spill; it is a gusher. Previously, the largest known ‘wildcat’ oil gusher blew near Qom, Iran on August 26, 1956. The uncontrolled oil gushed at a rate of 120,000 barrels per day. The gusher was closed after 90 days’ work by Bagher Mostofi and Myron Kinley (USA). How long will it take to tame this wildcat or can it even be subdued?

The Christian Science Monitor states,

“Appearing before a House subcommittee, (BP executive) Hayward estimated that the reservoir tapped by the out-of-control well holds at least 50 million barrels of oil. At 42 gallons per barrel, that’s 2.1 billion gallons. According to government estimates of daily flow figures, anywhere from 73.5 million to 126 million gallons gushed from the breached wellhead — whether into the water or captured. That means the reservoir likely holds 94 to 97 percent of its oil. At the current flow rate, it would take from two to nearly four years for all the oil to leak from the field if it can’t be stopped.”

Do the math . . . the critical concern is HOW to plug the leak and STOP the continued flow. Now begins the tangible dilemma. With all the failed attempts and varied methods already tried, has the task become unfeasible? Mother Nature will ultimately heal herself, but can BP or the Obama administration help this process or are they increasing the risk to humanity and the environment with their secretive damage control techniques?

A lock down mode in the Gulf even has mainstream media screaming for access. MSNBC recently reported about an underwater blowout and the failure of the well casing. Florida Senator Bill Nelson reports oil seeping up from the seabed implying that the well casing may be pierced. CNN interviewed BP’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles who acknowledged that BP’s data indicates that BP can’t cap the leaking oil, or it might cause the well casing to blow out. Suttles denies that there is evidence that the well casing has already blown out beneath the sea floor. The contrary assessment between Senator Nelson and BP Suttles illustrates the lack of disclosure of what is really going on over a mile deep. The BP high definition images on the internet avoid any mention that oil is pouring out in multiple locations.

What is even more disturbing and downright frightful is the assessment that appears in the AP.

The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.

That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating “dead zones” where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.

“This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history,” Kessler said.

As bad as an environmental dead zone would be, the impending danger from an explosion is unthinkable. Terrence Aym writes on the Helium site: “Current engineering technology cannot contain gas that is pressurized to 100,000 psi.”

“With the emerging evidence of fissures, the quiet fear now is the methane bubble rupturing the seabed and exploding into the Gulf waters. If the bubble escapes, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will instantaneously sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists measuring the oil plumes’ advance will instantly perish.

The burgeoning methane gas cloud will surface, killing everything it touches, and set off a supersonic tsunami with the wave traveling somewhere between 400 to 600 miles per hour.

While the entire Gulf coastline is vulnerable, the state most exposed to the fury of a supersonic wave towering 150 to 200 feet or more is Florida. The Sunshine State only averages about 100 feet above sea level with much of the coastline and lowlands and swamps near zero elevation.”

Is this the real reason why so much of the Gulf of Mexico is now off limit for ships and aircraft flyover? So what is the solution? Matt Simmons latest dramatic interview on Bloomberg proposes that a small-bore nuclear device is the only way to seal the oil column. He dispels the vaunted hope of relief well drillings because the casing is extensively damaged or destroyed.

Dr. Bill Deagle provides a valuable YouTube summary, VOLCANIC TSUNAMI AND POISON GAS ALERT. Viewing this account explains the full impact and future risks from this calamity.

Considering the record of British Petroleum and the history that shaped UK political policy especially in the creation of Iraq, it would not be surprising that the American gulf would be any different from that in the Middle East. As for US governmental intentions, who can deny that the Obama administration is less concerned with stopping the oil flow than capitalizing on their deception for pushing another attempt to pass “Cap and Tax” legislation.

Bill Randall, a North Carolina Republican candidate for Congress is calling for a “thorough investigation” into whether President Barack Obama’s administration colluded with BP to allow the Gulf oil spill.

“There were procedures that were violated by BP that the federal government signed off on, safeguards that decades of engineering wherewithal and knowledge told them that this way the way to do it,” Randall told reporters earlier this week. “They intentionally bypassed that and the safety was compromised.”

The blame game will undoubtedly follow for political theater, while the oil keeps gushing from the seabed.

For an even more sinister viewpoint, Alex Thomas & Shepard Ambellas write, “British Petroleum has openly admitted that they have used at least 1,021,000 gallons of dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico. The active ingredient in this pesticide is a known neurotoxin that is acutely toxic to both human and aquatic life, causes cancer, and causes damage to internal organs such as the liver and kidneys simply by absorbing it through the skin and may even cause reproductive side effects.”

Their conclusion, “The EPA and British Petroleum are knowingly causing this oil spill to be potentially one hundred times worse and are participating it what can only be described as a chemical attack on the Gulf region.”

Is the BP oil disaster a predictable accident with absence of malice or is it being used as a “Seamy Green” opportunity to transform the energy economy into a hybrid limitation on prosperity? Neither is mutually exclusive, but the lack of a rational, timely and coordinated response for stopping the oil flow is visible for all to see. Greed, arrogance and ignorance steer this fiasco. Time is running out before an irreversible escalation overtakes, causing even more harm that fines will never repair.

Alternative energy replacement for the numerous uses of petroleum is preposterous. Halting drilling or failing to implement strict safety standards and methods might just be the lasting consequence of this tragic debacle. British Petroleum’s survival will not be found in – beyond petroleum. BP needs to retool into a responsible steward of the environment and the public trust.
http://novakeo.com/?p=7271&utm_source=fe...KEO.COM%29
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Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 10:35 PM

 



Post: #10
RE: Methane Danger
A collapse of the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico is in our near future but all depends on how such will occur. Two possible scenarios have been analyzed and described by several oceanographic institutions including the Florida Atlantic University (FAU) known for its in depth maritime expertise.

The two possible scenarios are either a complete collapse of the ocean floor right above the Deepwater Horizon well and surroundings or a partial collapse in the form of a mud slide on one side of the well.

The first scenario is unlikely at this time but remains a possibility given the number of crevices that have been created naturally due to the high pressure inside the well. This pressure is created by the large amount of methane gasses that is building up inside the well.

Should this scenario occur, then the prediction is that a vast amount of oil and methane will be released immediately into the water and towards the surface. The aftermath would be a tidal wave, caused by the fast displacement of a large amount of water that will reach the shores of all the Gulf States.

The immediate danger will be to cope with the height of the wave along the shoreline and not necessarily the mixture of oil and Corexit. Both products will obviously affect the local population in the aftermath of the tidal wave and during clean up.

The second scenario, a partial collapse of one side of the well in the form of a large mud slide, will cause a similar effect but to a far lesser extent given that the collapse will happen in a more or less slow motion fashion where water will replace oil and methane over a brief period of time.

A wave is expected to form off the Gulf Coast but will cause less damage and will be far less destructive.

Nevertheless, the impact on the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will be enormous. The tourism industry represents a combined annual income of 150 billion dollars for Alabama and Florida. This industry has been hit hard and may not be able to recover within the next few years after a collapse.

The fishing and shrimping industry that represents the livelihood of small business owners will be affected for at least 10 years and maybe longer.

The ports of New Orleans
, Pascagoula and Mobile are and will be inaccessible until the cleanup has been completed. The three ports rely on European and Asian trade for 50% of their annual revenue.

The environmental impact is hard to measure but one thing is certain; 80% of the world’s dolphin population lives in the affected area of the Gulf of Mexico and the whale population migrates to the region to have their babies there.

The BP solution to place relief wells to pump out the oil and methane gas may seem like a good solution but it also represents serious dangers to the integrity of the well’s surface and may cause further cracks and crevices to open.

For the time being this may be the only solution available and let’s hope that the first scenario never occurs.

Written by Nick Doms © 2010, all rights reserved
Submitted by Nick Doms on 2010-06-22
http://www.huliq.com/9990/real-consequen...r-collapse
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Vet
lop guest
User ID: 7118
06-22-2010 10:59 PM

 



Post: #11
RE: Methane Danger
ATHENS, GA. (WABE) - UGA scientists have been analyzing the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf for a month. They were among the first to identify plumes of oil below the surface of the water. On Tuesday, they said they are worried about the depletion of oxygen in the deep that could harm fish and other wildlife.

The team of scientists, which is lead by Dr. Samantha Joye, is looking at how much oxygen is being consumed by bacteria that feed off of oil and natural gas.

The scientists fear that over time they will steal oxygen away from fish and create dead zones where nothing can live.

"There's not enough oxygen in the water to consume all the gas right now," she said, on a conference call with reporters.

Part of the problem is methane, also known as natural gas.

When an oil well is tapped, methane is part of the crude that gushes out. Although BP has recovered millions of gallons of oil, it has not been able to recover all of the methane.

Dr. Joye said that's evident in the water she's analyzed.

"The methane turnover in the plumes is about 100,000 times higher than rates above and below the plume," she said.

You can see oil on the surface of the water and on some Gulf beaches. But deep below the surface, it takes longer to determine the impact on tiny micro-organisms and on the wider food chain.

"I think we could have ships out there making continuous measurements from now until December and by March we might have a good understanding of what was going on," she told reporters. "It's not, it's not .it's complicated. It's not just biology. It's chemistry and physics and everything else."

UGA will hold another conference call next week to update the team's research. For WABE News, I'm Jeanne Bonner.
© Copyright 2010, WABE
http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wabe/n....Oil.spill
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Disturbed staff
I 'll smurf you bro..
User ID: 1
06-22-2010 11:08 PM

Posts: 25,864



Post: #12
RE: Methane Danger
Which would in the worst case scenario cause a runaway effect..

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment...06484.html

doomed

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