Gulf Methane levels
reach alarming heights Gulf methane levels 1 million times the normal amount
1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in
regions near the Gulf oil spill, enough to possibly deplete oxygen
levels and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.
Texas A&M oceanographer John Kessler
says methane gas levels in the area are extremely high. Kessler's crew
took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8
kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead. "There is an incredible
amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone
briefing. In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations
that were 100,000 times higher than normal. "We saw them approach a
million times above background concentrations" in some areas, Kessler
The scientists were looking for signs
that the methane gas had depleted levels of oxygen dissolved in the
water needed to sustain marine life. "At some locations, we saw
depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural
concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of
oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is," he told the
A google-maps site that tracks and predicts
the development of the gulf oil disaster. Check the "YouTube Videos" box
and view citizen reports as icons showing the uploader's location, like
video tooltips. Active operations and impacted locations show up as
push-pins if you check the box for "Spill Impacts and Projects". One can
overlay various actual satellite photos of the water, and look at the
projected flows for up to three days ahead.
pointed out that two oil
industry experts - Robert
Cavner and former Shell CEO
John Hofmeister - said that
the "well integrity test"
should not be conducted
because there is no benefit,
and it could very well blow
out the well.
thinks that the well
integrity tests are really
an attempt by BP to
underestimate the amount of
oil gushing out - and so pay
lower fines under the Clean
Water Act (fines are
the number of barrels
leaking into the Gulf) - by
waiting to "test" the flow
until the flow has been
reduced. In the real world,
of course, BP could have
tested the flow
from day one.
Today, an oil and gas
industry veteran with 30
years experience who goes by
the alias Fishgrease
says that the well
integrity test is a PR stunt
meant to fool the American
Government bought in to
BP's lies and
Our Government approved
the Integrity Test. That
test is now underway.
We later received information that the Oil States FlexJoint actually in
place is a Model 5, and
therefore has a MWP
pressure) of 5000 psi.
So now, the pressures
Our Government has
signed off on applying,
are at least 2,000 psi
over the rating of the
I've been battling
comments that, surely,
this component has a
"safety allowance" well
above its rating.
Boomers, this is pure
horseshit. When you're
pressuring up against
metal with hydrocarbons,
the "maximum" in
pressure" fucking means
exceeding MWP is, in
actionable. MWP is
enforced in the Oil &
Gas industry with
perfect vigor. There is
no tolerance for
exceeding MWP. None.
You. Don't. Fucking.
BP is PLANNING on doing
it! They would not and
could not do it without
the U.S. Government
responsibility, in the
name of Thad Allen, for
the consequences of
That's alarming enough, but there are many bad things that can happen
when you're just sitting
there circulating on
bottom at 17,840... FOR
DAYS. Now that they're
having problems with the
choke on the capping
stack, it might easily
be DAYS AND DAYS. You
can lose circulation and
get stuck. You can lose
a mud pump for a matter
of minutes and get
stuck. You can lose the
section of un-cased hole
you just drilled (which
is at a critical point
for the intercept) and
make directional control
difficult getting it
back. There are more,
and worse things that
but I won't mention them
because the crew and
equipment on that relief
well are the absolute
best, and none of those
worse things will
But why take these
risks? For what? The
first relief well is SO
close (now stopped)!
They have the ability to
capture and measure ALL
the oil! We already KNOW
there is damage
downhole! Why would the
Government of the United
States of America sign
off on, and take
responsibility for this
I need to include
here that I think this
"test" is probably a
good political and
public relations bet for
both the Obama
administration and BP.
It's really not a test
at all and has no chance
of actually testing
anything about the well,
except their ability to
shut it in with no
surface leaks. They want
to shut in the well and
get it off the nightly
news. They want that so
badly they're willing to
risk anything for it.
That's both BP and Our
Government. They shut in
the well and Thad Allen
is a hero. They fail and
he's no more of a moron
than he has been for the
last three months. If
they succeed in shutting
it in or not, any damage
they've done in the
"test" that makes the
kill operation more
difficult, or even
impossible, will be a
matter of opinion. This
bet is against the
citizens of the United
States of America being
smart enough to figure
any of this out. It's
not a bet on actual
physical outcomes. It
has nothing at all to do
with what's the best
plan for stopping this
Indeed, the well integrity
test is exactly like the
stress test for the banks: a
meaningless PR stunt devised
by the industry itself with
the blessing of government.
Shocking betrayal of trust The US House of Representatives voted 420 to 1 to give the
presidential commission investigating the BP oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico full subpoena power. The Senate blocked it. No subpoena powers. No real investigation.
6/27/10 COREXIT is Eating Through Boats in the Gulf!
Corexit has started eating through boats in the Gulf . . . BP told
the EPA "to stuff it" over the use of Corexit, which was found to be 4
times more toxic than the oil itself. BP is also in control of the U.S.
Coast Guard which has threatened reporters with arrest that have gotten
The missing men of Deepwater Horizon oil
rig April 30, 2010
Eleven men were missing presumed dead after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig
exploded last week. Dale Burkeen, 37, was a crane operator on the platform and was trained to
lower crew members to boats in an emergency. He had returned to the rig from
Neshoba, near Philadelphia, about a week before the explosion. He and wife,
Rhonda, have two children, Aryn, 14 and Timothy, 6. Donald Clark, 49, of
Newellton, Louisiana, was expected to leave the rig the day after the
explosion for a three-week break. He was an assistant driller. Roy Wyatt
Kemp, 27, has two children, Kaylee, 3, and 3-month-old Maddison, with his
He loved fishing and the outdoors and attended a Baptist church in
Jonesville, Louisiana, where a memorial service for him will be held today. Jason Anderson, was a father of two from Bay City, Texas. Stephen Curtis was an assistant driller on the rig from Georgetown,
Louisiana. Gordon Jones, 28, of Louisiana, was expecting to become a father to a second
son with his wife, Michelle. Karl Kleppinger, 38, of Natchez, Mississippi
was a Desert Storm veteran who spent more than ten years working on oil
rigs. He was a floorman who made about $75,000 a year working off the
Louisiana coast. Blair Manuel, 56, resident of Gonzales, Louisiana, was a
chemical engineer on the rig. Dewey Revette, 48, from State Line,
Mississippi, was a father who had worked for the company as an oil driller
for 29 years. Shane Roshto, 22, was from Franklin County, Mississippi. His
family were named on law suits filed by Louisiana’s fisheries industry,
accusing BP and Transocean, the rig operator, of negligence. Adam Weise, 24,
of Yorktown, Texas, came straight from high School to work on the rig in
2005. He loved to hunt and fish and play football. He was the youngest of
four children. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7112898.ece
URGENT!! BP SPILL - VOLCANIC TSUNAMI AND POISON GAS ALERT!!
Judge Napolitano on BP Oil Spill & Obama Pts 1-3 (playlist)
BP Gulf Oil spill - aka volcano - part 1/2
BP Gulf Oil spill - aka volcano - part 2/2
Henning Kemner video: no crude
coming out of BP "spill" - THIS IS WHAT THEY DON'T WANT US TO SEE
Just got this from a friend. A lot of people have wondered why the half
hearted attempts to either salvage or contain the crude oil in the gulf?
Why no effort to use microbe technology to mitigate the damage? Is it
because there is very little crude oil to be found in this disaster? Is
it because crude oil IS NOT THE PROBLEM? I have been troubled by the
fact that there is a lot of white (steam?) yellow (sulphur?) and red
(iron ore?) in the plumes coming up from the sea floor. Maybe Mr. Kemner
is right. There is very little oil because these malicious fools have
pierced the magma level of the earth and created a volcano. That would
also account for the high concentration of toxic gases such as hydrogen
sulphide. Other evidence to support this conclusion is found in the high
pressure at the well head. Typically an artesian well would show about
1000 to 1500 psi. But according to numerous experts and as confirmed by
Reverend Lindsey Williams this well head pressure is at least 20,000 psi
and may be as high as 70,000 psi.
If Mr. Kemner is correct we can expect famine worldwide. This is not
just an American/British problem. This is a global catastrophe.....
Subject: Henning Kemner video: no crude coming out of "spill" -
THIS IS WHAT THEY DON'T WANT US TO SEE Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2010 03:59:28 -0700 (PDT)
Oil company executives spoke about the safety and security of offshore
drilling operations. Witnesses · Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO,
ExxonMobil · John Watson, chairman and CEO, Chevron Corp. · James Mulva,
chairman and CEO, ConocoPhillips · Lamar McKay, president and chairman,
BP America Inc. · Marvin Odum, president, Shell Oil Co.
BP "live" feed of Gulf gusher actually in
loop for 8+ hours -- what are they hiding?
Was this disaster just an accident, or
were other more sinister forces at play in order
to further cripple society toward a more
manageable population size? BP's "live" feed
caught in an obvious short loop shows further
evidence of cover-up.
BP Oil Spill
Billy Nungesser: Twenty-four miles of Plaquemines Parish is
destroyed. Everything in it is dead
Fishermen want to help!"
June 12, 2010: BP
Blocking Media Access? New Orleans interview
3 Reasons Obama
Should Kick His Own Ass
Jones Act Slowing Oil Spill Cleanup?
currents likely to carry oil to Atlantic
Michael Brown: Obama Wanted The Oil Spill To Happen
Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America, Gulf of Mexico
Senator: Obama Told Me We Can’t Take Oil Skimmers From Other Parts of the
Country Because They Might Need Them
The estimated super high pressure
release of oil from under the earth's crust is between
80,000 to 100,000 barrels per day.
The flow of oil and toxic gases is
bringing up with it... rocks and sand which causes the
flow to create a sandblasting effect on the remaining
well head device currently somewhat restricting the
flow, as well as the drilled hole itself.
As the well head becomes worn it
enlarges the passageway allowing an ever-increasing
flow. Even if some device could be placed onto the
existing wellhead, it would not be able to shut off the
flow, because what remains of the existing wellhead
would not be able to contain the pressure.
The well head piping is originally
about 2 inches thick. It is now likely to be less than 1
inch thick, and thinning by each passing moment. The oil
has now reached the Gulf Stream and is entering the
Oceanic current which is at least four times stronger
than the current in the Gulf, which will carry it
throughout the world within 18 months.
The oil along with the gasses,
including benzene and many other toxins, is deleting the
oxygen in the water. This is killing all life in the
ocean. Along with the oil along the shores, there will
be many dead fish, etc. that will have to be gathered
and disposed of.
SUMMARY OF EXPECTATIONS
At some point the drilled hole in
the earth will enlarge itself beneath the wellhead to
weaken the area the wellhead rests upon. The intense
pressure will then push the wellhead off the hole
allowing a direct unrestricted flow of oil, etc.
The hole will continue to increase
in size allowing more and more oil to rise into the
Gulf. After several billion barrels of oil have been
released, the pressure within the massive cavity five
miles beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalize.
This will allow the water, under
the intense pressure at 1 mile deep, to be forced into
the hole and the cavity where the oil was. The
temperature at that depth is near 400 degrees, possibly
The water will be vaporized and
turned into steam, creating an enormous amount of force,
lifting the Gulf floor. It is difficult to know how much
water will go down to the core and therefore, its not
possible to fully calculate the rise of the floor.
The tsunami wave this will create
will be anywhere from 20 to 80 feet high, possibly more.
Then the floor will fall into the now vacant chamber.
This is how nature will seal the hole.
Depending on the height of the
tsunami, the ocean debris, oil, and existing structures
that will be washed away on shore and inland, will leave
the area from 50 to 200 miles inland devoid of life.
Even if the debris is cleaned up, the contaminants that
will be in the ground and water supply will prohibit
re-population of these areas for an unknown number of
(End of scientists information
release.) From Tom Buyea FL News Service
Tony Hayward sold
shares weeks before oil spill
The chief executive of BP sold £1.4
million of his shares in the fuel giant weeks before the
Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused its value to collapse.
Tony Hayward cashed in about
a third of his holding in
the company one month before
a well on the Deepwater
Horizon rig burst, causing
an environmental disaster.
Mr Hayward, whose pay
package is £4 million a
year, then paid off the
mortgage on his family’s
mansion in Kent, which is
estimated to be valued at
more than £1.2 million.
There is no suggestion that
he acted improperly or had
prior knowledge that the
company was to face the
biggest setback in its
His decision, however,
means he avoided losing more
than £423,000 when BP’s
share price plunged after
the oil spill began six
Since he disposed of
223,288 shares on March 17,
the company’s share price
has fallen by 30 per cent.
About £40 billion has been
wiped off its total value.
The fall has caused pain not
just for BP shareholders,
but also for millions of
company pension funds and
small investors who have
money held in tracker funds.
The spill, which has still
not been stemmed, has caused
a serious environmental
crisis and is estimated to
cost BP up to £40 billion to
There was growing confidence
yesterday that a new cap
placed over the well was
stemming the oil flow. An
estimated three million
litres a day had been
pouring into the sea off the
coast of Louisiana since the
April 20 explosion, damaging
The crisis has enraged US
politicians, with President
Obama yesterday forced to
cancel a trip to Indonesia
amid a row over the White
give Tony Hayward his life back. Fire him
BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told shareholders last
week that the well technology that should have prevented the Gulf oil
spill wasn't failsafe. Yet, industry knew this for years. And Hayward
let his company continue to drill.
Bad PR is not the reason BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward
should be in trouble today; corporate integrity is.
Forget Hayward's snafu last week,
the one the idiot press made much
about, when the man in charge of the
company smearing the Gulf of Mexico
with crude oil said, "There's no one
who wants this over more than I do.
You know, I'd like my life back."
Hayward was just being honest then
and stating what a lot of people in
the Gulf of Mexico are thinking as
BP's undersea volcano continues to
gush oil. With the amount in the
water now up past twice that of the
Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William
Sound, who wouldn't want the
disaster to be over with?
No, honesty about feelings is not Hayward's problem. This is: His statement to investors in a conference call Friday when he said the oil industry needs a "paradigm shift."
"We need better safety technology," he said. "For example, the blowout preventer which this incident has shown is not failsafe."
The U.S. Minerals Management Service warned of this years ago. It has been discussed at oil drilling conferences around the globe for at least a of couple years. And a truly failsafe blowout preventer has been in the design stage for at least five years, first with Devon Energy and Cameron, and now with Chevron and Cameron.
Houston-based Cameron is one of the major, global producers of blowout preventers, or BOPs, as they're commonly called in the industry.
Cameron and Chevron are supposed to be at this moment testing what Chevron has called an alternative well kill system, or AKWS, which is another way of saying "a BOP that is indeed failsafe."
It didn't take an enterprising reporter more than a few days to learn about this, or discover from talking to oil-drill rig operators that they've long known that existing BOPs won't shear joints where drill pipe is welded together, won't shear the pipe if there are tools in it (which now appears might have been the case deep below BP's sunken Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf), and might not shear new, high-tensile-steel pipe, especially at extreme depths. The Deepwater Horizon, it is worth noting, was drilling 5,000 feet beneath the surface of the ocean.
All of which brings us to the second and most important problem with Hayward's statement during that conference call with investors: Either he didn't know when he took the job as BP chief executive that the BOPs the company was using beneath its drill rigs weren't failsafe, or he is now trying to pretend -- "for example ... this incident has shown (it) is not failsafe" -- that he didn't know.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants to debate a "comprehensive clean energy bill" next month and today asked key Democrats to offer up ideas for how to respond to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
In a letter to eight Democratic committee chairmen today, Reid directed the senators to by July 4 either mark up bills or submit recommendations aimed at dealing with the oil spill in the Gulf, in order to be included in a larger energy package to be debated on the floor before the August recess.
Oddly, Reid wants all eight committee chairs to have hearings, draft their portion of the legislation and draw lots of attention to the gulf spill to build momentum for...his global warming bill, to which he will append their ideas for lots of new rules to stop what hasn't happened in 40 years from happening for another 40 years, I suppose. By stopping offshore drilling, is probably the plan.
And that latter bill, the utter dog of a global warming cap-and-tax energy rationing bill to be wagged by this tail? Well, Reid told the press last month that he was suspending the committee process for that, and would write the -- "comprehensive", mind you -- bill himself. His rationale was that the global warming bill would invoke the jurisdiction of up to six Senate committees and, well, apparently the poor dears would get confused. Which you should read as developing a public record on this in the tax-writing Finance Committee just sends the wrong signal.
So, six committees looking into a big ol' energy tax and a global warming scheme that -- as I detail in Power Grab -- Democrat pollsters told them the public wasn't buying and needed to be rebranded, as "clean energy" and "green jobs"? Nope. That's just too many committees. Eight committees to grandstand on the tail that's supposed to wag that dog? Why, that's just fine.
We have withheld putting out information on the Gulf oil spill for a variety of reasons, but there is now enough evidence for us to put together a fairly clear picture of what really happened, what may result and to warn people who live in the area.
Due to toxic gases from the fractured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico,the possible off-gassing of the highly-toxic Corexit 9500 (the chemical dispersant used by BP in the oil spill clean-up), acid rain and various as-yet-unknown forms of environmental damage, we believe that the government will have no choice but to relocate millions of people away from the Gulf Coast. Those living in Florida are presently at the highest risk, but the danger also appears likely to spread to all Gulf Coast states east of Louisiana and possibly even to the entire Eastern half of the United States once hurricane season begins.
Greg Evensen, a retired Kansas Highway Patrolman, estimates that 30-40 million people would need to be evacuated away from the Gulf’s coastline (i.e. at least 200 miles inland). In order to accomplish this gargantuan feat, the federal government (through FEMA and other agencies) would most likely seek first to control and manage the transportation system and then operate relocation centers to manage evacuees. Toward this end, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already declared the airspace over the oil spill site to be a no-fly zone until further notice. Various sources have indicated that local police, highway patrol, National Guard, US military and foreign troops may be involved in an operation to evacuate the Gulf Coast. In fact, the Governor of Louisiana has already requested evacuation assistance (i.e. National Guard) for his state from the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Those living inland may also be at risk, since the movement of vast numbers of evacuees would cause a significant strain on local resources. In other words, inlanders should not expect life to continue “as normal,” since, under a martial law scenario, the government would have the power and the motivation to seize everyday necessities, such as: food, water, fuel, housing, etc. Some have also suggested that if a hurricane were to occur over the oil spill area itself, lightning might possibly ignite volatile organic compounds, not to mention the acid rain clouds that could form and be carried inland (i.e. acid rain could pollute the water table, destroy crops, kill wildlife and pose significant health risks to humans in the southern and eastern states.)
Lastly, Lindsay Williams, a former Alaskan pipeline chaplain with high-level oil industry connections, has suggested that BP, in conjunction with the federal government, might try to cap the well by using a nuclear explosion – the environmental consequences of which are currently unknown.
If you live, or if you know people who live on, or within 200 miles of the Gulf Coast area, we recommend that they immediately relocate to at least 200 miles inland (i.e. the farther away, the better). If people living within this 200-mile zone do not relocate voluntarily (i.e. on their own initiative), it appears likely that a forced evacuation through a martial-law scenario may occur within the coming weeks and (possibly) months.
Our country has been in a state of national emergency since September 11, 2001, which means that martial law (i.e. military rule) can be declared by the President at any time, for any reason – large, or small. If martial law is implemented, evacuees will lose their ability to determine when and where they will move and for how long, since the normal protections of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will have been suspended. To put it bluntly, a scenario in which evacuees are forced to live in relocation centers for an unspecified length of time is not unlikely.
Obama tries to (cap and) trade on the oil spill
6:00 am June 15, 2010, by Kyle Wingfield
After eight weeks, President Obama has decided he needs to stop letting our crisis in the Gulf of Mexico go unexploited. In an Oval Office address tonight, he’ll explain why, as he recently told Politico’s Roger Simon, the spill should “shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come” — just as our perspective on foreign affairs was “profoundly … indelibly” changed by 9/11.
Oh, so within eight years our government will be studiously avoiding the word “oil” and referring to “pipeline-caused disasters”? Maybe a future president will make speeches about how oil barons helped pave the way for the European Renaissance.
Nah, probably not.
Obama reportedly hopes the spill will reinvigorate efforts in Congress to pass a cap-and-tax bill. The Gulf oil spill is a tragedy, but it doesn’t change the basic calculus about cap-and-tax — namely that, among other things, it:
1. reduces, not increases, employment by giving companies an incentive to move production to countries without caps on carbon dioxide emissions;
2. represents an enormous opportunity for politicians to game the system by favoring certain industries over others (and certain firms over their competitors — would Toyota really get the same terms as Government, er, General Motors?) in the allowances granted and the initial prices charged for those allowances; and
3. has worked poorly where it’s been tried (for carbon dioxide) so far, most notably in Europe.
How the ultimate BP Gulf disaster could kill millions
Disturbing evidence is mounting that something frightening is happening deep under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico—something far worse than the BP oil gusher.
Warnings were raised as long as a year before the Deepwater Horizon disaster that the area of seabed chosen by the BP geologists might be unstable, or worse, inherently dangerous.
What makes the location that Transocean chose potentially far riskier than other potential oil deposits located at other regions of the Gulf? It can be summed up with two words: methane gas.
The same methane that makes coal mining operations hazardous and leads to horrendous mining accidents deep under the earth also can present a high level of danger to certain oil exploration ventures.
Location of Deepwater Horizon oil rig was criticized
More than 12 months ago some geologists rang the warning bell that the Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig might have been erected directly over a huge underground reservoir of methane.
Documents from several years ago indicate that the subterranean geologic formation may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit.
None other than the engineer who helped lead the team to snuff the Gulf oil fires set by Saddam Hussein to slow the advance of American troops has stated that a huge underground lake of methane gas—compressed by a pressure of 100,000 pounds per square inch (psi)—could be released by BP's drilling effort to obtain the oil deposit.
Current engineering technology cannot contain gas that is pressurized to 100,000 psi.
By some geologists' estimates the methane could be a massive 15 to 20 mile toxic and explosive bubble trapped for eons under the Gulf sea floor. In their opinion, the explosive destruction of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead was an accident just waiting to happen.
Yet the disaster that followed the loss of the rig pales by comparison to the apocalyptic disaster that may come.
A cascading catastrophe
According to worried geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the damaged well head.
Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic submersibles working to repair and contain the ruptured well. Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole itself.
According to some geological experts, BP's operations set into motion a series of events that may be irreversible. Step-by-step the drilling team committed one error after another.
Congressmen Henry Waxman, D-CA, and Bart Stupak, D-MI, in a letter sent to BP CEO Tony Hayward, identified 5 missteps made by BP during the period culminating with the explosion.
Waxman, chair of the Congressional energy panel and Stupak, the head of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said, "The common feature of these five decisions is that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety."
The two Representatives also stated in the 14-page letter to Hayward that "Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time or expense."
Called by some insiders investigating the ongoing disaster a "perfect storm of catastrophe," the wellhead blew on the sea floor catapulting a stream of mud, oil and gas upwards at the speed of sound.
In describing the events—that transpired in a matter of seconds—they note that immediately following the rupture the borehole pipe's casing blew away exposing a straight line 8 miles deep for the pressurized gas to escape. The result was cavitation, an irregular pressure variance sometimes experience by deep diving vessels such as nuclear submarines. This cavitation created a supersonic bubble of explosive methane gas that resulted in a supersonic explosion killing 11 men and completely annihilating the drilling platform.
Death from the depths
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.
As horrible as that is, what would follow is an event so potentially horrific that it equals in its fury the Indonesian tsunami that killed more than 600,000, or the destruction of Pompeii by Mt. Vesuvius.
The ultimate Gulf disaster, however, would make even those historical horrors pale by comparison. If the huge methane bubble breaches the seabed, it will erupt with an explosive fury similar to that experienced during the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens in the Pacific Northwest. A gas gusher will surge upwards through miles of ancient sedimentary rock—layer after layer—past the oil reservoir. It will explode upwards propelled by 50 tons psi, burst through the cracks and fissures of the compromised sea floor, and rupture miles of ocean bottom with one titanic explosion.
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 100 feet or more is Florida. The Sunshine State only averages about 6 inches above sea level. A supersonic tsunami would literally sweep away everything from Miami to the panhandle in a matter of minutes. Loss of human life would be virtually instantaneous and measured in the millions. Of course the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southern region of Georgia—a state with no Gulf coastline—would also experience tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of casualties.
Loss of property is virtually incalculable and the days of the US position as the world's superpower would be literally gone in a flash...of detonating methane.
Presidential commission probes BP oil spill
Posted: 12 July 2010 2344 hrs
A gloved hand stained with oil from the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon disaster off Grand Isle, Louisiana
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana: A presidential commission officially launched its probe of the BP oil spill Monday at a public meeting in New Orleans as engineers worked to fit a new cap on the gushing well some 52 miles offshore.
"I wish that we had the power to bring immediate solutions to stop the oil," said Senator Bob Graham, who co-chairs the seven-member commission.
"We do promise to give our very best efforts to find out what is happening and the enormous consequences of this spill on the lives and the livelihood and the culture of the Gulf region."
The independent commission is tasked with investigating the causes of the spill and the effectiveness of the response and making recommendations on ways to prevent future spills.
An estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrels of oil has been gushing out of the ruptured wellhead since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon sank spectacularly on April 22 after a deadly explosion.
Oil has washed up on beaches in all five Gulf states -- Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida -- closing fishing grounds and threatening scores of coastal communities with financial ruin.
"Capping that well will give us an end," Rear Admiral Peter Neffenger, the deputy incident commander, told the commission.
But with so much oil already in the Gulf, the cleanup and recovery operations are going to go on for quite some time, he said.
"I don't know that I can put an outer bound on it."
There was little optimism in the room as the hearing got under way.
"Even if BP caps this well tomorrow they've done so much damage to the Gulf it's a strange consolation plan," said Darwin Bond Graham, a sociologist studying how New Orleans has recovered from Hurricane Katrina.
"We can't even see the end of it until that well is capped," said Ezra Boyd, who works with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, which has spent years cleaning up the lake bordering New Orleans only to see it polluted again with oil from the BP spill.