Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Methane Hydrates Stupid (Annotated)

So what happens when you drill at 5000 feet below sea level? Eleven years ago the Lawrence Livermore Labs said:
"As scientists around the world learn more about this material, new concerns surface. For example, ocean-based oil-drilling operations sometimes encounter methane hydrate deposits. As a drill spins through the hydrate, the process can cause it to dissociate. The freed gas may explode, causing the drilling crew to lose control of the well. Another concern is that unstable hydrate layers could give way beneath oil platforms or, on a larger scale, even cause tsunamis."
--- Science & Technology Review March 1999

As I have discussed this in various forms I have discovered that people have simply never heard of the ice that burns, Methane Hydrate. The BP keep talking like this is water ice with methane in it. Bullshit, it is highly volatile compound that may or may not have water ice in it. Take a look at this article from 1999 discussing the "little known material" and the dangers it poses to oil drilling. METHANE HYDRATES: A Surprising Compound

Here is a facebook conversation that started last night before BP announce this:
Deep-sea ice crystals stymie Gulf oil leak fix.

Junior Bear Was it Halliburton after all? Pressure, Volume, Temperature, at 5000 below sea level Boyle's Law formed in the year 1622 still applies. When cement cures it gets warm, methane hydrates are frozen crystalline at 5000 feet and very compact. A couple of cubic feet of methane at 5000 feet under the ocean is one damn big bubble of gas on the surface.
Yesterday at 10:24pm · Comment ·LikeUnlike · View Feedback (10)Hide Feedback (10)

Lynn D. Minton
Bermuda Triangle Bomb !
Yesterday at 10:29pm ·

Dolores Mize
A big fart from Cheney?
Yesterday at 10:53pm ·

Jeannie Alford Hagy
Good grief, Junior. I didn't know you knew all those big words. You're getting too smart for me!
3 hours ago ·

Junior Bear
I'm going to have to change my password. Fatman hyjacks my site sometimes. He has serious problems with his alter ego shifts on occasion. I'll have to watch him closer.
2 hours ago ·

Junior Bear
Fatman says he is sorry. He will just use duress directly on me when he wants to say something. Sometimes this relationship is a bummer!
2 hours ago ·

Junior Bear
Fatman says methane burps are real and do happen, especially on deep water slopes. It is possible that if the burp (fart/bomb) is large enough anything, ships, fish, logs, plankton, airplanes, above it will lose buoyancy and sink. Would that be called the Cheney Effect?
2 hours ago ·

Lynn D. Minton
JB - Gotta quick hanging out with cross-duressers !!! Their guages all swing violently - we'll never keep up...
about an hour ago ·

Junior Bear
Dang, Fatman was right, it is the methane hydrates that they can't figure out. That big old dome they put down there is now clogged with frozen hydrates, and they have set it aside on the sea floor.
37 minutes ago ·

Junior Bear
Holy mackerel and sacred salmon, they want to heat up the water around the dome to release the clog. Fatman says he hopes someone is taking video when the BP ship falls through the water like a rock. The Cheney Effect just keeps on giving. Is it an accident when stupidity kills a ship load of people. CNN get your cameras ready.
31 minutes ago ·

Junior Bear
Drlobojo tells me that if that big dome thing becomes packed with hydrate it will float to the surface. But along the way the melting methane will expand violently and shoot the thing up. He predicts that BP may have their own space station. This could be fun. Never underestimate the entertainment value of dumb.
24 minutes ago ·



Anonymous said...

Elliott said,

I'm sorry. I need a good video or some Mr. Science calculations. I don't think the dome will fill with gas, shoot to the surface, blast through the atmosphere and hit the moon. The dome is going to sit on the bottom for a while, stabilize to the environment, then they'll pop that condom on the well head.

drlobojo said...

The "space station" may have been a bit of hyperbole. I hope you are right. But so far BP/Halliburton has guessed wrong about the Methane Hydrate and what it will do. Eleven men are dead and Billions of dollars already wasted because the hydrate created a methane bubble and blew the water in the drill pipe 240 feet into the air then blew up the drilling rig and well and NOBODY in charge expected it to happen.

Stay tuned.

drlobojo said...

"I wouldn't say it's failed yet," BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles said of the containment box. "What I would say is what we attempted to do ... didn't work."

So "failed" no longer equals "didn't work"?

drlobojo said...

So if the Methane Hydrates are really the culprites, we are about to find out. It is 8:23 CDT May 11,2010. BP is lowering a "top hat" funnel filled with warm water to keep the water from forming ice down over the top of the well. If it is just water ice, all's well and good. If it is a methane hydrate problem then, well, it won't go OK. Let's see.

drlobojo said...

MAY 11 AP Story:
"They said that BP documents and others also indicated conflicting pipe pressure tests should have warned those on the rig that poor pipe integrity may have been allowing explosive methane gas to leak into the well."