Kessler and a group of oceanographers from Texas and the University of California-Santa Barbara spent 10 days doing deep-water sampling from 35 different sites within 7 miles of the leak, close to the ocean floor.
The gases are coming up from the same geological layer as the oil, Kessler says.
The world is focused on the amount of oil being released, but the large quantifies of methane also are creating "a highly unusual situation" that's not going to go away anytime soon, says Peter Brewer, an ocean chemist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Monterey, Calif. Bacteria consuming the methane will "run rampant," using up all the oxygen and possibly creating localized dead zones."
My early tirades on this subject.
Now the real irony, the ultimate joke, is that the next headline that uses "Dead Zones" might be talking about about places above, in, on, or around the Gulf that if you go there you die. Funny huh?
Added: Here is the best general information article about Methane Hydrates and the BP Oil gusher that I have found: The Guardian on May 20th.