Wednesday, June 23, 2010



"Levels of methane in deep-ocean waters near the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are 10,000 to 100,000 times higher than normal, and in some very hot spots "we saw them approaching 1 million times above" what would be normal, says ocean chemist John Kessler of Texas A&M University in College Station.

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.

May 8 : It is the Methane Hydrates Stupid

May 14 :It is Still The Methane Hydrates Stupid

May 14: Now It is Official: It Is The Methane Hydrates Stupid

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.


BB-Idaho said...

Last year, they figured they found a use for the
stuff ...

drlobojo said...

I have a friend who is a petroleum engineer and has supervised many slant drilling operations all over the globe and in the Gulf specifically. About three years ago we talked at a dinner about the dangers of the Methane Hydrate sediments in the Gulf. His statement was that the oil drillers simply stay away from any of them. I believe he said something about them being more deadly than the plague. I haven't talked with him recently. Not sure he would want to comment on it any more.