Methane levels 40% instead of normal 5% in Gulf - Scientists are Worried

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posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by Mike6158
 


Hey Mike,

You seem to know quite a bit about this liquified gas, even though your explanation for the Propane grill was a little off. You explained the side effects of the temperature changes relating to the pressure relief instead of explaining the pressure relief. Kind of mixed up cause and effect, but still obvious that you know your stuff.

What I don't understand is why you don't think this is a major problem. You verified that at the pressure and temperature at 5000 feet below the surface of the water that the Methane and other gases would remain liquified. You verified that an emulsive would be formed as well. You verfied that plumes would form. You verified that these would "slowly" rise toward the surface. You verified that the amount and phase of the gas dissolved in the water would depend on temperature.

So, after verifying all those things, and taking current estimates of 4.2 million gallons per day, 40% of which is probably liquified petroleum gas. A little over 60 days of this leak, that equals about 101 million gallons of liquified petroleum gas dissolved in the water at this point.

101 million gallons of LIQUIFIED gas.

Here are the scenarios:
1. The Gulf heats up, and its potential to store dissolved gas drops. Therfore the gas has to come up.
2. Something like a major storm, seismic activity, or fiddling by BP causes the gas to unstabilize and turn to its gas phase and come up.
3. Time allows the gas to come closer and closer to the surface all on its own.

Now if the Volume is 101 million gallons liquified at 32 deg F and 2400 psi. That volume in Gas Phase at 90 deg F and 30 psi is about 23 Billion Gallons!

Potential problems:
1. First and foremost, Gaseous, bubbling seawater mixture removes buoyancy. Ships could be taken down immediately, as could all the floating oil wells.
2. These gases are heavier than air, and they are oxygen depleting. 23 Billion Gallons of deadly gas floating along the ocean surface could catch beach goers or boaters off guard and be deadly.
3. If it goes up at once, it will create a tsunami, and subsequent wave action as it collapses back upon itself.
4. It could IGNITE!!!

Now, if potential problems 1 through 3 are not enough. Lets focus in on 4.


In 2004 it was reported to be a growing $8-billion to $10-billion industry with over 15 billion gallons of propane being used annually in the U.S.[5]

en.wikipedia.org...

So we are talking just about DOUBLE the amount of Propane consumed in the US all year, going up in one giant explosion! We know that sporadic explosions occur with less than 5 gallons, and they are deadly. I wonder how deadly 23 Billion Gallons could be?



The energy density of propane is 46.44 megajoules per kilogram[9] (91,690 BTU per gallon).


So about 2.1 Million-Billion BTU for this explosion? To simplify, how about 2.1 x 10^15 BTU, or 2.3 x 10^15 kJ. Sounds really really big!! Lets compare:

Hiroshima was 10^11 kJ, so this would be 23,000 times worse.
Earthquate Richter 8 is 10^15 kJ, so this would be 2.5 times worse.
Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction theory meteroite 10^20 kJ, -->so we are getting there, just give it a couple of more months to really build up!

physics.syr.edu...

Now theses figures are based on 60 days and fairly warm Gulf Temperatures. For the REAL WORST CASE SCENARIO, suppose they don't get the well sealed and nothing happens this summer, the Gulf Waters Cool, and 8 more months go by? Now we have something 5 times larger than the current problem. Next Summer the Gulf Waters start to heat up , and the Gas refuses to stay in suspension with the water. How about 5, 8+ Magnitude Earthquakes all at once in the Gulf of Mexico, or 100,000 Hiroshima sized explosions? That sounds pretty scary if you ask me!!

[edit on 22-6-2010 by getreadyalready]




posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Ok... I didn't think anyone would give a crap about propane vaporization but essentially the fluid in the tank is at what is called it's bubble point. Basically that means that if you lower the pressure, by opening the valve, the fluid will vaporize, which is a release of energy, which lowers the temperature. Temperature and pressure is an indicator of the kinetic energy in a system BTW. As propane flows out of the valve to the grill the volume of propane in the tank is reduced, which reduces pressure, which causes it to boil, which causes it to get colder because the amount of stored energy is decreasing.

Mathematically the relevant equation (Compressibility Equation of State or Real Gas Equation) is pV = zNRT

p= Pressure
V= Volume
z= Z factor or compressibility factor
N= number of Mols
R= Constant = Universal Gas Constant (depends on what your units are)
T= Absolute temperature of the substance °K

I think the portion that is what we call oil is the bigger problem. What you describe would take a sudden energy input that would do far greater harm than the actual release of hydrocarbon vapor. The reality is that from day one the lighter components have been "weathering" off slowly. It's not likely that a "pool" of subsurface hydrocarbon is going to instantaneously vaporize... For one thing you would have to overcome the affect of cold ocean water. Since I don't know the composition of the well stream I can't even begin to guess if the fluid is sub-cooled or at it's bubble point.

Anyone that thinks that they an accurately estimate the volume of oil flowing from the Maconda is deluded... to put it nicely.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 08:51 PM
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BTW- On 6/13 I put a post here and other places that said that the relief wells should TD around the first week of July. Barring any unforeseen problems that estimate looks pretty good.

I think the way that this has played out, from moratorium to holding back the progress on the drilling of the relief well has been one big orchestrated political dance...

[edit on 6/22/2010 by Mike6158]



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 09:27 PM
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reply to post by Mike6158
 




Anyone that thinks that they an accurately estimate the volume of oil flowing from the Maconda is deluded... to put it nicely.


If we knew the certain pressure coming from the well, we could give a very good estimate of what is coming out. There was an ATSer very early on that did the equation of a 17" diameter pipe with 30 psi and he came to 50,000 barrels per day. That was when BP and CG were still saying only 5000 barrels.

Now I tend to believe the 30 psi positive pressure estimate, even though some people are claiming everything from 17,000 to 100,000 psi. I can't believe the higher estimates for the leaking pipe. Maybe for the reserve deep underground, but not at the leaking well head.

Anyhow, I think we agree on principle. We only seem to differ on the difficulty of getting all that gas to change state. I hope your version is more correct than mine!



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:05 AM
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Hi All,

Just joined this fab site... I so hope sites like this and youtube don't ever get shut down by the 'enforcing powers' because they are the only portal for exposing the truth, or at least uncensored views. Without it, I would never have found enough ammo to back my ideas that the Moon Landing was faked (which it so obviously was). That 9/11 was set up by the Bush Administration, and that war, religion, and the monetary system were all a big fix (as shown in 'Zeitgeist the Movie') on youtube.

Anyway.... my question in regards to this forum is..... My daughter is going to Orlando in August... I don't want her to go. Is it likely to be dangerous to do so??? Coz it sounds like it to me.



posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 10:17 AM
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reply to post by ckitch
 


It is not dangerous in the slightest bit.....as of now.

I think your daughter should go to Orlando and have a great time, unless something drastic changes in the next couple of weeks. We need the tourism money, and your daughter needs the experience, and if things do get bad over the next few months, she may not get another opportunity.

Send her in August, but pay attention to ATS in the mean time!



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Excellent response. I agree that if we knew delta P it would be easier to estimate the flow. Knowing composition would enhance the estimate. Calculating flow at this point is kind of a catch-22. You can't estimate the delta P without knowing the flow rate and you can't estimate the flow rate without knowing the delta P. One of the two has to be known.

17"? Why 17"? Initially the oil was coming from some irregular shaped holes in pipe. Once they cut the pipe off it was coming from an 8" hole. After they put the cap on the "hole" is even less defined.

By sometime around the first week in July the relief wells will be complete... I'm looking forward to that.

[edit on 6/24/2010 by Mike6158]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 08:28 AM
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reply to post by Mike6158
 


I am very excited about the relief wells also. I think they have a very good chance of success, but I am also very, very worried that it is the last real solution. If it fails, then the Gulf of Mexico is doomed, and possibly the Atlantic as well!

God forbid the internet rumors and ATS speculation be true about the pressures being beyond our capacity to control. The relief wells could become two brand new leaks!

I honestly believe they will be 100% successful, but I still get a pit in my stomach when talking about them, because I know the dire consequences of them failing.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 02:52 PM
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Thanks to Cloudsinthesky for this quote from this thread:
www.abovetopsecret.com...


Originally posted by Cloudsinthesky
"Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are astonishingly high."

This is from Reuters www.reuters.com...

""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."

If the alarm bells are not ringing now I am not sure when they will ring..........





[edit on 24-6-2010 by getreadyalready]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I don't believe that the pressures are any different than what they are used to them being. My source didn't indicate that the problem was caused by abnormal pressure.

The linked thread is a good source of info for what may have and did happen (some is speculation and some is known) ATS Link

What constitutes a "normal" level of methane? When someone specifies something as "above normal" without quantifying normal it causes me to doubt their motives. I've said from early on that this was was gas well and that we are dealing with LPG with crude oil not crude oil with some gas. It doesn't surprise me that they are detecting levels of methane in the vicinity of the well. After all, 11 men died when the rig burned. The fire wasn't a crude fire. If it had been it would have spread much more.

[edit on 6/25/2010 by Mike6158]



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 11:04 AM
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Hi Mike,

Here is a quote from this thread: www.abovetopsecret.com...

The Max BOP pressure was supposed to be 15,000 psi, and the reservoir was known to be above 13,000 psi, so their "fail safe" only had a 15% margin of error. With the Methane "burps" and the seismic activity created by the oil and gas rumbling through 7 miles of pipe, could (and did) easily overwhelm the supposed fail-safe.

The question now is whether or not the they learned from this and used bigger and better BOP on the relief wells?

reply to post by Mike6158
 



Originally posted by JustMike
reply to post by N.of norml
 

Thanks for your response. I was beginning to wonder if anyone had followed what I was getting at in my post. I think what you've said is probably right: there is not a great deal of difference between those two pressures and that's a concern.

I think it's also important to repeat that those who were making decisions in this case had to be aware that the pressures in that well had been reported at above 13,000 psi, but even so, they used a BOP that was rated to "only" 15,000 psi. (I say "only" because that is still a pretty huge number.) This means that they were allowing only a fairly small amount of leeway as a safety margin -- even under ideal conditions and if everything in the BOP functioned perfectly and continued to do so.

Is it normal practice in most industries to employ absolutely vital "fail safe" shutdown equipment that itself has a safe working limit only about 15% above known and rather extreme conditions? That seems like a very slim margin to me, especially considering what the consequences would be in the event that the "fail safe" also fails.

Like it did in this case.

Here's the table which shows these parameters. I've added "dots" in so that it will more-or-less line up:


1.2 Parameters
Fracture Zone Measured Depth..........................18305.0 ft
Fracture Zone Gradient.....................................0.779 psi/ft
Fracture Zone Density......................................15.00 Ib/gal
Fracture Zone Pressure....................................14255 psi
Reservoir Measured Depth................................18200.0 ft
Reservoir Pore Pressure...................................13197 psi
Reservoir Zone Gradient...................................0.726 psi/ft
Reservoir Zone Density....................................13.97 Ib/gal
Back Pressure..................................................0 psi
Height - Mud Line to Mean Sea Level..................4992.0 ft
Height - Mean Sea Level to Rotary Kelly Bushing 75.0 ft
Sea Water Density............................................8.54 Ib/gal
Returns To Surface
Simulator Volume Increment..............................5.00 bbl
Surface Iron Displacement.................................0.41 bbl
Shoe Track Length............................................189.0 ft
Additional Pressure to Seat Plug.........................500 psi
Eccentricity Enhanced Calculations......................No
Erodibility Enhanced Calculations........................Yes
Mud Erodibility Measured Depth..........................17168.0 ft
Mud Erodibility Number......................................20.69
Mud Required Shear Stress................................29.00 Ibf/(100*ft2)
Use Coupling Information...................................No
Created: April 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM
OptiCem v6.4.8 (OC v6.4.8)
Business Confidential


Here is a link to obtain a pdf copy of the complete Halliburton Production Casing Design Report 4.18.2010 for the Macondo Prospect MC 252 #1 well, from which the above data is taken.

Here is a link to obtain a pdf copy of the Transocean-Deepwater Horizon BOP Subsea Test of Feb 10, 2010, which shows (among other things) that no component of this BOP was tested beyond 7,200 psi.

For anyone who wants more documents that might be otherwise hard to find, you can obtain them at this link to the Energy & Commerce Committee's page where many documents are available for download. Well, they are at the moment, anyway...

Mike



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 





Hi Mike, Here is a quote from this thread: www.abovetopsecret.com... The Max BOP pressure was supposed to be 15,000 psi, and the reservoir was known to be above 13,000 psi, so their "fail safe" only had a 15% margin of error. With the Methane "burps" and the seismic activity created by the oil and gas rumbling through 7 miles of pipe, could (and did) easily overwhelm the supposed fail-safe. The question now is whether or not the they learned from this and used bigger and better BOP on the relief wells?


As I understand it, BP modified the first set of rams on the BOP. Why? Nobody knows. It's certainly possible that they shortcut the specs for the BOP. Maybe there wasn't a higher pressure BOP available in their time frame? I don't know. It certainly looks like BP made a number of critical mistakes.

To answer your fail-safe margin question simply- No. Margins are always in the 150% and (much) higher range for safety equipment. Always if properly designed that is.

Water hammer could definitely stress the BOP but I'm not getting the 7 miles of pipe thing. The well TD'd around 13,000'.

I think it's safe to say that they know how to safely drill a well but that in this case some incredibly poor judgment was exercised.



posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:53 PM
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I think the point they are making about the "Gas Burbs" and the long pipe is that if a high pressure/large volume "Burb" happens then it has 7 miles of pipe to gain momentum before hitting the BOP. If the well was known to be at 13 000 psi then it's not hard to imagine that a "Burb" increase in pressure of even 10% of the total well pressure could cause a blowout and they cut their safety margin quite a bit. BOP rated to blow at 15000psi.


There was a lack of testing and BP/Transocean knowingly used potentially faulty equipment that could not handle the job. BP's own internal memos call this well a "Nightmare". They gambled and it didn't work out for them. It may cost them everything. The MMS part as well as government also needs to be examined.



posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 08:46 AM
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Originally posted by DEEZNUTZ
I think the point they are making about the "Gas Burbs" and the long pipe is that if a high pressure/large volume "Burb" happens then it has 7 miles of pipe to gain momentum before hitting the BOP. If the well was known to be at 13 000 psi then it's not hard to imagine that a "Burb" increase in pressure of even 10% of the total well pressure could cause a blowout and they cut their safety margin quite a bit. BOP rated to blow at 15000psi.


There was a lack of testing and BP/Transocean knowingly used potentially faulty equipment that could not handle the job. BP's own internal memos call this well a "Nightmare". They gambled and it didn't work out for them. It may cost them everything. The MMS part as well as government also needs to be examined.



I can't see how anything traveling against the forces of gravity and friction would gain momentum. I still don't get where 7 miles comes from. It's more like 4 and change. Still deep but not 7 miles.

The failure came about due to a lot more than the BP failing and I don't believe that the failure was pressure related. Maybe it was but that's not the feedback that I'm getting.

I wouldn't tie TransOcean in too tightly with BP. The "company man" (BP) kind of rules the roost out there. Unfortunately the people that really know are probably dead.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 11:28 AM
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www.wtgexpert.com...


The vast deepwater methane hydrate deposits of the Gulf of Mexico are an open secret in big energy circles. They represent the most tantalizing new frontier of unconventional energy — a potential source of hydrocarbon fuel thought to be twice as large as all the petroleum deposits ever known.

For the oil and gas industry, the substances are also known to be the primary hazard when drilling for deepwater oil.

Methane hydrates are volatile compounds — natural gas compressed into molecular cages of ice. They are stable in the extreme cold and crushing weight of deepwater, but are extremely dangerous when they build up inside the drill column of a well. If destabilized by heat or a decrease in pressure, methane hydrates can quickly expand to 164 times their volume.



Even a solid steel pipe has little chance against a 164-fold expansion of volume — something that would render a man six feet six inches tall suddenly the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Scientists are well aware of the awesome power of these strange hydrocarbons. A sudden large scale release of methane hydrates is believed to have caused a mass extinction 55 million years ago. Among planners concerned with mega-disasters, their sudden escape is considered to be a threat comparable to an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Livermore, Ca.-based weapons design center, reports that when released on a large scale, methane hydrates can even cause tsunamis.


Expansion oh 164 times when melted is scary. Would if they have hit a large frozen methane pocket. They were 20 miles from a methane hydrate research site.


The Deepwater Horizon rig was drilling in Block 252 of an area known as the Mississippi Canyon of the Gulf, thought to contain methane hydrate-bearing sediments, according to government maps. The platform was operating less than 20 miles from a methane hydrate research site located in the same canyon at Block 118.


Here is Haliburtons PDF on "Deepwater Cementing Consideration to Prevent Hydrates Destabilization". So we know the deepwater cementing didn't go as planned so there is a good cjance of hydrates destabilization according to Haliburton.

www.aade.org...

A carbonate/hydrate mound in Mississippi Canyon Lease Block 118 (MC118) has been chosen by the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium to be the site of a sea-floor observatory.

This site MC118 is less then 20 miles from Deep Horizon drill site Mississippi Canyon block 252.




GAS COMPOSITION
Gas samples have been collected in the SW Complex from three vents and one intact piece of outcropping hydrate. Chemical analyses [1] show the vent gas to be thermogenic from deep hot source rocks and to average 95% methane, 3% ethane, 1% propane with minor other gases. There is no significant biogenic component. The outcropping hydrate is Structure II with gas composition 70% methane, 7.5% ethane, 15.9% propane with minor other gases. The difference between the gas compositions from the vents and the hydrate is due to molecular fractionation during hydrate crystallization (Sassen, pers. com.).


www.olemiss.edu...

Heres a video from 2006 from site MC118 which shows the methane bubbling up from the sea floor.

www.olemiss.edu...

Heres a picture from the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium looking toward Deep Horizon leak site.





Something to think about.



John Wathen video.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by JBA2848
 


The point that I keep trying to make is that it takes a lot of energy to vaporize a methane hydrate. A lot more than I think the average person realizes.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by Mike6158
reply to post by JBA2848
 


The point that I keep trying to make is that it takes a lot of energy to vaporize a methane hydrate. A lot more than I think the average person realizes.


Quite the opposite when it comes to oversaturated solutions! Methane dissolved in sea water is not all that stable. It prefers vapor or gas form at normal Earth temperatures and pressures. We are pressurizing the Methane at depth in cold sea water, then we are using Ocean currents and rough seas to move all that Methane around into warmer waters with less and less pressure. It quickly becomes overly saturated and instead of requiring energy it actually has stored energy. Now the stored energy is not the biggest problem, the volume change is the biggest problem. A "cascade" effect. As some of the Methane begins to bubble out of solution, it excites the remaining solution, and more and more of it decides to change volume and become gaseous. Almost instantly you have a boiling gaseous sea!

As far as "vaporizing" a Methane Hydrate. Nobody is claiming that the frozen Methane Hydrates will sublimate to gas in one violent eruption. We are claiming that the dissolved gas from the well head will vaporize in one violent eruption, and the resultant turmoil, friction, heat, and possible explosion will melt the frozen methane hydrates, and they will subsequently vaporize as well.



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


It's more likely that the methane and some of the ethane formed a hydrate than remained in solution with the other hydrocarbons. It takes very cold temperatures, even at the pressures of the ocean depths, for methane and/or ethane to remain in liquid form. Couple that with the fact that the methane and ethane are at significantly higher pressure and lower temperature than what is required to form a hydrate when completely saturated with water and it seems to me that hydrate formation is the more likely scenario.

I don't think you understand what constitutes energy. I'm not trying to be rude. You described a lot of energy transfer and then said that it doesn't take energy to vaporize the methane... which isn't in a liquid state because it can't exist as liquid under the conditions of the ocean.

[edit on 7/1/2010 by Mike6158]



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by Mike6158
 


I think we are arguing entirely separate points?

I am agreeing that it takes a lot of energy to sublimate Methane Hydrates that may be frozen in the seabed.

I am trying to point out that I am unconcerned with that energy, because it is only a secondary consideration. The main concern is the dissolved Methane Gas in the seawater from the oil well.
encyclopedia.airliquide.com...

Play with that link and the PV=nRT formula. You will see that 40,000 barrels of Methane per day at 2400 psi and 0 deg C equals a lot of potential stored energy when it is converted to 30 psi and 25 deg C. That potential energy, or potential volume increase is the problem. The sea water is overly saturated with a dissolved gas, and the sea water is constantly agitated by wave action and storms. It could release this supersaturated gas instantly!

[edit on 1-7-2010 by getreadyalready]

[edit on 1-7-2010 by getreadyalready]



posted on Jul, 1 2010 @ 09:06 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by Mike6158
 


I think we are arguing entirely separate points?

I am agreeing that it takes a lot of energy to sublimate Methane Hydrates that may be frozen in the seabed.

I am trying to point out that I am unconcerned with that energy, because it is only a secondary consideration. The main concern is the dissolved Methane Gas in the seawater from the oil well.
encyclopedia.airliquide.com...

Play with that link and the PV=nRT formula. You will see that 40,000 barrels of Methane per day at 2400 psi and 0 deg C equals a lot of potential stored energy when it is converted to 30 psi and 25 deg C. That potential energy, or potential volume increase is the problem. The sea water is overly saturated with a dissolved gas, and the sea water is constantly agitated by wave action and storms. It could release this supersaturated gas instantly!

[edit on 1-7-2010 by getreadyalready]

[edit on 1-7-2010 by getreadyalready]


Methane does not dissolve in water. Also, 40,000 Bbls a day of LIQUID METHANE is not possible at the conditions that are available in the ocean or at the wellhead.

You've reversed the physics. Methane becomes saturated with water not the reverse. You're also over looking the dynamics of a multi-component system. The liquid leaving the well is composed of H2S, CO2, N2, C1 thru C20 (likely to be all the way to C100 but as the components get heavier their quantity falls off to sub hundredth of a percent levels and become inconsequential) The components in a mixture separates grudgingly. We expend a lot of energy to force the separation in gas processing...





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