It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


BP Spokesman Odone Confirms BOP is Tilting

page: 2
<< 1   >>

log in


posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by MagicaRose

That's pretty much the gist of it. BP is lying about the tilt happening from the explosion. It is a more recent Phenomena caused by the erosion of the pipe casing and sea floor around it. If what they say is truw they would have been measuring the tilt from the start.

When will they stop lying? It isn't doing anyone any good.

Essentially these relief Wells are the last hope or our oceans are toast. I do have some faith in the relief Wells working, the first should come in contact this week if it fails all these June 21-27 stuff will bear out and God help us.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 06:52 AM

Originally posted by cosmicpixie
Can anyone answer these...

When the BOP topples how likely is in in % terms that the sea bed will collpase around the area and how many square miles of collapse are likely ?

If the sea floor collapses is it pretty certain a tsunami will occur ?

If the sea bed collapses and no tsunami then BP can still be out there on the gulf with it's various ships collecting as much oil as they can/burning the rest off etc...?

Quoting your whole post as you've asked some good stuff. I'll just offer my opinions, which might be well off the mark. But right now, opinions are about all we have.

I don't think anyone can reasonably give a % estimate on the likelihood of a large collapse within a given time. This is basically "uncharted waters" and we'll likely find out if/when it happens.

To your second point, a tsunami of some size could only be triggered if the collapse is relatively rapid and the amount of water displaced totals several cubic miles. A more gradual collapse will allow water to move in and occupy the space without any appreciable effect further afield.

To your third point, ships at sea generally ride out tsunamis quite well. They are far less affected by tsunamis when in deep water than vessels in shallower areas close to land, especially if there is a shelving ocean floor in the latter case that progressively increases wave size as it approaches shorelines.

However, a tsunami is not the only consideration here. The other factor is that we know there are apparently vast amounts of methane hydrate beneath that sea floor, which while under pressure remain in crystalline form. But if the floor collapses and this material is then released, as it rises and encounters lower pressures and also warmer water, it becomes methane gas.

The ratio of expansion from methane hydrate to methane gas is around 1:160, which means that huge quantities of gas could rise to the surface. If the quantities are large enough, this gas could reduce the effective buoyancy beneath any surface vessels to such an extent that they'd literally sink like stones. In other words, if the sea bed's integrity is severely compromised -- a fancy way of saying if it cracks open or collapses -- then the sudden release of millions of cubic metres of methane hydrate, rapidly becoming gas, could result in the loss of most (if not all) larger surface vessels in the area.

From the point of view of potential loss of life (and assets), this is a far bigger concern for them than a sudden release of larger volumes of oil.

For this reason (which those in that area are well aware of), they are keeping a very close eye on the BOP, the sea floor, and levels of escaping oil and methane hydrate from any and all sources they're able to monitor, whether we know about them or not.

So, if we see the ROV's all shut down at around the same time (meaning they are probably pulling them out fast) and then (maybe) get reports that all ships are leaving the area, that's our sign that they suspect a possible major failure either around the well or elsewhere in the sea bed.

If this scenario comes to pass, then there is no way to move ships back into the area as long as huge amounts of gas are escaping. They simply can't, because their ships could simply go under with only a few seconds' warning.

And that would be the end of any "relief well" program.

At this point the situation would be totally out of control. There would be no way on earth to stop it. Even if they could find a way to get explosives down there it would only make things worse, as they'd likely set off Lord only knows how much methane (and volatile oil components) in one uncontrollable blast.

I'm not saying any of this is likely, but the "gas/loss of ships" scenario is certainly possible and they know it.

I wouldn't want to be out there on one of those ships right now. I take my hat off to the brave and worried souls who are there and doing their best to alleviate this disaster, this horrendous catastrophe that was effectively created by "higher ups" -- who undoubtedly are not there right now.


[edit on 21/6/10 by JustMike]

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 07:04 AM
There's a useful discussion of the implications of a tilting/collapsing BOP (among other things) here. Suffice to say the implications are not desirable. The author seems to know what he or she is talking about.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 07:13 AM

Originally posted by winston_jones
There's a useful discussion of the implications of a tilting/collapsing BOP (among other things) here. Suffice to say the implications are not desirable. The author seems to know what he or she is talking about.

Good link,I was actually able to comprehend the "actuality and reality" of it all.
I simply cannot believe that we are being kept in the dark about all this and that seemingly TPTB just don't give a chit.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 07:24 AM
reply to post by JustMike

Thanks for the very informative reply Mike, now I understand it clearly. Just one more question, regarding the methane - with the high volume of methane gas that would emerge, are we looking at a case of a methane blow out - the kind that ruptures the sea bed in the surrounding area, not only sinking ships but creating a tsusnami, as per Richard Hoagland's take on it. Or does the methane simpy come up out of the ground, wafting around in invisible plumes, ie no big explosion or tsunami.......?

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 07:55 AM
reply to post by cosmicpixie

Here's my understanding after reading up on the properties of methane hydrate. I'm not an industrial chemist, geologist or specialist in drilling wells so I have to take the word of those people who've spent years studying this stuff.

Methane hydrate exists in crystal form and it remains in that form while at low temperature and under high pressure. Some observers of the leak flowing from the damaged BOP have said that the whiteness we can see in the flow is actually methane hydrate -- the crystals are whitish in color. Observing this flow has enabled some experts to estimate that up to 40% of the outflow is methane hydrate and not oil. But by the time it reaches the surface it has mostly become methane gas, some of which is being captured and flared. (By "some of which" I mean ten of millions of cubic feet/day, according to BP's own daily reports.)

Anyway, while this methane hydrate is under pressure beneath the sea floor, it is still in its crystalline form. If the floor cracks open/collapses, it is not likely to be the pressure of expanding gas that will worsen the matter because it's too cold down there and the water pressure is so great that the methane hydrate remains in its crystalline form.

However, if there is a major collapse and huge quantities of methane hydrate come out in a rush, then the shortly-ensuing gas volume at the surface will be astronomical and (besides the environmental effects) it could cause loss of human life if ships suddenly sink in "water" that is too gas-ridden to support them.

This worries me more than anything else, because people who were probably blameless in this event are now risking their lives, working on the platforms and support ships involved in trying to drill those relief wells. If we get a gas "eruption" those ships and the people on them could be lost. That is bad enough, but imagine if they have tapped into the main well via a relief well but have not yet fully secured it, and suddenly the platform goes down or simply capsizes.

Could a huge release of methane create a massive explosion on the surface? Potentially, yes. There are sources of ignition around. After all, they are flaring (read "burning") thousands of barrels of oil and millions of cu ft of gas a day as it is, under "controlled" conditions. A massive release would by no means be controllable but could well be ignitable, even without considering lightning, for example. I have no idea if that could cause a tsunami but we can reasonably assume that it might trigger concussive waves if the explosion were big enough.

Edited for typos.

[edit on 21/6/10 by JustMike]

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 08:07 AM
reply to post by winston_jones

Yes, that's a brilliantly written piece of work. It's also here on ATS as the main article in one of the threads and I think there was discussion as to who had it first -- ATS or GLP. But whatever, it's well presented, informed, non-hysterical -- and very, very scary.

My own comments regarding what could happen if the BOP goes over are partly based on prior study of that text (and many other excellent ones that are here on ATS and in a few other places), coupled with other information I've gleaned about the highly hazardous nature of methane hydrate.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 08:09 AM
The long and short of it is that we are screwed! I feel, deep, deep down in my being, that this leak cannot be stopped and will not be stopped. This is the beginning of the end for mankind. This is so depressing.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 08:13 AM
I think TPTB's plan is to turn the GoM into a big cure oil holding tank. It's large, it's natural, it'll save them lots of money when they drill, baby drill. It's a brilliant plan. Wonder who the mastermind was. My money's on Cheney.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 09:17 AM
reply to post by cosmicpixie

We also have the possibility for some weather converging on the scene too. Check out NOAA, both the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific maps. Oil, methane, and lightening. We may not have to go out and buy fireworks for the 4th.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:01 AM
reply to post by JustMike

The other factor is that we know there are apparently vast amounts of methane hydrate beneath that sea floor, which while under pressure remain in crystalline form. But if the floor collapses and this material is then released, as it rises and encounters lower pressures and also warmer water, it becomes methane gas.

This is a point that I have wondered about; Would methane in hydrate ice form have sufficient buoyancy to rise to a water level such that it would undergo thermo phase change to a gas state (i.e, critical or triple point on phase chart)? I hear a lot of speculation about this methane becoming a problem - BUT IT WON'T if it dosen't encounter the specific conditions for phase change (namely, being able to rise to the surface from 'specific gravity' with comparable H2O levels).

[edit on 23-6-2010 by whatsup]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:39 AM

Originally posted by MagicaRose
What does this mean? If it complelely falls over what happens?

What does BOP mean?

From info I got from this Global Research link, it looks pretty grim. The well is drilled into the face of an escarpment in the Missippi Canyon block face. If the casing is broken and oil is eroding the floor subsurface, then we could see a lateral decay in the face of the escarpment. In essence, a landslide would occur moving in a southerly direction. From those factors it will (if it does happen) create a tidal wave (so to speak) depending on the size of the displacement and will probably be a south moving anomoly. I don't think a major tidal wave will devastate the entire coastal gulf region, but I do worry about the escape pressures of whatever is still left in the Macondo reservoir.
The tilt of the BOP may not be the pipe 'sagging' in the drill tunnel, although it is still worth watching due to the cavitation the undersea from pressurized goop through the casing. But the tilting may be signalling the pace of decension of that escarpment (gravity and pressurization). If it slides at any accelerated pace down the cliff wall, it will expose major portions of vulnerability, and could possibly start ejecting as much as 500,000 barrels a day or more. It will be unpluggable at any case then.

edit to add: BOP is the Blow Out Preventer, the device that was supposed to close and seal off the wellhead.

[edit on 23-6-2010 by OuttaTime]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 08:57 AM
reply to post by whatsup

If methane hydrates leak from the sea floor they apparently have a low enough specific gravity that they would tend to rise towards the surface, until they reached the point where the temp/pressure conditions allow them to change to a gaseous state.

According to, methane hydrate I has a specific gravity of 0.92 gm/cc and methane hydrate II is 0.95 gm/cc. Sea water is around 1.035 gm/cc (meaning that it's heavier than these hydrates*) so they should be able to float upwards until they reach the conditions for becoming gas.

Methane Hydrate I facts sheet
Methane Hydrate II facts sheet

*The density of "sea water" depends on how salty the water is and its temperature. However, as salt water is denser than pure water, then its specific gravity will be greater than the "standard" of 1.0 for pure water.

Anyway, it seems unlikely that there's a "huge bubble of methane" down there waiting to break through the sea floor. The pressures on the sea bed 5,000 feet down equate to around a ton per square inch*, way beyond the 50 atmospheres of pressure required to keep methane hydrate in its crystalline form at such low temperatures as exist down there.

*For anyone that's interested, the rule of thumb for pressure versus depth in sea water is around 0.465 psi/foot/depth. So if we multiply 0.465 by 5000, we get 2,325 psi.

However, while there may not be a huge bubble of methane down there, it doesn't mean that there cannot be a huge amount of methane hydrates, which if released, could form large amounts of gas before they even reach the surface. We're being told that a a lot of hydrates/gas are being released from this gusher, and where that's coming from there is apparently plenty more.

Letting it all go in one whoosh is a pretty scary idea, to be frank.


[edit on 23/6/10 by JustMike]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:11 AM
reply to post by OuttaTime

Regarding the tilting of the BOP: yesterday at about noon my time (ie 5 am in the Gulf region) I was watching the ROV's. Not many were active then. However, one of them was being used to inspect the bottom of the BOP, where it bolts to the pipe which is effectively the well head.

The base of the BOP should be at 90 deg to the vertical pipe. It isn't. It was clearly tilted, with the inclination from relative horizontal at somewhere between three and 5 deg at my estimate.

So, even if there might be some tilting or off-vertical movement of the well head's pipe as well -- which is hard to determine without a fixed reference point -- there is no question that the BOP itself is tilted relative to what it's attached to.

Your own observations about possible sea floor movement only make this more serious, because any such movement might exacerbate this tilt of the BOP. As that piece of machinery is around (est) 50 ft tall and weighs a reported 400-plus tons with its add-ons, it won't have to tilt too far and either the bolts securing it to the well head will shear off or the entire well head itself will undergo a catastrophic failure. In either case there would then be nothing left to diminish the escaping oil and gas(hydrates). That is without even considering the rest of your scenario of further rupture in the sea floor.

I'd suggest that if anyone wants to try and see what's happening at the bottom of the BOP and the surrounding sea floor it's best to watch the ROV feeds very early in the morning (Gulf region time). That seems to be when they do their checking around, because I guess most people in the US are sleeping then.


posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:14 AM
Another interesting article on Washingtons Blog explains what we currently know about the geography of the area. Here's a few quotes from the article:

"For example, if there is solid rock beneath the leaking pipes, with channels leading to various underground chambers, then it might be possible to seal the leaking"...
"On the other hand, if there are hundreds of feet of sand or mud beneath the leaking pipes, then sealing the spill zone might not work, as the high-pressure oil flow (more than 2,000 pounds per square inch) might just shoot out into the water somewhere else"...

"We don't know the geology under the spill site. BP has never publicly released geological cross-sections of the seabed and underlying rock. BP's Initial Exploration Plan refers to "structure contour maps" and "geological cross sections", but all detailed geological information, maps and drawings have been designated "proprietary information" by BP, and have been kept under wraps.

However, Roger Anderson and Albert Boulanger of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory describe the basic geology of the oil-rich region of the Gulf:

Production in the deepwater province is centered in turbidite sands recently deposited from the Mississippi delta. Even more prolific rates have been recorded in the carbonates of Mexico, with the Golden Lane and Campeche reporting 100,000 barrel per day production from single wells. However, most of the deep and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico is covered by the Sigsbee salt sheet that forms a large, near-surface “moonscape” culminating at the edge of the continental slope in an 800 meter high escarpment."

"in 1987, MMS estimated that there were 9 billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. By 2007, once drilling had begun in deeper waters, MMS had revised its estimate upward to 45 billion".

Apparently, most of the undersea is one large sheet of oil underneath the sediment which isn't a bad thing, but it is also right up to the edges of the cliff faces. It's almost too vast to comprehend.

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:27 AM
reply to post by JustMike

I feel the same way. The scenario reminds me of a similar event that occurs on mountainsides during a heavy rain. The ground can become so wet, that the cohesion of the soil breaks down. The only way to go is down, in a mudslide. We're not seeing this situation duplicate on the seabed, but similarly, the erosion is coming from inside the seabed (basically in a 'quicksand' tpe viscosity forming in various pockets). I'm pretty sure the pressures are wobbling back and forth, while still seeking the path of least resistance. After pinpointing the location of the Horizon site on a geographical map of the gulf, it appears that the gusher is essentiallly sitting on the edge of the abyss of the continental shelf, and underneath the site is a half mile deep cliff face which is probably starting to bulge southward.
An earthquake type surveillance would benefit the monitoring of the BOP since we can establish a firm location of the well, and continue to watch it. We will be able to determine the direction and speed of the tilt. Seismic activity may be very minor, but we may be able to determine times of tectonic activity.
This is way beyond trying to stop the gusher. Relief wells seem to be the only alternative, but we have to ask ourselves if it is the better of 2 evils. Drilling more holes in an unstable area may accelerate the leakage into yet untouched stretches of porous seabed.

edit to add:
Do we know which direction the BOP is tilting? If the BOP itself is tilting South, it would tell me that the surface seabed layer is shifting south. If the BOP is tilting north, that would tell me that the movement is originating from further down, meaning the bulge in the cliff face. An easier way to explain it is to hold a pencil straight up (holding it at the center). If you push the top away from you it shows how the bottom part moves (cause and effect). Either way, if the seafloor gives way, the leak location will shift and grow exponentially.

[edit on 23-6-2010 by OuttaTime]

[edit on 23-6-2010 by OuttaTime]

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 09:50 AM
reply to post by JustMike

Stars and kudos to your chemistry info. I'm not much of a chemist, but it sure sounds like they're building the biggest 'dirty bomb' in history

posted on Jun, 23 2010 @ 10:10 AM

Originally posted by winston_jones
There's a useful discussion of the implications of a tilting/collapsing BOP (among other things) here. Suffice to say the implications are not desirable. The author seems to know what he or she is talking about.

I read that thread. It seems legit to me, and judging from the pics in that article it shows the BOP to be tilting to the ESE since the image shows it's direction being WNW. I'm gathering from that info that the BOP is between 5 and 10 degrees tilted in a southerly direction (towards the dropoff). I'm thinking the seabed is shifting very slowly to the ESE, which would explain the leaks in the sea floor behind the BOP in vids we've been watching. I'm still not sure how far ESE the BOP has shifted, but I'm guessing less than 10' so far, but we'll have to wait and see.

new topics

top topics

<< 1   >>

log in