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Actually it can. There's no evidence showing that millions of Americans are about to be killed by a methane bubble explosion. That is simply fear mongering entertainment for a select group of people. Nothing more, nothing less.
Originally posted by StarTraveller
nothing at this stage can be written off as hearsay or fear mongering.
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.
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.
Gas samples have been collected in the SW Complex from three vents and one intact piece of outcropping hydrate. Chemical analyses  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.).