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Where is all the sulfur coming from?

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posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:24 PM
Something isn't adding up here...

According to this report, the EPA monitoring station at Venice LA (about 40 miles from the leak) has found hydrogen sulfide levels of 1000 ppbv (1 ppmv). The source is dated May 10, 2010, and gives the date of the readings as "last Thursday", which would be May 6, 2010, 16 days after the explosion.

Normal levels of H2S are on the order of a maximum of 10 ppbv - negligible.

That means that, best case, there was at that time a bubble of air that contained excessive H2S with a radius of at least 40 miles. And bear in mind that this assumes one severely mitigating factor: The bubble had to extend farther than that; a gaseous pollutant will disperse gradually, not suddenly at a particular distance. There would have been higher concentrations near the actual source, and the concentrations would reduce somewhat linearly as a function of distance. So the concept of a 40-mile bubble of contamination is extremely optimistic.

But even considering a bubble of homogeneous composition contained within a 40-mile radius of the source, that bubble would contain a volume of air equal to 1/2 the volume of a 40-mile radius sphere. 40 miles = 211,200 feet, so that gives a volume of 1.97·10^16 ft³. If one part per million of that is H2S, that gives a volume of H2S of 1.97·10^10 ft³.

Now I am no petroleum expert, but a search for composition of natural gas led me to this little tidbit of information: from the chart about a third of the way down the page, it is shown that H2S is extant in natural gas in the range of 0-5%. Worst case: the H2S is one-twentieth of the natural gas that is escaping.

So if the amount if H2S released is conservatively estimated at 1.97·10^10 ft³, that means the amount of natural gas released must be a minimum of 20 times that amount, or 3.95·10^11 ft³. And this report ties the amount of oil leaking to the amount of gas leaking:
Spewing from the ocean floor a mile deep is a mixture that, according to BP, is roughly half methane and other gases by mass and half petroleum compounds, Valentine told Discovery News, and while the oil itself migrates unevenly around the Gulf in ways that are difficult to track, the behavior of methane is more congenial to measurement.

So if the mixture is roughly 50-50, that means that a minimum of 3.95·10^11 ft³ of oil was also released in the 16 day time span between the explosion and May 6. Averaged, that is 2.47·10^10 ft³ of oil and 2.47·10^10 ft³ of gas per day at the surface. Of course, that volume is decreased as pressure increases (like at the leak) and when temperature is lowered (like at the leak).

Using the Ideal Gas Law, volume is proportional to pressure divided by temperature. If we take an average summer's day conditions in LA of 95°F and 15psi, and conditions a mile below the water at 32°F and 2400psi, that gives us a ration of 180 to 1... meaning that 1 ft³ coming out of the well will become 180 ft³ at the surface. That drops the amount of gas to 1.37·10^8 ft³, and the amount of oil to the same.

A barrel of oil is equivalent to 5.61 ft³*. So that gives us a minimum oil leakage rate of 2.45·10^8 bbl of oil per day. Everyone get that? Almost 25 MILLION bbl of oil per day!

At that rate, in the approximately 60 days of leakage, that would be 1.47·10^9 bbl of oil, or 6.16·10^10 gallons of oil that should have leaked out into the Gulf of Mexico. The volume of the Gulf is estimated to be about 660 quadrillion (6.6·10^17) gallons, meaning that the overall minimum concentration in the Gulf should be at a minimum of 93.4 ppbv, or 0.00000934%.

That looks about right to me, based on the areas being closed to fishing. Of course, that is just simple observation with no real numbers to back it up.

So what is happening here? Is there really 25 MILLION barrels of oil leaking out every day (1000 times the highest estimates I have heard thus far) and everyone involved is simply underestimating that much? Is there actually more gas than oil leaking out? Does the gas contain an abnormally high amount of H2S? Is someone using sulfur-based dispersants? If the oil/gas really is coming out that fast, is it from the main leak, or is the whole seabed leaking?

These numbers don't jive with the official line. Where is the sulfur coming from?

BP: "Beyond Propaganda"?


* 1 bbl = 42 gal; 1 gal = 231 in³; 1 ft³ = 12³ in³ = 1728 in³
1 bbl = 42·231/1728 = 5.61 ft³

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:29 PM
logical... they drilled in an old magma chamber...

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:46 PM
100,000 barrels per day now admitted to by BP. That means 4.2 million gallons of crude, but that is only the crude and crude is estimated to be 60% of the composition. Therefore about 3 million gallons of Gas are leaking out as well! Now, this Methane is under intense pressure. (At least 2400 psi from the ambient sea pressure at 5000 ft depth.)

Therefore that 3 million gallons of Gas becomes 240 million gallons of Gas at sea level pressures!

Much of the Gas is going to stay dissolved in the Sea Water, some of it is being vented and burned, but there is certainly a dangerous amoung of heavier than air gas lingering along the ocean's surface.

To make matters worse, the dissolved portion becomes less stable as the Ocean Temp rises, and it will rise for the next 2-4 months. Therefore, much of the dissolved gas will come out of the water one way or another.

There are many threads concerning the Methane threat. I consider it to be the most disastrous potential of all. Plus the H2S may not distribute evenly. It is possible to have pockets of it floating in the atmosphere and catching unsuspecting boaters or beach goers and doing significant harm or death!

Here are the links to the best Methane threads created so far:


posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:47 PM
Don't forget that oil, as a liquid, is minimally compressible and therefore will experience minute expansion as it rises and likely a reduction in volume as dissolved gases separate.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Excellent research. I'm too tired to look around much atm but did find this info which tells you the different gases a volcano releases, so maybe someone can start looking into each of these and see if any measurements can be found for the gulf area.

The most abundant gas typically released into the atmosphere from volcanic systems is water vapor (H2O), followed by carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Volcanoes also release smaller amounts of others gases, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen chloride (HCL), hydrogen fluoride (HF), and helium (He).

The article does not mention methane, although methane is present in volcanic eruptions and as we have recently learned, the concentration of methane in the oil leaking is 40% instead of the normal 5% so something down there is going on to create such an abnormally high concentration.....

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:58 PM
As a side note,sulphur has been associated with demonic activity.

Witnesses of paranormal activities today and in centuries past have consistently encountered a common trait. Indeed, since the prophets of the bible spoke of the judgement of the Lord with fire and brimstone, has sulphur smells been associated with paranormal manifestations. The Greeks spoke of this as well. In the twelfth book of the Odyssey, Homer says:

“Zeus thundered and hurled his bolt upon the ship and she quivered from stem to stern, smitten by the bolt of Zeus, and was filled with sulphurous smoke.” ...

The article is a little too technical for my interests,but either way you look at it,it's not good!

Just wanted to add this to the mix!

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 04:58 PM
Double post!


[edit on 21-6-2010 by On the Edge]

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 05:00 PM
PS) don't know if it will help but someone emailed me links to some sites with indepth geological data for the gulf....

Deep Mobile Gases/Relation to Earthquakes / Earthquake Predictions Based on Gas Flux / Content of Hydrocarbons from drilling mud as a function of tectonic activity etc...

locations of volcanoes etc

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 05:09 PM
All crude oil has varying degrees of sulfur content.

Sweet crude has a very low sulfur content,that is why it is called "sweet oil".

It smells that way.

Sour crude has a high sulfur content and smells sour.

Of course there will be levels of sulfur detected.

It is part of the petroleum process.

The petroleum in the Gulf is sour crude.

With all the diesel engine powered ships in the gulf at the moment it would not surprise me to see elevated levels in that area.

Sour crude is usually processed into diesel fuel.

[edit on 21-6-2010 by Oneolddude]

[edit on 21-6-2010 by Oneolddude]

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 05:19 PM
This isn't exactly helping improve our air quality:

From the Source:

"June 10, 2010 — LATEST VIDEO TODAY NOT SEEN ON TV OIL SPILL BREAKING NEWS MILITARY AERIAL VIEW BURN BREAKING NEWS TODAY VIDEO COURTESY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AERIAL VIEW OF BURN INSITU Burn (Controlled Burn) They Have to Burn the Oil They Collect. Scientists Say 40 Million Gallons of Oil Released into the Ocean as high as 40 thousand barrels per day or 1.6 million gallons. 100,000 barrels could be leaking a day says Ira Leafer researcher at UCSB UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA. Video of Controlled burn of the Gulf Coast Oil Spill. Video by Chief Petty Officer Bob Laura. Produced by Deepwater Response Unified Command."

[edit on 21-6-2010 by manta78]

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 05:44 PM
reply to post by Oneolddude

Yes, the Gulf oil contains high sulfur levels. But it is hydrogen sulfide that is being detected, not just sulfur.

The majority of the sulfur in crude oil occurs bonded to carbon atoms, with a small amount occurring as elemental sulfur in solution and as hydrogen sulfide gas.
Your source

We already know that hydrogen sulfide is coming form the leak; natural gas typically contains it, we know natural gas is escaping, and it would be expected to have high-end H2S levels due to the fact that Gulf oil is 'sour'. The concern I have is that there is so much of it! Much more than can be explained by the flowrate of the leak as we have been told.

You do have a point about the ships in the area; ships are allowed to use fuel with extremely high sulfur levels. But this does not produce H2S; it produces SO2 (which changes into SO3 and eventually H2SO4 in the atmosphere). That would not contribute to the H2S levels as are being detected.


posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 05:50 PM
you know what i find strange. The fact that the oil burning causes severe climate change. Climate change is a very large agenda, on the minds of many different governing systems as well as companies as we very well know. Now is it just me or is perhaps this speeding up the process of climate change. Because we could produce valid tests to counter-act or to prove climate change facts quite easily. But i do not believe this is being done.

Now, Ontopic: i believe that your facts are correct. They are drilling into a magma chamber, but experimentally measured fluid/melt partition coefficients of sulfur ranged from 47 under oxidizing conditions (where SO2 is the dominant sulfur species in the fluid) to 468 under reducing conditions (where H2S dominates). Now i don't fully understand the measures they are drilling at but im quite sure that this all changes when they are drilling into oil and gas resovoirs. This may take out the magma chamber factor of the oil spill sulfur produce.

posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

Your just being GASSED. No need to worry, BP SAYS. REALLY IT'S OK. We are cleanning it up better than it use to be. HEY, if you beleive this i have a bridge to sell you, or if you preferre some tropical island paradise i also have to sell you.

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