posted on Jul, 22 2010 @ 11:15 PM
Subject: scientists from SRI International
Two years before the Deepwater Horizon explosion, scientists from SRI International took readings on the levels of methane in the Gulf of Mexico less
than 10 miles from the rig. Last year, they went back and did it again. Now, after the rig blew up and gushed oil for more than 80 days, SRI’s
scientists from St. Petersburg have returned to the same area just northwest of the disaster and taken fresh readings.
They found levels of methane — a particularly potent greenhouse gas — are now 100 times higher than normal, SRI scientists said. …
In addition to the increased amount of methane, the SRI tests “did show indications that the methane was further up in the water column than we had
seen it before,” said Carol Lutken of the University of Mississippi, which is part of a consortium with SRI that has been doing the tests. …
Methane may be spreading throughout the gulf just like the underwater plumes of oil found by oceanographers…
They’re to the northwest and on a slope, just over half a mile deep, while Deepwater Horizon’s well is a mile below the surface. That means that
the methane in higher levels that SRI discovered during the most recent tests on June 25 and 26 has apparently been flowing upslope, Lutken said.
[10:45:31 AM] SGM RedKnight: eposits of methane gas… because they are so deep beneath the ocean, have frozen into icy crystals.
Disturbing those deposits — say, by drilling an oil well through them — can turn that solid methane into a liquid, leaving the ocean floor
unstable, explained [Carol Lutken of the University of Mississippi]. …
Worse, the freed gas may explode… There have been rumors that a similar methane explosion could cause a tsunami, a concern that government officials
say is unfounded. …
Generally the oil industry tries to avoid methane areas during drilling for safety reasons. But the U.S. Energy Department wants to find a way to
harvest fuel from those methane deposits, Lutken said.
[edit on 22-7-2010 by MrCrowley]