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The oil will follow lines of weakness in the geology. The leak can travel several horizontal miles from the location of the leak.
In other words, the geology beneath the seafloor is so fractured, with soft and unstable salt formations, that we may never be able to fully kill the well even with relief wells.
...but this caught my attention, because they are gathering near this particular well. They made it seem like they got reports, went out there and inspected with the ROVs....and "all is as it should be"....the oil slicks are still coming from the area, and now all the ships. Like I said, at first I thought it may be a recovery mission for the rig....but the ships and equipment seem to be for a different purpose.
The deep-sea hydrocarbon discharge resulting from the BP oil well blowout in the northern Gulf of Mexico released large quantities of oil and gaseous hydrocarbons such as methane into the deep ocean. So far, estimates of hydrocarbon discharge have focused on the oil released, and have overlooked the quantity, fate and environmental impact of the gas1. Gaseous hydrocarbons turn over slowly in the deep ocean, and microbial consumption of these gases could have a long-lasting impact on oceanic oxygen levels2. Here, we combine published estimates of the volume of oil released1,3, together with provisional estimates of the oil to gas ratio of the discharged fluid4, to determine the volume of gaseous hydrocarbons discharged during the spill. We estimate that the spill injected up to 500,000 t of gaseous hydrocarbons into the deep ocean and that these gaseous emissions comprised 40% of the total hydrocarbon discharge. Analysis of water around the wellhead revealed discrete layers of dissolved hydrocarbon gases between 1,000 and 1,300m depth; concentrations exceeded background levels by up to 75,000 times. We suggest that microbial consumption of these gases could lead to the extensive and persistent depletion of oxygen in hydrocarbon-enriched waters.