Scientists from St. Petersburg find high methane readings near oil disaster site, St. Petersburg Times, July 21, 2010:
Deposits 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.
Recent reports on methane:
- Methane plumes “flowing upslope” into shallower water; “Further up in the water column than we had seen” says scientist
- *JUST IN* Feds confirm Methane seeping from at least 2 places in seafloor; At 100-200 meters & 3 KILOMETERS from well (VIDEO)
- Confirmed: “Methane escaping at the surface” is “bubbling through the strata” says oil expert Nieuwenhuise on CNN at 1:17pm (VIDEO)
- Drudge reports methane at “levels only seen during mass extinction events” (PHOTOS)
- SHOCK: Water “sample exploded” when chemist tested for oil; “Most likely” methane or Corexit (VIDEO)
- MSNBC: “Scientists starting to voice concerns about methane being at levels that will kill millions”
- Methane dead zone found just offshore “linked to oil”; Stretches entire 1500 sq. miles of sample area
- Top scientist: Only one ship testing methane levels in Gulf, NOAA hiding results; Amount is “just startlingly high”
- Paper: BP “Disaster will continue for a decade or two” as oil moves “back into surface waters”
- “Recovery time can be centuries, or not at all” for Gulf of Mexico dead zones
- Oil spill oceanographer: “Astonishingly high” methane levels “approach a million times above” normal
- BP Blowout: “Most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history”