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In Trying To Cover It's Own Behind, BP Has Lowballed the Amount of Oil ... Which Has Made Everything Worse

George Washington's picture




 

Washington’s

Blog

The head of the government's flow study group - Ira Leifer - told
Dan Froomkin:

 

The lack of accurate information
has taken its toll, he said. If BP had properly understood what was
going on 5,000 feet below the surface, it never would have attempted to
stop it with a "top hat". And had they realized the pressure from the
oil reserves was beyond the threshold for "top kill" they wouldn't have
wasted time on that, either. [While BP and the government originally
estimated the leak at 1,000
barrels a day, Leifer said
that it may be spilling as much as 100,000
barrels a day.]

"We could have effective containment
systems available now, if we'd had the measurements," he said.

This
is unfortunate. Not only did top hat and top kill waste months of time in which BP could have
taken effective steps to contain the oil, but top kill probably
made the oil spill worse
:

BP's most recent efforts to stop the flow of oil
have only made the situation worse, says Leifer. The engineers' attempt
to seal off the well from above, using a method known as "top kill,"
failed and only enlarged the borehole, according to Leifer. Now, he
adds, there is almost nothing stopping the oil from flowing out of the
well.

Moreover, Leifer previously told
the Associated Press that the lack of certainty as to the flow rate
will make it more difficult to successfully drill relief wells:

Many unknowns about the flow rate and
pressure and quantity of oil
coming from the well make it difficult to "design and engineer
safe oil recovery systems, such as the 'cap,' nor design and engineer
ultimate solutions safely such as the relief
wells
."

This is important, as the stakes
are high
:

Independent experts warn that relief wells, like any
well, are not without risk. "More oil could leak than before,
because the field is being drilled into again," says Fred Aminzadeh, a
geophysicist at the University of Southern California. Ira Leifer, a
geochemist at the University of California in Santa Barbara, voices
similar concerns: "In the worst case, we would suddenly be dealing with
two spills, and we'd have twice the problem."

While
BP is pretending that it is difficult to determine the amount and
pressure of oil flowing out of the gusher, this
is not true
. Indeed, BP is actively blocking
Leifer and other scientists from making the measurements.

Similarly, telling cleanup workers they'll
be fired if they use respirators
is increasing the toll on human
health, and using dispersants to hide the amount of spilled oil is only
worsening
the long-term damage to marine life.

 

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Fri, 07/09/2010 - 11:49 | 460581 CD
CD's picture

Well, trolling right along, here are some interesting tidbits that inadvertently support wild-eyed theories about BP/gov incentives/incompetence in monitoring and conveying accurate info re: health hazards in Gulf:

"In a June 9 report on worker test results, BP confidently asserted that the health hazards of exposure to both dispersant chemicals and the components of leaking crude "are very low." In its latest summary, BP replaced those three words with an assurance that health risks "have been carefully considered in the selection of the various methods employed in addressing its spill. [...] But the Valdez-linked chemical 2-butoxyethanol was detected at levels up to 10 parts per million (ppm) in more than 20 percent of offshore responders and 15 percent of those near shore. The NIOSH standard for 2-butoxyethanol, which lacks the force of law but is considered more health-protective than the higher OSHA limit, is 5 ppm." 

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/07/09/09greenwire-new-bp-data-show-20-of-gulf-spill-responders-e-82494.html

Drip, drip, drip of gradual acclimation to bad and worse news. BTW, in case anyone has lots of free time, take a look at the EPA air quality testing data published on their Gulf Response site. In Venice, LA, the levels of ambient volatile organic compounds spiked by a factor of more than 100-200 on 4/30 compared to previous and subsequent readings -- with benzene being the greatest component (and slipping to more than 10x higher than acceptable levels). Could've been a glitch, machine error, unit conversion fault -- but does anyone know of any specific events on or just before that date in the Boothville-Venice area? Overflight by dispersant spraying aircraft?Historical perspective on culture of (risk) management within BP going back a decade or so:http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bp-oil-refinery-explosion-062810

 

 

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 09:51 | 460314 ATG
ATG's picture

The preponderance of evidence is that BP, major 0 campaign contributor,

0 and politicians everywhere have a lot to gain from the

oil spill, while American citizens and consumers have a lot to lose, particularly the 21 million that live along the Gulf.

Cap & Trade anyone?...

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 09:42 | 460289 Merlin12
Merlin12's picture

George, I have been forced to conclude, is a troll.  Best ting to do with trolls is to ignore them.  Do not comment on their ravings at all.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:28 | 459659 tempo
tempo's picture

Kindra may be unqualified but Matt Simmons is very qualified and CONNECTED and equally concerned.   When will the Govt tell us if they are aware of other leaks miles from the BOP shown on TV.   Why did the British Govt. ban Corexit and the US Govt allow massive use of corexit?   

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:37 | 459674 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

Simmons has a 4,000-share short sale on BP that he picked up when the stock hit $37. That’s in addition to a prior 4,000-share short sale he made at $48 a couple weeks prior. “It’s going to zero,” he says of BP stock.

http://blogs.barrons.com/stockstowatchtoday/2010/06/15/bp-simmons-still-sees-bankruptcy-massive-hole-at-the-well-bore/

He's about as qualified as our resident gold expert.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:47 | 459781 CD
CD's picture

I have thought about this a few times, but it seems odd.

4000 shares short @ $48/share - max profit $192,000

4000 shares short @ $37/share - max profit $148,000

Total upside: $340,000

For a guy who spent a good portion of his life working in/with the industry, likely already a multimillionaire -- would he stake his reputation on working to make less than $0.5M by deliberately lying about this? I dunno. There are areas where he was a lot more accurate in explaining the events than the 'responsible' parties and authorities have done - certainly at the time.

Does this mean he's right? No. I don't even really understand all of his claims. Whether he's qualified to make such calls is also something I know too little about. But the claimed motive of short selling BP does not do the trick for me.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 22:35 | 459829 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

But the claimed motive of short selling BP

Not sure what you mean.

There are areas where he was a lot more accurate in explaining the events than the 'responsible' parties and authorities have done - certainly at the time.

Like what? 

Did you read the entire article I linked?  It's like the ravings of a lunatic.... unless he was seriously misquoted.

***[edit] - you might want to re-estimate Mr. Simmons net worth.  This is from 2008:

"(Reuters) - Crude oil at $100 a barrel would still be "pretty cheap" because global oil demand shows no signs of abating and new energy sources are in short supply, a prominent U.S. oil analyst said on Thursday.

Matt Simmons, founder of Houston-based Simmons and Co International, dismissed the idea that a looming U.S. recession will tame crude oil prices, which have tumbled since they peaked above $100 a barrel on Jan. 3."

Maybe he lost his nest egg?

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 02:21 | 459856 CD
CD's picture

I have no reason or basis to defend him, and will not take longhand notes of his TV interview to sort out exactly what he said. He may very well have lost it (nest egg, mind, both), or maybe he has a MUCH larger short/put position riding on this than we know of.

I am, however amused to go to the NOAA website, and instead of finding some documentation of the Thomas Jefferson's exploratory voyage and findings, I find this:

http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/features/apr10/sons.html

"In March 2010, a two-day SONS (Spill of National Significance) exercise was held that featured a hypothetical collision between two vessels (a car carrier and an oil tanker) approximately 16 miles off the coast in the Gulf of Maine. The collision occurred during a particularly strong winter storm with sub-freezing temperatures and restricted visibility. It resulted in a major coastal oil spill that exercised numerous other economic, environmental and political challenges designed to stress all levels of the response organizations. "

I know that none of this is going to make my case any stronger, but does anyone recall anti-terrorism drills in London in early July (or on 07/07) the year some rather large explosions took place there? And wasn't there a NORAD exercise meant to test air response to a hijacked plane going on nine years ago... right as a few rather large planes were actually (or according to some, only allegedly) being hijacked? PS: Thanks for the junks, I didn't know you cared...

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:57 | 459798 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

What you need to understand is that many of his claims are impossible for anyone to know and that even more of his claims are PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE.  That fact should make you question his credibility.  His reputation with this industry member is now zero so I guess he staked it on something.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 22:37 | 459842 CD
CD's picture

I cannot keep so many different cataclysmic predictions from all these insta-experts in memory at the same time... :-) I am merely referring to the relative usefulness of using a 1-5K bpd vs. currently fashionable 35K-65K estimate to his ca. 100K bpd estimate of well flow.

I suppose what I am looking for is a reasonably well supported worst-case scenario explaining WHY there might be potential for further problems, why/how a relief well might fail -- in the fashion of dougr's thinking on OilDrum  - reasoning supported by facts, testimony, logic, etc. So let's assume the well's casing is not going to be so eroded in the next 2-3 weeks to cause any well collapse/BOP tipover -- is there any reason the well will not (eventually) be killed one way or the other, assuming enough pressure/mud/cement can be applied at the same time?

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 09:15 | 460253 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

I've been posting for weeks that industry analysts have repeatedly stated 95% chance of success for the relief wells.  I have read the linked post at OilDrum and would agree it is a well thought out piece.  But it does have some glaring errors and I don't buy it.  Here's what you need to understand about the structure of the well that the BOP is tied to:

From the seafloor to a depth of 254' there is a 36" steel pipe surrounded by cement all the way back to the seafloor.

Inside that pipe and extending to a depth 1150' below the seafloor is a 28" steel pipe surrounded by cement all the way back to the seafloor.

Inside that pipe and extending further to a depth of 2870' is a 22" steel pipe surrounded by cement - I don't have the wellbore diagram in from of me so I can't say for sure that the cement goes all the way to the seafloor but it certainly goes up into the 28" pipe.

the remaining drill liners all hang from the base of the 28" pipe and are cemented in place.

So any failure at 1000' depth reaching into the rock surrounding the wellbore would have to fail 2 steel pipes.  If a pressure containment problem occurred it would have been obvious after the first failure.

Also it may be clear to you that "eroding" all 3 cemented casing strings to the point the BOP tips over might take a while.

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 11:43 | 460533 CD
CD's picture

That's pretty much what I figured - even if the premise of the erosion theory is valid, there's an awful lot of bore and casing for the particles to get through (thankfully).

Thank you for your thoughts, and general contribution to maintaining collective sanity. While there is in my opinion plenty of dark underbelly to this situation from the sides of all participants, maintaining capacity for rational judgement remains a priority if anyone is to have a hand in solving/surviving the crisis.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:33 | 459586 pizzgums
pizzgums's picture

my goodness, GW is so clueless....

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:15 | 459555 werewolf34
werewolf34's picture

The Gulf Coast is now the Niger Delta. Has the USA officially been downgraded to 3rd world status?

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:56 | 459627 AssFire
AssFire's picture

Depends on who is doing the grading.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:10 | 459548 zerosum
zerosum's picture


always a lie when the truth will do just fine. why is this idea getting ever more popular?

 

For a long time now and especially since 9/11, the federal government has developed what is called in psychology a "lie response syndrome." A person has this when their internal response to virtually any question no matter how benign is to first think of a lie to tell instead of the truth. I think the feds sincerely believe that if they reduce information flow about a problem, they in effect reduce the size of the problem.

 

This is, of course, sociopathic.

 

 

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:40 | 459677 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

My brother is a sociopath. He lies constantly, any time it will get him anything. Most of his lies wouldn't fool a child, if people stopped to think about them. Yet he gets away with them all the time.

If you go away and spend 3 days digging out the truth then confront him with it he doesn't even try to defend himself. He just tells a new lie.

He gets away with all kinds of shit, constantly. Eventually people get wise to what a user he is and drop him, but in the meantime he is a winner. Then he just goes and buddies up to some more suckers.

No one in the family trusts him but that doesn't matter. We all paid to learn, and there seems to be an endless supply of new suckers out there.

Unless you know someone like that, and get wise to them, then study them, you cannot understand the actions of a company like BP.

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 08:36 | 460208 moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

if corporations are people as our SCOTUS says, it seems to me they are sociopaths...they whole reason to exist is to make profit...most people have to balance thier selfishness with alturism, care for community, their environment, but businesses, even when fairly moral people work at them, exist to make money and people will do things against their own moral tendency to keep their job, and are more likely to go morally bad because they are just taking orders. Many businesses have leaders the smartly and rightly balance businesses' aims and their employees and communities needs and also know long-term its often good to be a moral business, but big business lead by stockholders demanding higher earnings, they have the incentives to be sociopaths.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:21 | 459744 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

You will make a perfect juror.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:50 | 459599 George Washington
George Washington's picture
Government Keeping Scientists Away From Oil Spill, Just As Government Kept Scientists Away from Ground Zero

 

 

As I previously pointed out, the Gulf oil spill is very similar to 9/11, because - in both cases - the responders helping with rescue and clean up were getting sick ... but were told they don't need any safety gear.  And see this.

In addition, the government is keeping scientists away from "ground zero" of the oil spill and - for that reason - scientists cannot accurately measure the size of the oil spill.

BP has also tried to cover up its blunders by lowballing spill estimates, keeping reporters out of areas hardest hit by the oil (and see this, this, this and this) and threatening to arrest them if they try to take pictures (and see this), hiding dead birds and other sealife, and using dispersants to hide the amount of spilled oil (the dispersants are only worsening the damage caused by the spill).

The government is complicit in all of these cover-ups. Indeed, the Obama administration has made it a felony to get near enough to oiled wildlife and beaches to film them.

Similarly, the official 9/11 investigators were themselves largely denied funding, access to the site and the evidence contained there, or even access to such basic information as the blueprints for the world trade center.

Indeed, just as the government and BP have consistently underestimated the amount of oil gushing out of the Gulf, the blueprints for the World Trade Center are still to this day being withheld from reporters and the public, and the government agency in charge of the investigation has grossly mischaracterized the structure of the buildings.

How are we supposed to improve building safety regulations if the blueprints are still being hidden from engineers and scientists investigating the collapse of world trade center buildings 1, 2 and 7 on September 11th?

Moreover, as I previously pointed out:

9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:

Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.

[Moreover]:

  • The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Joint Inquiry of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees into 9/11 said that government "minders" obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses
  • The 9/11 Commissioners concluded that officials from the Pentagon lied to the Commission, and considered recommending criminal charges for such false statements
  • Investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House. As the New York Times notes:
    Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering up evidence . . .

    * * *

    The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's refusal to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept. 11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been the landlord in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.

    In his book "Intelligence Matters," Mr. Graham, the co-chairman of the Congressional inquiry with Representative Porter J. Goss, Republican of Florida, said an F.B.I. official wrote them in November 2002 and said "the administration would not sanction a staff interview with the source.'' On Tuesday, Mr. Graham called the letter "a smoking gun" and said, "The reason for this cover-up goes right to the White House."

Of course, the government's response to the economic crisis, torture, the anthrax attacks, and just about every other crisis has been the same: try to sweep it under the rug.

It almost seems as if the main activity of government these days is trying to cover up criminal negligence and fraud ... instead of actually solving problems, firing - let alone convicting - the folks who caused the problems, or changing things enough to prevent future crises.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:57 | 459707 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

AND YET - a significant percentage of our population thinks it's just hunky-dory to give them MORE power and MORE control over all aspects or our lives.  TBTF and new regulatory authority to these guys in their carefully "quota'd" committees will solve ALL our problems.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:32 | 459761 George Washington
George Washington's picture

I agree with you ...

We Conservatives know that too much power in government hands leads to a not-free market (with all sorts of bad repercussions) and repression...

But we Liberals know that giant corporations can skew the playing field, lead to a bad economy, and lead to repression and injury...

In other words, when ANY entity gets "too big", it warps things and takes away from our prosperity and liberty.

And when you have an Unholy Alliance between BIG government and BIG corporations ... that's bad.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:54 | 459792 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

We've had an Unholy Alliance between BIG government and BIG corporations for at least 70 years.  And it is what has led us to this point.  The BIG problem is that over that 70 years they (both sides) have steadily eroded what few limits we had on their power.  Now all decisions are made in terms of what is good for the masters and the slaves can just shut up and deal with it.

Of course they're doing it all to take care of us and make us all equal........

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 23:51 | 459917 George Washington
George Washington's picture

I agree...

The Founding Fathers envisioned corporations which had a very short-term, were for a specific task, and which benefited the common good.

The Founding Fathers wanted checks and balances on Federal power.

We have neither ...

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 21:22 | 459591 werewolf34
werewolf34's picture

We really are seeing the worst of our country. Low tide means you get to see who still has their trunks.

I think our is around our ankles right now. I think of the currency trade as judging who appears more retarded in the media that particular day

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:48 | 459487 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

Forget the Propylene glycol, it's the other shit ingredients that's kills.

 

Corexit 9527

The proprietary composition is not public, but the manufacturer's own safety data sheet on Corexit EC9527A says the main components are 2-butoxyethanol and a proprietary organic sulfonate with a small concentration of propylene glycol.

 The identity of the sulfonate used in both forms of Corexit was disclosed to the EPA in June 2010, as dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corexit

 

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:52 | 459505 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

Propylene glycol is food grade anti-freeze I think, so okay I will forget it.  EPA says that their findings are that Corexit is less toxic than crude oil.  What are the concentrations of Corexit in the Gulf of Mexico?  I would argue that they are probably easily less than .1 ppm.  Granted, that's just a WAG on my part.  Got a better estimate?

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:08 | 459638 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

So, how long have you been with BP Jimmy?

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:13 | 459643 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

Never have been.  Over ten years ago I worked on the North Slope for a contractor on the ARCO/COP side of the field (Kuparuk to be exact).  I was a volunteer on the spill response team there.

I thought we were discussing the toxicity of Corexit.  Perhaps ad hominem innuendo will be more productive for you ....

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 23:48 | 459913 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 - ah yeah, corexit, it's good stuff, highly recommend it!! I always find it humorous when oil companies talk about oil production, "Oh, we're "producing" 17 million barrels a day"  - hahaha, they ain't producing dick, the earth produced it. ...oil companies pump oil out of the earth and destroy it- "Oh, we "destroyed" 17 million barrels today" - hahaha, it's all good Jimmy, corexit, oil production (LOL), .."The more, the merrier" !!

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 00:20 | 459944 Augustus
Augustus's picture

After you wrote that you believed tha BP owned Tullow Oil, and came back for more, after you confirmed that they did not, Don't try to use humor. 

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 01:30 | 459995 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

 - ah hell, just made a speculative comment "hmm, i bet BP owns something or another", which was totally beside the point I was making, then you come along and want to be a smart ass, and bet some donut holes or something - so, here's your hat.

 

oh, looks like Tullow might be buying up some of BP's assets, happy now.

 

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-06/tullow-may-expand-jubilee-oil-project-drilling-off-ghana.html

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 02:25 | 460028 Augustus
Augustus's picture

you made a conspiracy theory comment that had no basis in fact.  Then seemed to believe you had discovered some greater truth.  Why not add more to the conspiracy theory by announcing that you believe BP already has bought Tullow and you have seen the secret transfer documents.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:32 | 459457 RingToneDeaf
RingToneDeaf's picture

Tough, tough room, Great Post, Wonderful site.

Who controls the Coast Guard, good question.

I do say prayers for the Gulf Coast people and us cause I think we are all f*cked..

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:43 | 459484 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

Coast Guard used to be DOT, Department of Transportation.  It transitioned to Dept. of Homeland Security.  Although it is not strictly DOD, Dept. of Defense, it is considered one of the branches of the Armed Services and can be transferred to the Dept. of the Navy by the President or Congress during time of war.  Confused yet?

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:24 | 459435 TrulyStupid
TrulyStupid's picture

BP is one of a loose consortium of financial, industrial and "defense" interests who actually dictate publicy policy through the bribery and control of public officials. Obama cannot or will not do anything because he is not in charge (neither was Bush, you could almost see the puppet strings on him).

The spill is being dealt with in standard corporate damage control fashion: understate the problem, limit public attention by dropping the cone of silence, counter attack through red herring issues.. (its Obamas or Bush's or treehuggers fault), change the subject, bribe the locals.

Nothing will change, no more vigilant enforcemnet of existing safeguards, no new ones, no crimping of the right to drill.

Have a nice day America

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 08:28 | 460193 moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

agreed, nice post

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 18:03 | 459389 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Good work, GW. Saaaa-weet wrestling video.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:04 | 459521 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Thanks, here it is again (I deleted it below):

 

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 19:59 | 459632 Jim_Rockford
Jim_Rockford's picture

GW - that was originally posted above by Rusty Shorts.  Did you delete it?  Censor much?

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 20:53 | 459697 George Washington
George Washington's picture

No, I was the first to post it (I have other funny videos as well).

I am not admin, so don't have the power to delete anyone else's post.

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 17:31 | 459302 covert
covert's picture

always a lie when the truth will do just fine. why is this idea getting ever more popular? the truth is knowledge of reality. reality is always perfect. there is never anything wrong with the truth. the covert market influences are still at work always and forever. will the whole truth ever be found?

http://covert2.wordpress.com

Thu, 07/08/2010 - 17:34 | 459310 George Washington
George Washington's picture

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

- George Orwell

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 00:04 | 459933 CrackSmokeRepublican
CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

 

The Dumba**es at BP are drilling into a cracked SALT DOME!!! IT CAN'T BE PLUGGED even with 20 second lines!!!

 

THANK ROTHSCHILD'S FIRST WELLS IN AZERBAIJAN FOR THIS MESS!!!

http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai122_folder/122_articles/122_...

--CSR

=========

 

--------

Asphalt volcanoes discovered
13. May 2004

Asphalt flows from deep-sea volcanoes

New kind of volcano discovered in the Gulf of Mexico

Underwater volcanoes that spew asphalt instead of lava: they were discovered in the Gulf of Mexico during an expedition of the research vessel SONNE, led by Prof. Gerhard Bohrmann of the DFG Research Center Ocean Margins. On these volcanoes the multinational team of scientists encountered a previously unknown highly diverse ecosystem at a water depth of 3,000 meters. The prominent scientific journal Science reports the spectacular discovery in its issue of 14 May 2004.

Asphalt, commonly known to us as the material that covers our streets, has been found flowing out of mounds that rise 450 to 800 meters above the desert-like floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers discovered the asphalt volcanoes during a cruise of the research vessel SONNE. First observed in video footage, the structures were confirmed by bottom samples taken during the expedition. "We were actually only searching for the presence of methane at the seafloor, instead we found a new kind of volcano associated with a complex ecosystem," relates Prof. Gerhard Bohrmann enthusiastically.

The researchers surmise that such asphalt volcanoes only occur in the Gulf of Mexico, but that they are abundant there, because the conditions required for their formation - deep water, salt diapirs below the seafloor, and the presence of oil deposits - are found only here.

When special microorganisms deep below the seafloor degrade petroleum, asphalt remains as a waste product. It is not unusual to find small amounts of this, but in some places in the Gulf of Mexico the asphalt covers more than a square kilometer of sea bottom. The researchers christened one of the mounds "Chapopote", after the Aztec word for asphalt. Video recordings of this mound clearly show how the asphalt flowed out of the crater and down the slope. The pictures are amazingly reminiscent of lava from volcanoes on land. In addition, they are home to numerous life forms: tube worms, clams, fish, crabs, and - typical for deep-sea oases - abundant bacteria

 

http://www.gashydrate.de/projekte/omega/otega2

 

---------

 

Schematic diagram of a diapir rising up through the sediments.Click image for larger view.

Yet, we see exceptions to the rule that gas hydrates occur only deep in the sedimentary section on the Blake Ridge. In some places, deeply buried ancient salt deposits (called diapirs) that are more buoyant than the surrounding sediments have risen toward the sea floor, a process that occurs often in the Gulf of Mexico.

Faults must form to accommodate the deformation caused by with the upward rise of the salt. These faults provide conduits for fluids and gas to migrate through the sediments and sometimes even reach the sea floor. At the same time, the high thermal conductivity of salt leads to significant disturbances of the temperatures in the sediments. For example, instead of temperature increasing by about 0.05°C per meter depth in the sediments, the temperatures of sediments above the top of a shallow salt diapir might increase at 0.1°C per meter depth.

Such temperature changes have a profound impact on the stability of gas hydrate. Specifically, increased temperatures above and near salt diapirs can lead to the development of thin gas hydrate zones that lie close to the sea floor. Essentially, the presence of the shallow diapir compresses the gas hydrate zone toward the sea floor, and the faults associated with the diapir tap into the gas-rich fluids circulating through and from the gas hydrate zone. Sea floor chemosynthetic communities living on and near these faults can gain nourishment from a variety of chemical species carried in the fluids or produced through various processes in the shallow sediments.

 

 

Courtesy of USGS, GLORIA mapping project.

The eastern portion of the Gulf, which includes the Florida platform and escarpment, receives very little clastic sediment, and is therefore characterized by slow rates of carbonate deposition. In contrast, the western Gulf is dominated by siliciclastic deposition, primarily from the Mississippi River delta, and contains thick and rapidly-accumulating sequences of sandstones, siltstones, and shales rich in organic material. In addition, the low-wave action in the Gulf, the concentration of sediment supply at a single point source (the Mississippi River delta), and oversteepening of seafloor gradients has increased the potential for coarse clastics to reach deep-water environments as compared to other passive margins.

Although the northern Gulf of Mexico represents a passive continental margin, salt tectonism has resulted in extensive deformation of the sedimentary layers. During the Jurassic, the Gulf became isolated from the oceans, and a thick sequence of salt (Louann Salt) accumulated as the Gulf's water evaporated. As sediments were later deposited in the basin, their weight caused the salt to mobilize, much as toothpaste is squeezed out of a toothpaste tube. Today, salt diapirs, pillows and stocks, and listric faults are all indicators of Louann Salt movement due to overburden stresses. This deformation provides numerous pathways for the migration of thermogenic methane into shallow zones where hydrate is stable. The Sigsbee Escarpment in the western portion of the Gulf marks the southern limit of salt movement within the basin.

 

Salt tectonism in the Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbon province controls development of
hydrocarbon reservoirs and the faults that allow oil and gas to escape at the seafloor (1).
Over 30 years ago, investigators studying the Gulf’s abyssal petroleum system (2)
photographed an asphalt deposit (3) among salt domes in the southern Gulf of Mexico.
During exploration of the Campeche Knolls, about 200 km south of the photographed site
(Fig. 1A), we have now found numerous, deeply-cratered salt domes with extensive
slumps and mass-wasting at depths of 3,000 m or greater. Massive, lava-like flow-fields
of solidified asphalt, evidently discharged at temperatures higher than the ambient bottom
water (4°C), were colonized by an abundant chemosynthetic fauna.
The Campeche Knolls are salt diapirs that formed from an extensive deposit that
underlies the entire slope region (4) and hosts the major oil accumulations that comprise
Campeche offshore oil fields (5). Numerous reservoir and seal facies have also been
attributed to breccia associated with the Chicxulub impact, which occurred about 200 km
to the east (6). Guided by data from satellite imagery that showed evidence for persistent
oil seeps in this region (7) (8), we mapped the bathymetry of a 50 by 70 km area with the
German ship RV SONNE (9).

http://www.satmaps.com/oilandmineral/offshore/pdf/macdonald_science04_ca...

 

http://theinfounderground.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11772&start=15

 

 

 

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 08:59 | 460239 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Is all this supposed to mean something?

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 21:59 | 461676 CrackSmokeRepublican
CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

Read above J-Tard or Shabbas Goy J-Tard.

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 02:34 | 460036 Augustus
Augustus's picture

The asphalt volcanos are also found off of California.

It has nothing to do with a "cracked salt dome" or a cracked granite cap.

Fri, 07/09/2010 - 21:56 | 461672 CrackSmokeRepublican
CrackSmokeRepublican's picture

1. You are fairly ignorant about what is going on. Asphalt Volcanos are found all around the world. But only an idiot would drill into one. Why? Because it is not "stable".

 

http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/futuresupply/methanehydrate...

 

2.  Salt Domes are unstable areas in which to drill. What is under them is unstable.

The Luann Dome is where the oil is at but how much is under it?

http://www.jerrypippin.com/WellSiteClosejpg.jpg

 

3. So, while other oil companies were looking along the sides of the salt domes (above the salt layer) BP was "Dumba**" smart enough to look under the salt layer, but the salt was deposited over "very old, hard rock", so the question arises:

HOW DID THE OIL GET UNDER THE SALT ?

4. Read the following. If you are too J-Tarded to understand it, then my apologies.

 

Such temperature changes have a profound impact on the stability of gas hydrate. Specifically, increased temperatures above and near salt diapirs can lead to the development of thin gas hydrate zones that lie close to the sea floor. Essentially, the presence of the shallow diapir compresses the gas hydrate zone toward the sea floor, and the faults associated with the diapir tap into the gas-rich fluids circulating through and from the gas hydrate zone. Sea floor chemosynthetic communities living on and near these faults can gain nourishment from a variety of chemical species carried in the fluids or produced through various processes in the shallow sediments.
Seafloor chemosynthetic community at a cold seep

 

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03windows/background/hydrates...

 

5. They didn't survey the bottom floor to see what was under the SALT DOME.

How can they know the geology that far under the earth?

6. If the idiot, J-Tarded Rothschilds hadn't established an Oil export location in the middle East after following the pronouncements  of a group of idiot Js in Europe in the 1880s, we wouldn't be facing this J-Crap known as Iraq-Israel Did 9/11-Peak J-Tribe Oil.

Hope this is clear to you.

 

 

 

Sat, 07/10/2010 - 10:05 | 462052 gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

You are utterly ignorant of any issues discussed here (the stupidity oozes and stinks up the forum sort of like 'asphalt volcanoes').

Short answers to the gibberish above:

Hydrocarbon seeps (your 'asphalt volcanoes') are not indicative of unstable substrate

The industry has been drilling below salt for over 20 years.

The oil is formed under the salt.

No offshore drilling permit is issued without surveying the ocean floor and expensive offshore wells are not drilled without 3D seismic which is how they know what the geology is that far "under the earth" (how does one get under the earth????)

Finally your point 6 is conclusive evidence of vile stupidity and I cannot imagine what value there would be in further engaging you in discussion.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!