Gulf Methane Levels 1 Million Times Above Normal Are Depleting Oxygen And Creating Marine Dead Zones

Tyler Durden's picture

Reuters is so not getting the administration's latest round of taxpayer bail out funding when mainstream media comes knocking on Obama's door looking for handouts. The media company has shockingly decided to release some of the truth about the biosystematic genocide currently happening in the Gulf: "As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday. Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high." Luckily, America is gradually realizing that the entire food chain in the southeast is about to be turned around on its head, leading to a massive and unprecedented ecological disaster, which will certainly wipe out thousands of species and result in not only a surge in unemployment (that's a given) but outright loss of life (at statistically significant levels), and the anger is mounting. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the worst ecological disaster in world history will be the sudden, and jarring awakening from the generational slumber for most of America, and a long overdue overhaul of a broken political and economic system.

More from Reuters:

Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead.

"There is an incredible amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal.

"We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations" in some areas, Kessler said.

The scientists were looking for signs that the methane gas had depleted levels of oxygen dissolved in the water needed to sustain marine life.

"At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is," he told the briefing.

Methane occurs naturally in sea water, but high concentrations can encourage the growth of microbes that gobble up oxygen needed by marine life.

Kessler said oxygen depletions have not reached a critical level yet, but the oil is still spilling into the Gulf, now at a rate of as much as 60,000 barrels a day, according to U.S. government estimates.

"What is it going to look like two months down the road, six months down the road, two years down the road?" he asked.

No commentary necessary, suffice it to say we sincerely urge Whitney Tilson to hedge his BP holdings with at least a few puts.

h/t John

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UGrev's picture

Gas masks, Bitchez!

Mad Max's picture

Silly peon.  BP's just testing their new seawater-based delivery system.  Be ready to pay BP each time you visit the ocean - they're coming out with their own counterpart to the DMCA to make sure you pay or go to debtor's prison.

almost_have_a_name's picture

Power boats and Jet skis don't need fuel tanks anymore !


Mad Max's picture

Much like water wells in PA are becoming combined water/gas wells.  All you need is an water/oil/gas separator and a single well can heat your house and provide you with drinking water (after running through 20 or so reverse-osmosis stages).  All for less cost than a B2 stealth bomber!

Howard_Beale's picture

And Wyoming, Texas, and Colorado--all shown in Gasland on HBO in which GG was kind enough to post a picture from on a previous thread.

However, the gas is not the real problem, Max. It's the 565+ fracking chemicals like benzene and other carcinogens that are getting in the water supply as well.

Mad Max's picture

A relative of mine is a groundwater geologist living in CO, so I have some idea of what you speak.

I wouldn't say the gas is not the real problem, I would say it's not the only problem.  It is quite possible to have drinking water (from a well) that is contaminated with the fracking chemicals but not with gas.  That's a big problem, requiring you to truck in water or possibly get an expensive filtering system.  But it's also possible to have basically clean water that's contaminated with enough gas to be flammable, and that's a serious problem too - you can't continue to use that water without some safe way to remove the gas.  Either one can be fatal to your well, and of course you may win the lottery and get both at once.

Gasland appears to be a great documentary, and I hope it will get an audience.

Howard_Beale's picture

Here's a link to chemicals in Colorado found in fracking. I agree that gas is a very serious problem..espcially if you are bathing in it and drinking it every day.

It is on HBO on demand all month if you know someone who gets it. It is also open at 2 NYC theaters and being shown throughout the Marcellus Shales in select towns.

velobabe's picture

A relative of mine is a groundwater geologist living in CO

ask him about shale water. please, get back to me. i couldn't find a gd groundwater geologist that knew much about this nasty sulfur shit black water. they all lie and say it can be filtered. lies and more lies. colorado has huge shale reserves of everything apparently, water, gas fucking fracking.

i trucked in water, i filtered, expensive analysis. guess good thing i got rid of the third world i called home, in the rah rah realty days of '06. living without water, adapted. guess what, i hate to shower.


Marcellus Shales ruined my fucking life.

trav7777's picture

are you getting prude?  Where are dem titties

Howard_Beale's picture

I live on the border of NY/PA and know people within 15 miles of here that can light their water on the last 6 months they started to smell gas in their bathwater, are getting sick, and can't sell their property now because they hit the front page of the newspaper. Gee, what a little coincidence that Chesapeake drilled a half mile from their house and claims it was a pre-existing condition since it wasn't within 1/4 of a mile of the fracking.

Nice little gas co propaganda site you got there. I suggest you buy some property in PA in the areas where they are drilling the most and have a nice short life.

tip e. canoe's picture

it's really a shame howard cuz that area would be a lovely place to have a farm.


get some jersey greensand and/or fuller's earth to use.
not perfect, but better than dead...

GoinFawr's picture

Interesting gasmiinder, but ultimately just a whole lot of circumlocution and some obfuscation; no 'debunking' really worth mentioning going on at that link. eg. I've got some mere 'household' chemicals for ya to taste, but you'll be wanting to have your will all sorted before imbibing even a millilitre of some of 'em.

I'll be saving that one for reference though, so thanks.



Turd Ferguson's picture

TD: This is the 2nd thread today that originated from a link I had earlier posted. I'm sick of doing all the heavy lifting for you, MackDaddy. Keep it up and I'm gonna insist you rename the site TurdHedge!

TuesdayBen's picture

You'll be pleased to know that remains available for sale

Turd Ferguson's picture

And...its much better than ZeroTurd, which sounds rather like a colorectal issue.

akak's picture

Talk about anal-retentive!

Didn't I hear something about John Wayne having had a zeroturd problem?

DeeDeeTwo's picture

I'll bet Mr. Turd knows a thing or two about methane gas, baby.

Citizen of an IKEA World's picture

Kessler said oxygen depletions have not reached a critical level yet...


For only three letters, that's a pretty damn big word right there.

Teaser's picture

um, old news, several years old.  Dead zone in the gulf has been there for years. 

and, could we please please invest in some new goddamn servers?  keep the economy going and pick up some new blades!

Freebird's picture

I`ll match you dollar for dollar on your ZH donation. Serious. 

genieous's picture

Just donated $25.  Not much but time to pay up, FB

Freebird's picture

Come in Teaser your time is up.

Freebird's picture

ZH Admin - other payment methods? Paypal not acceptable this far south of the border. 

velobabe's picture

S  L  I  D  E to be word of the day.


TuesdayBen's picture

I'm long unemployed, huge underwater mortgage, etc etc blah blah blah, but I'll chip in a donation if there is some way to pay by other than the execrable PayPal.  Google payments?

genieous's picture

Donation done.  Not much but something.  Rock on!

Mad Max's picture

What's another gigantic new dead zone among friends, anyway?

chistletoe's picture

GOM dead zone, from 2008:


...and, from the "Science Museum of Minnesota"

here is the official Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone website,

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I really wish I had saved or cached the link because I can no longer find an AP story discussing BP and hurricanes. In it some fool was saying that the good news about a hurricane would be that it would stir up the waters and dilute the oil and gas as well as mix oxygen into the water column.

I swear to God this was what it said. Never again will I read such amazing spin and not cache the link. Never.

Cursive's picture


I don't know why you waited until 3 weeks and 3 days ago to come into our lives.  :)

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


While I always lament losing an old time ZH regular, occasionally a real gem takes their place and immediately contributes in every sense of the word.

Thank you -Michelle-

Cursive's picture

I miss Green Sharts.  He was different and usually challenged the antinomian or wildly anti-establishment thoughts expressed here.  There are others, notably a few old Ritholtz hands that didn't stay around, but I miss Green Sharts the most.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Could have been. Amazing logic. I understand the basic premise is to dilute the oil, but when we get to the point where we're cheering on a hurricane to try to save the GoM, we've collectively jumped the shark into total insanity.

Cursive's picture

I work with a bunch of engineers, or should I say God's gift to mankind.  Anyway, the lead engineer was talking a month ago about how a hurricane would be the best thing because of the dispersal/dilutive effect.  Yesterday, he was agreeing that we could have condensate precipitation (more precise term for "oil rain").  Some people get so caught up in the mechanics of a problem, they fail to grasp the consequences of the solution.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"I work with a bunch of engineers, or should I say God's gift to mankind."

I have (had) a casual acquaintance who is an engineering gift from God. At least he thinks so. Anyway, one day as I suffered through an anal explanation of the poor stitching on his new mattress (I swear to God he had just bought a new mattress and was near tears about the poor quality of the top of the mattress stitching job) I finally turned to his wife and asked her what it was like to make love to an engineer?

She laughed so hard her soda came out of her nose. After she regained her ability to speak, all she would say while hubby was glaring at her (and I) was that I didn't want to know. Needless to say I've never been invited back, though the wife called me a few days later to tell that he's particularly meticulous with the "process". :>)

BTW I probably shouldn't talk about "anal" after publishing a 42,000 word, 108 page, 5 chapter essay. :>)

Cursive's picture

L-O-L.  You literally got me into trouble as I burst into laughter in my office.  Thank God for alt-tab and quick excuses.  :D

StychoKiller's picture

Hey, Engineers created the very internet and PC you're using to dis them -- show some respect.

e_goldstein's picture

doctors kill people one at a time. engineers by hundreds and thousands.

fajensen's picture

Damn Right - So don't you lot get uppity or we send some machine round to your house, kill you, your neighbours, whatever bystanders there may be (innocent or not) AND justify the mess by having your scorched remains labelled "Taliban" (much easier to attract funding if we label every dead person "Taliban" - it's like the spear of Odin that never, ever misses).

WaterWings's picture

Of everyone I've ever met in my life I would imagine you the most qualified (integrity + knowledge) to indicate that moment.

"Are we there yet?" LOL.

Thanks for everything, CD.