Cracks In The Seafloor

This nightmare just keeps getting worse:

There have been several reports of oil and gas leaking on the cracks in the Gulf of Mexico seafloorwhich may cause problems with BP capping the gushing oil well.

Although BP denies that there is oil or gas leaking from the cracks in the sea floor many people watching the BP Oil leak cam have witnessed explosions and leaks from the seafloor.

I discussed this issue in detail when I was recently interviewed by Fintan Dunne.

Well those reports from Senator Nelson and Matt Simmons among other experts are now confirmed and if you didn’t already now it could be really bad news.

As Keith Olbermann put it on his MSNBC show “Countdown” when reporting about the possibility of the sea floor leaking “What’s Worse Than Doomsay? … This is It”.

In any case, BP denying these reports is absolute proof that BP is not being truthful about what is really going on the sea floor.

7 Responses to Cracks In The Seafloor

  1. Captain Fantastic June 14, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Alex Higgins is wrong and his observations don’t constitute facts.
    The plumes are consistent with ROV thrusters blowing sediment around.
    Really. Seriously. Natural seeps are the norm in the 1,000 feet or so of Mississippi River sediment around the Macondo 252 site in Mississippi Canyon section of the Gulf. Higgins is, if not a nutter, embarrassingly wrong.
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6599#comment-649805

  2. Captain Fantastic June 14, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    And further, the pudding-like sediment at the accident site seafloor precludes any sort of “nuking” the well bore to close it and stop the flow.
    There’s a decent chance that the casing could rupture beneath the surface or that the relief wells might fail just like the two wells that the Deepwater Horizon drilled before it (the first well trapped a drill string and bit and had to be abandoned). It’s a killer geology. An olicano, mean much worse than what we’ve got now, is a 50-50 possibility.
    Natural seeps: http://geology.com/nasa/oil-seeps/
    Note the challenges box in the upper right corner of this: http://www.halliburton.com/public/solutions/…/GOM_DWMap.pdf

  3. jawbone June 14, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Dougr, commenter at The Oil Drum, has a loooong comment with lots of links. Seems knowledgeable, but Capt. Fantastic, what do you think?

    …the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.

    What does this mean?

    It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot…the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?…the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?…it doesn’t leak so bad, you close the nozzle?…it leaks real bad,
    same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off…or tried to anyway…but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks “down hole”. I’m sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed…because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.

    Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed…..and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.

    A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons.
    There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the “system” including that inaccessible leak. The same erosion I spoke about in the first post is still present and has never stopped, cannot be stopped, is impossible to stop and will always be present in and acting on anything that is left which has crude oil “Product” rushing through it. There are abrasives still present, swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it’s way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?…no one really knows….However now?…there are other problems that a down hole leak will and must produce that will compound this already bad situation.

    This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer’s immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?…we are beginning to the results of the well’s total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore.

    Lots more to read.

  4. Captain Fantastic June 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    I’ve been following the Oil Drum commentary and watching the ROV feeds and there’s lots of reality-based commentary from real experts over there. It is not a sure thing that this will end in a totally uncontrolled oilcano, though that IS a possibility. The geology is tricky there and that’s why I only give the relief wells a 50-50 chance, but they’re drilling two, so maybe the odds are better. I cannot, however, buy into this total disaster mindset. It’s a catastrophe, to be sure, but we’re just about at the worst case scenario already. The ROV guys and all those people working to stop the leak know they’re working over a killer well and most of them are taking this personally and doing their level best to stop this thing. Note that many of them are not BP employees, but contractors working for BP. Many of them are locals to the Gulf region, too. Any speculation as to BP’s motives at this point are strictly tin-foil-hat territory, as are assumptions of evil intent. Those guys are out there on ships that are not moving with highly flammable oil and natural gas bubbling up around them near a huge plume of fire from the natural gas flaring operation and trying to manage this catastrophe.
    That said, there is an more-than-even chance stopping this well might fail and that it could be a cultural game-changer. A reservoir of 100 million barrels of oil could take a while to stop spewing. Natural gas to oil ration is about 2,000 cubic feet of gas to each barrel (42 gallons) of crude. Granted that BP has an interested in controlling the information and they are, but wild end-times speculation is ridiculous on the other end of the spectrum. There’s been so much speculation over on the Oil Drum that any one of the possible scenarios have been covered in the many-worlds quantum theory sense.
    This is Obama’s test. I moun for the Gulf I have known and loved. The delta marshes will certainly die off and wash away. BP can burn for all I care…

  5. jawbone June 14, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Correntewire also posted about this comment, and now I can’t access The Oil Drum. Connection??

    Cue the Jaws’ shark music….

  6. jawbone June 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

    Forgot to thnk you for your evaluation and reply, Cap’n!

  7. Captain Fantastic June 14, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    You’re welcome. I’m no expert. 🙂
    This just in: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/06/14/us/politics/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill-Washington.html?_r=1&hp
    Not looking so good for the BeePee managers…

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