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corporate dominance | environment

Oil is not well in the Gulf

hot oil plus frozen clathrates equals trouble
BP is defying Admiral Thad Allen to keep the pipe closed at their oil catastrophe site. They are proudly announcing that the oil disaster is over, and that the 'seeps' nearby are not expressing oil. Their own live feed looks ominous this morning, however, with dark clouds moving occasionally from left to right across the camera image; the image as a whole is much murkier than in the past. See for yourself:


My concern is about the methane. Methane was the whole problem from the start, and as I mentioned in my last broadcast, there is a good chance that the well has been drilled past or into a great reservoir of methane clathrates. These clathrates gasify upon a subtle rise in temperature, yet it would appear that now, 500-degrees-Fahrenheit oil is being blasted into the ground by the ruptured sections of the pipe. It may be that BP is hoping that the rupture will leak into a self-defining secondary reservoir and then hold tight--that would be the best-case scenario.

What happens if they're wrong? If they're squirting oil into a chasm that is already leaking (as seems to be the case from nearby seabed cameras), the oil--at the least --could begin to rise to the surface again. But if the oil is finding its way into a large reservoir of clathrates, well--

The first we would know of that scenario would be the sudden loss of contact with all ships, aircraft, and subs in the area. Then, depending on the size of the methane release, the catastrophe-cloud would spread onshore and at sea, robbing all life of oxygen and exploding at irregular intervals. This is the sort of dimension one gets when meddling with planet-sized forces.

Houston, you have a problem.

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