Photo: A relief platform at the Deep Sea Horizon site on May 8. Will it work?
This "non-vetted" CNN iReport of a couple of weeks ago is still making the rounds. I don't know if it's true, but it's truly frightening. Links from the original.
More cheery Gulf news and video here.
A dire report circulating in the Kremlin today that was prepared for Prime Minister Putin by Anatoly Sagalevich of Russia's Shirshov Institute of Oceanology warns that the Gulf of Mexico sea floor has been fractured “beyond all repair” and our World should begin preparing for an ecological disaster “beyond comprehension” unless “extraordinary measures” are undertaken to stop the massive flow of oil into our Planet’s eleventh largest body of water.
Most important to note about Sagalevich’s warning is that he and his fellow scientists from theRussian Academy of Sciences are the only human beings to have actually been to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak site after their being called to the disaster scene by British oil giant BP shortly after the April 22nd sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform.
BP’s calling on Sagalevich after this catastrophe began is due to his being the holder of the World’s record for the deepest freshwater dive and his expertise with Russia’s two Deep Submergence Vehicles MIR 1 and MIR 2 [photo below] which are able to take their crews to the depth of 6,000 meters (19,685 ft).
According to Sagalevich’s report, the oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico is not just coming from the 22 inch well bore site being shown on American television, but from at least 18 other sites on the “fractured seafloor” with the largest being nearly 11 kilometers (7 miles) from where the Deepwater Horizon sank and is spewing into these precious waters an estimated 2 million gallons of oil a day.
Interesting to note in this report is Sagalevich stating that he and the other Russian scientists were required by the United States to sign documents forbidding them to report their findings to either the American public or media, and which they had to do in order to legally operate in US territorial waters.
However, Sagalevich says that he and the other scientists gave nearly hourly updates to both US government and BP officials about what they were seeing on the sea floor, including the US Senator from their State of Florida Bill Nelson who after one such briefing stated to the MSNBC news service“Andrea we’re looking into something new right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the seabed… which would indicate, if that’s true, that the well casing itself is actually pierced… underneath the seabed. So, you know, the problems could be just enormous with what we’re facing.”
Though not directly stated in Sagalevich’s report, Russian scientists findings on the true state of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster are beyond doubt [DW: ???] being leaked to his longtime friend, and former US President George W. Bush’s top energy advisor Matthew Simmons, who US media reports state has openly said: “Matthew Simmons is sticking by his story that there's another giant leak in the Gulf of Mexico blowing massive amounts of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. On CNBC's Fast Money, he says he'd be surprised if BP lasted this summer, saying this is disaster is entirely BP's fault.”
As a prominent oil-industry insider, and one of the World's leading experts on peak oil, Simmons further warns that the US has only two options, “let the well run dry (taking 30 years, and probably ruining the Atlantic ocean) or nuking the well.”
Obama’s government, on the other hand, has stated that a nuclear option for ending this catastrophe is not being discussed, but which brings him into conflict with both Russian and American experts advocating such an extreme measure before all is lost, and as we can read as reported by Britain’s Telegraph News Service:
“The former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) used nuclear weapons on five separate occasions between 1966 and 1981 to successfully cap blown-out gas and oil surface wells (there was also one attempt that failed), which have been documented in a U.S. Department of Energy report on the U.S.S.R.'s peaceful uses of nuclear explosions.
Russia is now urging the United States to consider doing the same. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily newspaper, asserts that although based on Soviet experience there's a one-in-five chance a nuke might not seal the well, it's "a gamble the Americans could certainly risk."
Reportedly, the U.S.S.R. developed special nuclear devices explicitly for closing blown-out gas wells, theorizing that the blast from a nuclear detonation would plug any hole within 25 to 50 meters, depending on the device's power. Much as I had idly imagined, massive explosions can be employed to collapse a runaway well on itself, thus plugging, or at least substantially stanching, the flow of oil.
“Seafloor nuclear detonation is starting to sound surprisingly feasible and appropriate," University of Texas at Austin mechanical engineer Michael E. Webber is quoted observing, while Columbia University visiting scholar on nuclear policy and former naval officer Christopher Brownfield wrote in the Daily Beast: "We should have demolished this well with explosives over a month ago. And yet we watch in excruciating suspense while BP fumbles through plan after plan to recover its oil and cover its asset.”
As to the reason for Obama’s government refusing to consider nuking this oil well, Sagalevich states in this report that the American’s “main concern” is not the environmental catastrophe this disaster is causing, but rather what the impact of using a nuclear weapon to stop this leak would have on the continued production of oil from the Gulf of Mexico, and which in an energy starved World’s remains the Planet’s only oil producing region able to increase its production. ...
Somehow, that doesn't sound like the anti-oil "Obama's government" reaction. Maybe it all goes back to the O ethos of not letting any good crisis go to waste -- and not stopping any crisis from attaining full potential before not wasting it, if you get my drift. ...