Wednesday, September 15, 2010
BP and the government decided that millions of gallons of dispersants should be dumped into the Gulf to sink and hide the oil.
And giant new underwater plumes have been found in the water column itself.
But the oil is not staying underwater.
Oil is suddenly emerging in many parts of the Gulf.
Oil "patties", 1 to 3 inches across, have been discovered floating along the seawall in Alabama.
As CNN reports, we might be facing a worst-case scenario in Florida:
LARRY MCKINNEY, HARTE RESEARCH INST. FOR GULF OF MEXICO STUDIES: … [T]hey do tend to support some of our greatest concerns about the fate of these underwater plumes that were discovered back in June, and that is that they could be picked up and this conveyor belt that is upwelling in Desoto Canyon and bringing this oil from the deep waters up to the shallow, and that seems to be what the Florida State folks are saying. …
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR:… [T]he USF study said, quote, “These findings, although preliminary, suggest that subsurface oil may be emerging on to the west Florida shelf through the Desoto Canyon.” So this is not just restricted to the extremely deep water. There’s enough welling as you mentioned before. How widespread could this become?
MCKINNEY: Well, it depends on how big those plumes are and how long they persist, but that conveyer belt moves water rather quickly. And so the fact that the Florida state folks are finding oil up on that shelf at the distance that they’re finding it is disturbing from that regard. That means that that oil plume could be moving up on the shelf and that’s sort of a worst case scenario. We would not like to see that at all.
While the government denies that they are connected with the oil spill, there have been massive fishkills in Louisiana. Oil can be seen at fishkill sites (and see this). There have also been kills of starfish and other sea animals.
And fishermen, shrimpers and crabbers are still catching contaminated seafood, although the authorities don't want to hear about it.
But at least the well has been capped, so that no new oil flows into the Gulf ... right?
Well, its hard to know. BP has shut off 16 out of 17 of its underwater cameras.
The only remaining camera shows a small - but continuous - stream of leaking materials:
But remember, one of the world's top oil industry accident experts says that the well may never be killed.
I hope and pray that the relief well is successful. But if there were insurmountable problems in capping the well, do you think we would hear about it before the November elections?