Update - 5/26/10
BP's video footage of the 23rd of May in articles below clearly show blowouts from the sea floor around the deepwater horizon well head. Some at first thought the well head and blowout preventer had blown off but it appears from the footage that there were blowouts of much oil and gas from the sea floor, some between the camera and lights which were struck by this and the well head, which was in view. Much sediment was thrown from the floor into the clear water to obstruct the view of the well head so they thought it had blown off. The only way for these blowouts to come from the sea floor would be for the massive amounts of sand and gravel in the crude blowing through the well casing to blast holes in it beneath the sea floor, only to surface through the path of least resistance. I heard several weeks ago the engineers were afraid the high volume flowing through the pipe would erode it into pieces. This is consistent with my experience from Exxon about erosion of crude and slurry blasting holes in pipes and it appears this has just happened. It seems clear there is much more leakage.
It isn't certain that they can plug the leak with their top kill method. The mud, cement and solids they are going to pump into the well casing may just blow out of the holes. This would be a major catastrophe, not just for the gulf coast but the whole world. Here is an interesting description of the problem and the top kill process.
If their methods fail and the Gulf continues to fill with benzene, hydrogen sulfide and methane, the hurricanes that are coming could saturate the Gulf coast with these poisons, making them uninhabitable. If this happens or threatens to happen, there will be an exodus from the coast, just as the Lord appeared to be showing us. "Black Tuesday", when the leaks started, really was an economic catastrophe, too.
I have seen no confirmation in the national news of this sub-sea floor blowout but the powers that be are being very careful now with press releases and I would not doubt that the administration and BP are hoping their methods will stop the leaks without the bad news harming the economy.
In the Awful News from the Gulf and Major Change Down Below articles below you will see people have been watching this unfold from the beginning and question whether a loop was put in to show previous video footage. Some of the comments question why the time codes on the footage was removed, which makes room for suspicion.
There is a much greater volume of crude leaking out and their capacity to sink it with dispersants will weaken and more will show on the surface quickly. From the dreams we have had, it appears there is coming an evacuation of the Gulf coast.
Update - 5/31/10
Well, they pumped mud until they ran out (three shiploads on scene) and it didn't seem to slow down the leak. However, the mud was somewhat displacing the oil and more mud was leaking out instead. It appears they are saying it is not working.
We have heard from the Amedees who live on the Louisiana coast. They, their neighbors and people working on the cleanup and on the water are getting sick breathing the oily air coming in off the Gulf. They reported seven captains of the boats going to the hospitals. Their neighbors are being told this is allergies. For health effects of benzene and hydrogen sulfide, byproducts of crude and the natural gas in it, see below.
Strange things are happening to the sea creatures along the Gulf coast. The Brunis came to visit and reported probably a thousand stingrays closely packed together and close to the beach were headed east, away from the oil plume coming our way. None of us have ever seen such a thing. Gerard Drake went down to some dock where he eats lunch sometimes and saw many dolphins constantly jumping out of the water there. He has been eating there for years and has never seen a dolphin do this there. Are they trying to escape the water or tell us something?
The Gulf coast is being set up for a disaster with oil all down the coast and what has been said may possibly be the worst hurricane season in a long time. Scientists have found that a hurricane churns the water 300-400 feet down, causing the aromatics to be caught up in the storm and dumped on the land.
Corexit 9500 is the solvent being used to disperse the crude and sink it out of sight. However, it is apparently not being used to save aquatic life since it is four times more toxic than oil. Oil becomes toxic at 11 ppm but Corexit 9500 at only 2.61 ppm. In a report entitled Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview, this dispersal agent is discovered to be one of the most toxic. Hurricanes and rains dropping this on the coasts and up the Northeast would be another catastrophe.
What is shown on TV is the small amount of oil on top of the water and is the least of the problems. There are now three large underwater plumes of oil and dispersant. One is going southeast with the loop current around the tip of Florida and up the east coast. One is going east of Louisiana to the Alabama and Florida coasts. And one is going west to the Louisiana and Texas coasts.
Rain passing over the Gulf oil and up north and east will poison waters, crops, trees, grass, wildlife, people, etc.
Read the Future of the Gulf Disaster? revelation; includes the following sections: "Beginning of the Fall of America?"; "Will Crude Soon Fill the Gulf?"; "Forced Evacuation of the Gulf?"
A series of explosions appears to have collapsed the seafloor and blown up the BOP at the well head. Oil and gas are billowing out of a depression in the seafloor where the BOP used to be at an exponentially greater rate than anything seen before.
My theory: The well consisted of the casing with the drill pipe inside it. The sand and rocks that turned the gusher into a giant sandblaster that blew out holes in the riser pipe at the kinks was coming from the walls of the well that the cement between the casing and the wall was supposed to protect. Therefore, the hole has been getting bigger and bigger and now it's like a volcano vent with the piping inside it probably a twisted mess. The relief wells can't possibly stop this because anything they add will just be blown out of the volcano.
Now what? h/t to noblejoanie for mentioning this in a comment to Scarecrows article titled Can We Stop This and Future Oil Disasters? She also provided this link (GC - DETAILS BELOW). I'm seeking verification.
Major Change Down Below...
I've put everything back into proper chronological order and have begun adding images and video for documentary purposes.
I've been watching the live Spillcam, and discussing it with folks all day long. About 5pm last night, we all started taking note of gas bubbling out of the seabed floor. It started earlier than that, actually-- see pic a few posts down. About 1am this morning, the eruptions began to increase in spew volume.
The First Noted Venting Hole (TNVH)
At about 8am, CDT, as I watched, things started changing rapidly. Where the water around the two major gush points used to be very clear, it is now super turbid, and detritus is flying everywhere in a chaotic manner. seabed venting is obvious to see when ROV cameras pan around.
Yet-to-be-confirmed rumors are that the casing wall has finally worn through, about 300 feet below seabed, at an annulus (coupling), and the gas and oil are now finding a new way out to the seabed.
Not good news, as it will make the Top-Kill/Junk Shot nearly ineffectual... At the least, it means that more pressure and mud/cement is going to be required.
See for yourself, here: via BP Live Spillcam
Screengrab of the early Morning Chaos Event. Everything went up all at once. ROV was perfectly stationary. EVERYTHING went "BOOM" and black:
I am looking for video of this event. Most people started taping after the actual start. The entire range of field erupted at once. Everything. Everywhere, and then the pipe went GUSH!
Update: Here's a screen grab showing the new hole in the seabed. That's not the riser end from a new angle. This was grabbed while the ROV on the riser end was panning around. The BOP is over 600 feet away, so it is not that, either.
What the First Noted Venting Hole (TNVH) turned into 18 hours later. Same pair of broken pipes, Riser end is in same position, except everything has settled down a few feet, and the hole is bigger. that's an ejection rim. Those two broken pipes are more exposed. A lot of earth got moved down and away all at once.
UPDATE: The riser pipe used to be pretty clean all along it's top. Now, it is piled over with sediment.
Something had happened to the dispersant mechanism, too. Pipes and connectors got knocked loose, green liquid (antifreeze?) was pouring out of the machine, and we watched the ROV repair the leak.
Seabed seems to have sunk rapidly (perhaps scoured away rapidly?). Riser end is now in a big crater. Side pipes more exposed-- different angle?
UPDATE 1:20pm CDT: While watching, ANOTHER major "explosion" occurred. ROV Cam now covered in Oil. It was pushed around by the force of expulsion, or moved back a few feet by controllers. Our Favorite Disaster Bot is taking a beating. Gush seems to have at least doubled in size and volume.
Provided by BSC:
Photo series equating 12:23 minutes from "WTF?" to BOOOM! No need for ROV "reading" lectures, the pipe end billowed out, and then everywhere around billowed up, and then SPLAT!:
Best estimates: it's the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez spill every 4 to 7 days.
BP Well Bore and Casing Integrity May Be Blown, Says Florida's Sen. Nelson
Oil and gas are leaking from the seabed surrounding the BP Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC. Nelson, one of the most informed and diligent Congressmen on the BP gulf oil spill issue, has received reports of leaks in the well, located in the Mississippi Canyon sector. This is potentially huge and devastating news.
If Nelson is correct in that assertion, and he is smart enough to not make such assertions lightly, so I think they must be taken at face value, it means the well casing and well bore are compromised and the gig is up on containment pending a completely effective attempt to seal the well from the bottom via successful "relief wells". In fact, I have confirmed with Senator Nelson's office that they are fully aware of the breaking news and significance of what the Senator said to Andrea Mitchell.
Furthermore, contrary to the happy talk propounded by BP, the Obama Administration and the press, the likely success of the "relief well" effort on the first try in August is nowhere near a certainty; and certainly nowhere near the certainty it is being painted as.
Gulf Oil Spill Sea Floor Collapse and Seabed Leaks May Prevent BP From Capping Well: Major Blowout Seven Miles Away From Wellhead
Hydrogen Sulfide Health Effects - Wikipedia
Hydrogen sulfide is considered a broad-spectrum poison, meaning that it can poison several different systems in the body, although the nervous system is most affected. The toxicity of H2S is comparable with that of hydrogen cyanide. It forms a complex bond with iron in the mitochondrial cytochrome enzymes, thereby blocking oxygen from binding and stopping cellular respiration.
Since hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in the body, the environment and the gut, enzymes exist in the body capable of detoxifying it by oxidation to (harmless) sulfate. Hence, low levels of sulfide may be tolerated indefinitely.
At some threshold level, believed to average around 300-350 ppm, the oxidative enzymes become overwhelmed. Many personal safety gas detectors, such as those used by utility, sewage and petrochemical workers, are set to alarm at as low as 5 to 10 ppm and to go into high alarm at 15 ppm.
An interesting diagnostic clue of extreme poisoning by H2S is the discoloration of copper coins in the pockets of the victim. Treatment involves immediate inhalation of amyl nitrite, injections of sodium nitrite, inhalation of pure oxygen, administration of bronchodilators to overcome eventual bronchospasm, and in some cases hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO). HBO therapy has anecdotal support and remains controversial.
Exposure to lower concentrations can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, nausea, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs. These effects are believed to be due to the fact that hydrogen sulfide combines with alkali present in moist surface tissues to form sodium sulfide, a caustic. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks.
Long-term, low-level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness. Chronic exposure to low level H2S (around 2 ppm) has been implicated in increased miscarriage and reproductive health issues among Russian and Finnish wood pulp workers, but the reports have not (as of circa 1995) been replicated.
Hydrogen sulfide was used by the British as a chemical agent during World War One. It was not considered to be an ideal war gas, but, while other gases were in short supply, it was used on two occasions in 1916. The gas, produced by mixing certain household ingredients, was used in a suicide wave in 2008, primarily in Japan. As of 2010, this has occurred in a number of US cities, prompting warnings to first responders who can be exposed when responding to a suicide.
Benzene Health Effects - Wikipedia
The short term breathing of high levels of benzene can result in death, while low levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death.
The major effects of benzene are manifested via chronic (long-term) exposure through the blood. Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Benzene causes leukemia and is associated with other blood cancers and pre-cancers of the blood.
Human exposure to benzene is a global health problem. Benzene targets liver, kidney, lung, heart and the brain and can cause DNA strand breaks, chromosomal damage etc. Benzene causes cancer in both animals and humans. Benzene was first reported to induce cancer in humans in the 1920s. The chemical industry claims it wasn't until 1979 that the cancer-inducing properties were determined "conclusively" in humans, despite many references to this fact in the medical literature. Industry exploited this "discrepancy" and tried to discredit animal studies which showed benzene caused cancer, saying that they weren't relevant to humans. Benzene has been shown to cause cancer in both sexes of multiple species of laboratory animals exposed via various routes.
Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.
Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
Benzene has been connected to a rare form of kidney cancer in two separate studies, one involving tank truck drivers, and the other involving seamen on tanker vessels, both carrying benzene-laden chemicals.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) classifies benzene as a human carcinogen. Long-term exposure to excessive levels of benzene in the air causes leukemia, a potentially fatal cancer of the blood-forming organs, in susceptible individuals. In particular, Acute myeloid leukemia or acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (AML & ANLL) is not disputed to be caused by benzene.