Friday, June 11, 2010

From Deepwater I To Deepwater II

The K-T extinction event ("Deepwater I") caused as much controversy as the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe ("Deepwater II") currently ongoing.

The Deepwater II controversy (what caused the oil rig to explode and sink) concerns high pressure in the oil / gas reservoir deep under the sea floor, and the equipment being used to handle those pressures.

These two events are separated by about 65 million years of time, but the Deepwater II disaster is close to the location of the Deepwater I disaster that happened 65 million years ago.

Very recently most of the controversy concerning Deepwater I ended when scientists got together and determined:
A panel of 41 international experts, including UK researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, University College London and the Open University, reviewed 20 years' worth of research to determine the cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) extinction, which happened around 65 million years ago. The extinction wiped out more than half of all species on the planet, including the dinosaurs, bird-like pterosaurs and large marine reptiles, clearing the way for mammals to become the dominant species on Earth.

The new review of the evidence shows that the extinction was caused by a massive asteroid slamming into Earth at Chicxulub (pronounced chick-shoo-loob) in Mexico. The asteroid, which was around 15 kilometres wide, is believed to have hit Earth with a force one billion times more powerful than the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. It would have blasted material at high velocity into the atmosphere, triggering a chain of events that caused a global winter, wiping out much of life on Earth in a matter of days.
(Asteroid Killed Off the Dinosaurs, emphasis added). The K-T extinction was obviously a very big deal, but lets focus on what the asteroid did, besides creating a huge crater named Chicxulub:
The Chicxulub crater ... is an ancient impact crater buried underneath the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. Its center is located near the town of Chicxulub, after which the crater is named. The crater is more than 180 km (110 mi) in diameter, making the feature one of the largest confirmed impact structures on Earth; the impacting bolide that formed the crater was at least 10 km (6 mi) in diameter.

The crater was discovered by Glen Penfield, a geophysicist who had been working in the Yucatán while looking for oil during the late 1970s. Penfield was initially unable to obtain evidence that the unique geological feature was in fact a crater, and gave up his search. Through contact with Alan Hildebrand, Penfield was able to obtain samples that suggested it was an impact feature. Evidence for the impact origin of the crater includes shocked quartz, a gravity anomaly, and tektites in surrounding areas.
(Wikipedia - Chicxulub, emphasis added). Shocked quartz is another way of saying that this event crushed the rock layers under the Gulf of Mexico, sent rock from below the sea floor all around the world, and had an impact on the crust of the earth underneath the sea floor for hundreds of miles beyond the 110 mile wide crater itself.

Did it have an impact all the way to the sea floor under the oil drilling rigs BP is using today, which led to the death and destruction of Deepwater II?

Is there a relationship, any linkage, any nexus between Deepwater I and Deepwater II besides the closeness geographically?

The hypothesis Dredd Blog is proposing begins with the fact that the crushing shock waves from the hyper earthquakes and impact of Chicxulub disrupted the oil / gas reservoirs then existing at the time of Deepwater I, and all the crust under the sea floor, by sending shock waves strong enough to make "shocked quartz" and cracks everywhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

We pointed out in another post that oil technicians and analysts are telling us what the MSM and BP will not tell us, which is that the oil reservoirs under the gulf are not performing as predicted originally or as other fields elsewhere have.

First lets remember that BP Atlantis is a problem, BP Deepwater Horizon is a problem, BP Thunder Horse is a problem, and a couple of other rigs are also having problems including mysterious oil leaks.

Next lets ask "What is common to all of these rigs?", then lets contemplate the obvious answer that they are all within the shock zone of Deepwater I, which left a crater 110 miles wide under the Gulf Of Mexico, sent shocked quartz around the world, caused a 1,000 foot Tsunami that overflowed Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, and fractured the rock around and through the oil / gas reservoirs that these oil rigs are now drilling into.

The performance of some of these reservoirs is quite telling:
Thunder Horse field created huge excitement when it was discovered in 1999 in Mississippi Canyon blocks 788 and 822. Partners BP and Exxon announced that the field had a billion barrels of reserves. After nearly two years of production history on the field, it is becoming obvious to most outside observers that Thunder Horse field is not performing as it was expected to perform, if one is to believe the press accounts and specifications of the production facilities. If the field is underperforming, as the data available from the Minerals Management Service seems to indicate, this should be of concern and interest to those in the Peak Oil community, and to the world.
(The Oil Drum, emphasis added). Now, lets add a modern factor, that pressures on the crust are being torqued by the effects of global warming, first hypothesized on Dredd Blog in the post Is A New Age of Pressure Upon Us?.

The BP (big politicians) are running around describing the problem as one of BP (big pollution) falsifying forms and cutting corners, perhaps knowing there was danger afoot.

I am not yet convinced that elite oil barons would come on board Deepwater Horizon to drink champagne and celebrate the new well that would save them economically, because the other BP wells in the Gulf were underperforming and apt to loose BP (big profits); nor that while they were there drinking champagne and celebrating onboard they had any idea the rig was going to blow itself and their profits into smithereens.

Lastly, lets consider that the Ixtoc oil spill of 1979, in the same destabilized region, but closer to Chicxulub crater, was caused when unexpectedly soft strata layers were encountered wreaking havoc to the project and ending in a Deepwater II type of disaster.

We "have all been here before" as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young once sang; this is about the Earth's underground movement, which the BP (brain police) cannot put in prison:
And you know it does make me wonder
What's going on under the ground

Do you know?
Don't you wonder?
What's going on
Down under you
(Crosby Lyrics). Things really are changing, and things are not so free from mystery that snobby oil barons and their enabling politicians can take care of all that by filling out the forms properly before they put them in a bureaucrat's file to then turn brown over time.

UPDATE: Read a new post which shows that government scientist reports show that the instability of the seabed was known as early as a decade ago.


  1. The Mediterranean is a more stable body of water underneath, but even it is affected by the level of water above the sea floor:

    "McGuire conducted a study that was published in the journal Nature in 1997 that looked at the connection between the change in the rate of sea level rise and volcanic activity in the Mediterranean for the past 80,000 years and found that when sea level rose quickly, more volcanic eruptions occurred, increasing by a whopping 300 percent."

    Ecocosmology Blog

  2. When the fractured nature of the Gulf of Mexico is considered along with the changing pressures, if the Mediterranean can be affected, it would seem that the Gulf can be too.

  3. There are indicators that the rock was cracked, that gas was getting into the bore hole (outside the casing) and that they pumped various sealants ("mud") to try to seal the cracks.

    It took a lot of effort and they thought they had sealed them, but evidently new ones appeared.

    Another oil company experienced the same thing in the gulf, but abandoned the project as too dangerous.

    Cracks Show Bp Was Battling As Early As February

  4. Some researchers speculate about the cracks and gas bubbles under the seabed in the gulf, and that pressures there are dangerous.

    Article with research paper links here.