Thursday, June 24, 2010

Really bad gas... from the Gulf to the 'Glades

What is relationship of FPL NextEra to BP, Gulf dead zones and "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history"?

When FPL 'NextEra' was asked about their relationship to the Gulf disaster, they chose to speak only about their use of oil, conveniently ignoring the role of natural gas in offshore drilling...  
According to company spokesman Mark Bubriski commenting to the Palm Beach Post:
"NextEra is very concerned about the ecological impacts of the oil spill, Bubriski said. However, only about 1 percent of the oil used by the United States goes toward producing electricity. Florida Power & Light obtains oil from a variety of sources, with about 4 percent of its generation is powered by oil." http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/fpl-shareholders-approve-name-change-to-nextera-energy-701830.html 

From the get-go of the battle to stop the new 3800 MW FPL power plant in Loxahatchee, and all its natural gas infrastructure, one of our group's contentions was the over-reliance on this fossil fuel being used as an excuse for increased offshore drilling for gas. About 75% of FPL's energy generation in Florida comes from gas. According to EIA, near 1/4 of the domestic supply of this gas is currently used for electric power. 14% percent of that came from gas drilled offshore.   

“FPL’s creating a regional dependence on natural gas...” said Peter Shultz, a Hobe Sound resident and member of Everglades Earth First. Shultz said money should instead be invested in renewable energy instead of gas. http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2009/apr/27/critics-take-aim-fpl-natural-gas-pipeline-during-o/?feedback=1#comments 

Below is some information on the relationship of gas extraction to the BP disaster and dead zones in the Gulf, which FPL would like to distance itself from but cannot in any honesty.  

---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 10:05 PM 
Subject: really bad gas! "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history" 
"leak" vs "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history"  

(2 articles from news services) 


1) Date Published: Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 According to Reuters, the team took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile radius of the leaking well. Kessler characterized the leak as "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," Methane Levels From BP Oil Spill Raise Environmental Concerns Methane levels in the ocean near the site of the BP oil spill are "astonishingly high", according to some U.S. scientists. Last week, the scientists returned from 10-day research expedition in the Gulf of Mexico close to where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and eventually sunk more than 60 days ago.

The April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 men and spawned the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Since then, oil has been gushing into the Gulf at a rate of as much as 60,000 barrels a day, according to U.S. government estimates. Methane is a colorless, odorless gas that is a major component in natural gas. It is also highly flammable. A bubble of methane is believed to have ignited the Deepwater Horizon explosion. John Kessler of Texas A&M University in College Station, one of the scientists on the research expedition, said last week that methane in deep-ocean waters (below 1,000 feet) near the oil spill are 10,000 to 100,000 times higher than normal. At times, the team measured methane levels that were 1 million times above normal.  

According to Reuters, the team took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile radius of the leaking well. Kessler characterized the leak as "the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history," The team of 12 scientists from Texas A&M, Texas A&M Galveston and The University of California, Santa Barbara, discovered that the methane, which makes up 40 percent of the substances coming from the well, is staying in the deep waters and not escaping into the atmosphere.

Kessler said the amount of methane seen was enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone in the Gulf. High concentrations of methane can encourage the growth of microbes that consume oxygen needed by marine life. "At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is," Kessler said. Though oxygen depletion hasn't reached a critical level yet, Kessler said he feared what it might look like "two months down the road, six months down the road, two years down the road?" 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 at 9:57 am and is filed under Accident , Oil Spills 




2) BP weighs an option in case relief wells fail Piping oil and natural gas to platforms may be an option
By SHARON HONG and JEANNIE KEVER Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle June 22, 2010, 11:2010 

As researchers reported that the Macondo well blowout appears to have elevated levels of methane in the Gulf of Mexico, government responders said BP might pipe oil and natural gas from the well to production platforms if relief wells fail to stop the flow. Officials of BP, which owns the well, and other government and industry experts, have said they expect to stop the flow by drilling relief wells to intercept the Macondo near the reservoir 13,000 feet below the Gulf floor and then plugging it with cement.

One of the drilling rigs has reached 10,677 feet, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the response commander, and a backup relief well has reached 4,662 feet. Engineers have looked at a number of ways to proceed if the relief wells fail, Allen said, including piping oil and natural gas from the well to facilities nearby.  

Allen said the idea, still in early stages of evaluation, was discussed at an industry meeting hosted last week by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The group identified a couple of platforms in the area that could take some of the oil and gas through pipelines along the ocean floor. Then it could be brought to the surface for processing or pumped back into a reservoir. Since early June, BP has been capturing thousands of barrels of oil a day through systems on the seafloor. But some is being burned off because vessels on the surface can't contain it all.

Containment reached nearly 26,000 barrels on Monday, more than a million gallons and the highest since the spill began, Allen said. Much of it is coming through a containment cap installed after undersea robots cut a leaking riser pipe that once connected the wellhead on the seafloor to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig almost a mile above. Allen said Tuesday that teams are retrieving the sheared-off portion of the riser as evidence in the investigation into the disaster. When the Macondo well blew out April 20, it destroyed the Deepwater Horizon, killed 11 workers and began spilling millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Allen said the amount of oil being collected could double by the end of June with the arrival of another vessel that is expected to catch 20,000 to 25,000 more barrels a day. But sending the oil through undersea pipelines to existing production platforms would reduce or eliminate the need for collection operations on the surface right above the well, which might have to be suspended if a hurricane threatens. And it could provide a backup plan if BP is unable to plug the blown-out well, or if the process takes longer than expected. 

BP has said it won't complete the first relief well until at least sometime in August. In a new measure of the possible scope of the disaster, a Texas A&M University researcher just back from an eight-day trip through the Gulf waters surrounding the spill site said his team found far higher-than-normal levels of methane gas in the area, as much as 1 million times higher in a few places. As a result, oceanographer John Kessler said, oxygen levels in some deep-sea regions are abnormally low, although it's not yet clear what that means for sea life. The low oxygen levels could lead to another dead zone, Kessler said during a briefing Tuesday. Most dead zones - areas where oxygen levels are too low to sustain fish and other sea life - are caused by fertilizer runoff.

"The dead zone is a very complex problem that combines chemistry, biology and physics," Kessler said. Most are found in relatively shallow water. The team found the highest concentrations of methane, a component of the natural gas that has spewed from the well along with crude oil, at deeper levels, although he said he isn't yet sure why. "In very hot spots, we saw them approach 1 million times above background concentrations," he said. High methane levels can lower oxygen levels because the microbes that feed on methane deplete oxygen. Kessler received a $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to assess the spill area, sailing from Gulfport, Miss., on June 12 and spending eight days within the restricted area close to the site of the blast.

Data collected will offer another way to determine the size of the spill, he said, and may yield insights into previous oceanic eruptions of methane and natural gas. Researchers worked within a five-mile radius of the destroyed rig, at times coming within one-third of a mile, Kessler said.

sharon.hong@chron.com jeannie.kever@chron.com

23 comments:

冠慧 said...

支持好的blog~繼續加油~~

怡迪怡迪 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

asdas said...

欣賞是一種美德~回應是最大的支持^^....................................................................

于庭 said...

卡爾.桑得柏:「除非先有夢,否則一切皆不成。」共勉!............................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.................................................................

與發 said...

這BLOG真是讓人意猶未盡!!..................................................................

吳婷婷 said...

你個blog影d相真係好靚!!! ..................................................................

家愛家愛 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!............................................................

陳彥祥陳彥祥 said...

一個人的快樂,不是因為他擁有的多,而是他計較的少。..................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

世間事沒有一樣沒有困難,只要有信心去做,至少可以做出一些成績。..................................................

莊雅和莊雅和莊雅和 said...

你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................................

承蘋承蘋 said...

文章不求沽名釣譽,率性就是真的..................................................................

王美妹 said...

No pains, no gains.......................................................................

劉傑汝劉傑汝 said...

光這幾句話就價值連城了,讀著讀著小弟的眼眶就濕了...............................................................

陳尹v said...

.有價值的東西,都要付出代價。-................................................

家唐銘 said...

Many a little makes a mickle..................................................................

吳承侯政霖虹 said...

人生中最好的禮物就是屬於自己的一部份..................................................

凱v胡倫 said...

感謝您給我的啟示!..................................................................

凱許倫 said...

好的部落格就要和好朋友分享--感謝分享..................................................

幸平平平平杰 said...

每次看完你的文章,總是回味許久,要經常發表喔。..................................................

淑芳 said...

我是天山,等待一輪明月。......................................................................

廷家祥家祥雯 said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。......................................................................

怡靜怡靜怡靜怡雯 said...

Many a little makes a mickle..................................................................