An "unidentified substance inconsistent with oil" is emitting from several areas of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig wreckage, but no sources of leaking oil were identified. That's according to the Coast Guard, which oversaw BP's recent week-long mission to inspect the undersea wells and wreckage from the 2010 explosion.
The exact content of the leaking substance and how much is coming out is one mystery. But if it's not oil, then it means the source of recurring oil sheens that have recently been spotted around the Deepwater Horizon site remains unknown.
"No apparent source of the surface sheen has been discovered by this effort," said the Coast Guard's Capt. Duke Walker in a press release this afternoon. The Coast Guard did not say whether there are other parts of the Deepwater Horizon wreckage yet to be examined for leaks.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Underwater inspections at the site of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig disaster have failed to identify the source of a persistent sheen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, officials said Tuesday.
The Coast Guard and BP both said the recent inspections confirmed that the company's Macondo well, which blew out in April 2010 and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill, remains secure and isn't leaking oil. Relief wells that were drilled in 2010 to stop the gusher also were found to be secure during the four-day survey, BP said.
However, investigators collected samples of a white, cloudy substance that appeared to be coming from several areas on the overturned rig on the sea floor. Lab tests were planned on the samples of the substance, which isn't believed to be oil.
"No apparent source of the surface sheen has been discovered by this effort," Coast Guard Capt. Duke Walker said in a statement. "Next steps are being considered as we await the lab results of the surface and subsurface samples and more detailed analysis of the video shot during the mission."
There was another mysterious "blowout" from an old abandoned well which release unknown product into the water. So apparently the release of "unidentified substances" in the vicinity of abandoned wellheads or blowout sites, is specific to the Macondo site.
Wellhead Release http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hONkw3PcjZU
At 0640 on 5NOV12, USCG Sector New Orleans contacted NOAA SSC about a report of a wellhead releasing unknown product into the water. The location was described as "Northern East Bay" without precise coordinates. The release began early in the morning, exact time unknown and the rate of discharge is unknown. The release is unsecured and overflight is scheduled. There is limited information at this time and further investigation is required. USCG requested a trajectory to aid with field activities.
Further the pattern of emission suggests a massive discharge over a short period; ie not a continuous gradual seep or regionally widespread phenomenon. If this is a by-product due to bio-degradation of the dispersant used then it has to occur and accumulated over a period of time and then discharge suddenly.
Again anything discharged at seafloor level and light (less dense than sea water) enough to rise, would disperse radially or in some radial-distorted manner caused by current through the 5000ft rise. Thus you would not see well defined elongated pattern as shown in the picture above. There has to be a mechanism to rapidly rise through 5000ft of dense seawater and only start dispersing at sea surface.
What ever it is (be it a bio-degraded product of the dispersant, grouting, naturally occurring substance like clay, talc, gypsum or any of the carbonate soluble derivatives) there must be a physical gaseous eruption (discharge) to accompany these whitish substance. This again proves that gas (be it methane vaporised from the unstable hydrates - heated up from months of escaping hot crude or gas leaking out of the Macondo Reservoir itself) had to be leaking in enormous amount, trapped at shallow layers until discharge by its own overbearing pressure or/and aided by a seismic event to momentarily fracture the overlying sediment.
While it may appear mysterious and baffling to USCG (and BP's experts ???? no excuse being experienced exploration giant) this massive gas discharge associated phenomena is observed in many natural and man-induced sub-seabed conditions. Many will recall our previous postings warning of such massive gaseous discharges in the Gulf as well as on Land. The gas bubbles at Bayou Corne are examples of a more gradual gaseous discharge along the fault lines. Sinkhole collapses such as the Napoleonville Salt cavern were hastened 1000s of time faster than their natural erosion rate. The recent spate of mysterious gas fires and explosions all the NAIB (not only the New Madrid zone as they would have you believe) were all related to these massive gas discharges phenomena.
In short, the key factors are ......
A>>underlying gas sources (methane vaporised from hydrates or escaped from reservoirs),
B>>permeable faults to facilitate leakage to shallow levels,
C>>accumulation in the shallow sediments or structural traps,
D>>interaction with the resident source sediment or materials within the traps, or further underground erosion with naturally occurring water (brine or fresh aquifer water, surface rivers)
E>>eruption / emission through temporary fissures caused by surface seismic waves (seismic terminology not the common sea surface waves) whenever a shallow quake occurs no matter how small the magnitude, man-made explosion, large building demolition, fracking, Dams, Caverns mining, large scale excavation and tunnelling etc.
So instead of tens of unfounded “Aladdin & his magical lamp” theories, there must be one obvious common geologically sound TRIGGER to all these. As all these activities (coinciding with the abnormal rise in marine wildlife fatalities) so coincidentally increased (abnormally) after BP's indiscriminate drilling and criminal explosions (outside the normal industrial practices) in Feb-April 2010 and on 1Aug 2010, it is abundantly clear that BPGOD has to be the culprit of such long term devastating environmental and biological damage.