The NOAA has
reported a huge gash on the ocean floor. The widening rift may go miles into
the earth. It is bleeding oil and methane and is
10 miles away from the BP well. New fissures have been spotted 30 miles
distant. These multiple oil plumes, miles from the well, are pouring as much as
124,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf daily - that's more than 5 million gallons
of oil per day. Most disturbing: methane levels in the water are now calculated
as being almost one million times higher than normal.
The new cap is only designed to contain the oil from the broken well.
The ruptured well was intended to tap a gigantic oil reservoir. Fissures opened in the sea floor, evidently by the explosion, may mean the flow might not cease without draining the entire undersea basin involved. A firm retained by BP estimated that basin contains between 2.5 Billion and 10 Billion barrels of oil.
Should it prove accurate that the oil flow from fissures cannot be stopped - geologist Chris Landau has proposed immediately drilling at least 8 vertical wells to relieve the pressure - pumping the oil into tankers. He said: "Get the petroleum engineers, geologists, geochemists, geophysicists and eight drilling rigs to the war zone." If begun quickly enough, he believes such an emergency effort will succeed.
Caution: Any nuclear or conventional explosion may only make matters very much worse.