Paper: TSUNAMI RUMORS — Drilling near methane deposits “can turn that solid methane into a liquid, leaving the ocean floor unstable” says scientist

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
By Paul Martin

FloridaOilSpillLaw.com
July 21st, 2010

Scientists from St. Petersburg find high methane readings near oil disaster site, St. Petersburg Times, July 21, 2010:

Deposits of methane gas… because they are so deep beneath the ocean, have frozen into icy crystals.

Disturbing those deposits — say, by drilling an oil well through them — can turn that solid methane into a liquid, leaving the ocean floor unstable, explained [Carol Lutken of the University of Mississippi]. …

Worse, the freed gas may explode… There have been rumors that a similar methane explosion could cause a tsunami, a concern that government officials say is unfounded. …

Generally the oil industry tries to avoid methane areas during drilling for safety reasons. But the U.S. Energy Department wants to find a way to harvest fuel from those methane deposits, Lutken said.

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