By Dr. Tom Termotto
These are the realities on the ground (undersea floor), in the water (Gulf of Mexico & Seven Seas), and in the air (atmosphere) in the wake of the Oil & Gas Industry operations around the globe, as it has operated for well over 100 years. For illustration purposes let’s just focus on the Northern Gulf Coast of Mexico, since that is where Mother Earth has directed our collective attention. We can do this quickly by consulting the following map of the oil and gas platforms that were in operation throughout the Gulf of Mexico in 2006.
Please be aware that oil and gas exploration, drilling and extraction have been conducted for many decades in the Gulf. Therefore we know that there are countless interstitial spaces which have been emptied of their hydrocarbons in the form of both oil and methane. We also know that, when deeper repositories have been emptied very quickly, there is a shock of sorts to the system, or geological formations that exist around and contiguous to these prospects. One can easily imagine how the entire balance of this undersea ecosystem and sub-seafloor geology can be irrevocably affected by the relentless intrusions and profoundly invasive techniques utilized by this industry.
Let’s now contextualize this state of affairs by fast-forwarding to 2012. As Mother Earth rocks and rolls in preparation for her rejuvenation, we are all witnessing huge and unprecedented changes to her beautiful form. For instance we know there has been a dramatic uptick in the number of earthquakes and volcanoes, both on land and undersea around the world. We know that global climate change has been occurring for decades and has manifested in some places as global warming, others as global cooling, and still others as global deluges and global droughts, etc. Regardless of where you domicile, we can all agree that things are a changin’. And very fast, due to the various accelerations and compression of time which occur during the final phase of the galactic creation cycle according to Mayan calendrics and cosmogony.
What else is happening? The Schumann resonance is on the way from 7.8 to 14.3 according to some of the experts. The magnetics of the Earth, Herself, are decreasing rapidly and perhaps on the way to zero as a prelude to a magnetic pole shift, or even to a mono-polar planet. Whole species are vacating the planet as we write. But most important is what is about to happen within and around the center of our solar system – our glorious sun some know as SOL or Lord Surya. We will also discuss His current alignment with the Great Central Sun or Galactic Center of the Milky Way in a future essay because of its epochal consequences to all things on planet Earth.
We are coming out of a solar phase known as the solar minimum, and shortly on the way to a solar maximum phase. Many have predicted that the most active and dramatic solar maximum phase of the era will occur during the years around 2012. This will manifest as a significant increase in the number of solar flares, coronal mass ejections, sunspots, as well as considerable intensification of solar wind activity. The magnetics of the sun will also be profoundly affected. All of these colossal changes, will have HUGE impacts on planet Earth, and especially the space bound technologies that exist in the form of a substantial number of satellites.
What’s all this got to do with the state of the oil and gas industry? Much of what we just described will have a large effect on the greenhouse gas composition of the earth’s atmosphere, as does all human, animal, plant, mineral and weather activity. All of these preordained changes will especially determine how the “mix” of GHG’s is processed by GAIA. She’s already shakin’ and bakin’ majorly, and therefore Her skin (crust) will experience an ongoing transformation of truly epic proportions.
To the point, when you mix innumerable geological fractures under the seafloor due to oil and gas drilling – where the fluids and dynamics have been radically altered with no compensatory follow-up measures – with undersea earthquakes and volcanoes, which all the scientific data says is ramping up, what do you come up with?! Potentially massive displacement of water, which can translate to tsunamis or tidal waves, whichever you prefer.
And we haven’t even gotten to the methane gas ignition possibilities or methane hydrate issues (see “pulling the methane clathrate” below). You see, there are huge and innumerable pockets of methane trapped within the earth’s crust, and especially on and below the seafloor of the oceans of the world. These methane repositories and reservoirs can be ignited in various and sundry ways. Sometimes it is an earthquake; sometimes the trigger is a volcano or a meteor or an oil drilling operation gone awry. Going back eons, some have postulated that it may very well have been an asteroid that triggered a chain reaction of methane ignitions, which so transformed the surface of the earth that the dinosaurs became extinct virtually “overnight”.
The critical issue in our current scenario is that greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have seen a dramatic rise with human activity (What else could be expected with almost 7 billion people driving and flying and rocketing everywhere?) Historically, and by this we mean deep archaeological records, indicate that when a certain critical mass of GHG emissions is reached in their many multifarious manifestations, things start to pop. Even the mainstream media has advanced that an ignited methane burp gave rise to the explosion, and subsequent fire, that sunk the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf.
Now lets add to this mix, the current BP practice of burning massive amounts of oil brought up to the surface of the Gulf by their oil plume aggregators (these are the same oil plumes, the existence of which BP denies). Do we know yet how to spell greenhouse gas emissions?! Yes, we had a very serious problem with the uncontrolled oil volcano, but it has multiplied its adverse effects on the entire environment with the wanton and cavalier burning of this spilled oil.
Let’s get back to the seafloor. Because the integrity of the seafloor has been, and is now being, profoundly undermined by the leaks and seeps, fissures and cracks which appeared in the wake of a multi-week out of control oil gusher, we have an additional concern. With a piercing of the well casing, extremely hot oil interacts with the seafloor in many unknown ways, which then contributes to upsetting the foundation into which this well was drilled. This ongoing leakage of hydrocarbon effluent will also serve to melt and vaporize the methane hydrates, which are normally frozen in place under extraordinarily high pressure and low temperature, that are found all over the seafloor especially in the Mississippi Canyon area off the northern Gulf Coast of Mexico.
Furthermore, geohazards specialists and geophysics experts have spoken directly to a phenomenon that is currently taking place within the general vicinity of the Macondo Prospect well. As with any well gone bad, and there are perhaps thousands of them throughout the world, the hydrocarbon effluent is usually under great pressure. Wherever the integrity of the well bore or well head has been compromised, and even in cases where the cementing has been properly performed, the hydrocarbon brew will always find weaknesses (e.g. faults) and points of egress through the geological strata all the way to exit points in the surface of the seafloor. As this hot petroleum brew moves through geological strata that possess pockets of methane hydrates/clathrates, they are vaporized. The resulting methane gas will eventually find itself entering the body of water above, and either dissolving in the sea water or traveling through the water columns and rising above the water surface into the atmosphere, thereby contributing massive emissions to the planetary GHG burden.
What is important to understand is that this massive ongoing release of methane gas, as well as the inevitable changes to the sub-seafloor geological structure, is a contributing dynamic to unprecedented tectonic movements around the planet. Mother Earth does seem to be readying Herself for some major transformations which will affect coastlines throughout the world. As new islands emerge through volcanic activity and uprisings of land masses occur due to seismic activity within the oceans, we can only expect that our continued practices from the past will serve to exacerbate this period of extraordinary geological upheaval.
What most do not know is that the general circumstances surrounding the Macondo Prospect oil volcano are not too unlike many other wells gone bad throughout the Gulf, as well as at undersea drilling sites all over the world. Even though the well is now apparently sealed, there are still serious problems that have been carefully hidden from view by BP. In fact, by drilling so deep through the earth’s crust, a process has been initiated that cannot be stopped by technological means. As this process advances, there does exist the potential for a seafloor collapse, which will immediately cause one of three outcomes. (i) The previously existing oil volcano could become a super-volcano. (ii) The resulting debris field could be Mother Earth’s way of sealing off the well permanently. (iii) The last possibility represents an infinite number of permutations which will confront us with a still spilling oil well – big or large depends on many factors.
If there is a quite unfortunate confluence of circumstances, we could see a much larger domino effect of other empty caverns, which have not filled in with abiotic hydrocarbons, collapsing and giving rising to a much larger displacement of water, as well as methane ignitions which would perpetuate this domino effect until it naturally expended itself. Along with this “worst case scenario”, go all the other consequences, which have been existent throughout the entire history of corporate oil and gas operations/activity, except that the Oil & Gas Industry has been very, very lucky. We think the luck has now run out.
In the final analysis, reasonable and enlightened people will simply come to the understanding that this whole practice of sucking Mother Earth’s lifeblood is not only unsustainable and destructive to the planet, but also insane, as in crazy. HELLO! WE OUGHT NOT TO BE DOING THIS ANYMORE. Not in our beloved Gulf. Not in Alaska. Not anywhere on this beautiful orb known as GAIA – our Dear Mother Earth.
And we haven’t even mentioned the practice of hydrofracking!
Dr. Tom Termotto
Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (International Citizens’ Initiative)