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That's not ice

May 11th, 2010 (10:02 am)

On Saturday, cvirtue posted something about BP's oil spill. Quoting in part:

Chief operating officer Doug Suttles said the 98-tonne concrete-and-steel box had to be moved, after ice-like crystals began accumulating inside it.

Now Ars Technica has pointed out that "ice-like crystal" is a weasel word; it's actually methane clathrates, which can contribute to global warming: if it's disturbed, it might release large amounts of methane into the atmosphere.

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: May 11th, 2010 03:11 pm (UTC)

Where are these methane clathrates now that the box has been moved?

I don't know.

Is this because there is methane (natural gas) in the oil formation that they were drilling?

Apparently—at least, the Ars article says there was methane there; that's what exploded.

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