Laugh or cry?

You decide.

America is suffering a very great ecological disaster. Though the oil spill in the Thunder Horse field is not yet as bad at that in Mexican waters thirty years ago, it may become truly disastrous during hurricane season. Since no one has drilled as deep or with the (now broken) equipment before, no one knows what to do. There are calls to deploy nuclear weapons.

The Soviet Union seems to have capped at least five gas or oil leaks underground with nuclear explosions. I have blogged about 'plowshare' and its equivalents before. BP obviously cannot go around using such devices. My own opinion is that, if one is not going to allow the International Agency established under the Convention on the Law of the Sea to own and direct oil extraction efforts, then states should follow Alaska and several other American states and just nationalise oil and gas deposits. At the federal level, this would then allow the armed forces or coastguard to develop the technology to control this sort of thing without relying on huge multinational companies.

The consequences of exploding a hydrogen device beneath the sea, when oil and potential methane deposits, and a fissured surface area are involved, would seem to me to be almost automatically different from the Soviet experience, but, well, there is entertainment value in the video; enjoy.

h/tip, The Oil Drum

UPDATE: A tasteless, highly inappropriate 'Megadisasters' video about what could happen if you 'nuke' an area containing a great deal of methane. Possibly. Have a gander at this; I am particularly struck by how the deaths in Cameroon are used as the excuse for puns and strained metaphors, and by how all disasters ever always hit the United States in CGI sunlight.


Anonymous said…
Seams resonable to me. I thought about this possibity right away. Why haven't the experts figured this out? I am just an everyday mechanic and this idea crossed my mind the first day of the incident.
This idea should have been under consideration long before the casualty. But, alas, we have politically correct morons runing the show. End of conversation...
Martin Meenagh said…
Thanks for your comment, anonymous. I recall reading that the idea was being discussed, though this may not have been publicised where you are. My difficulty with it is not a political one, but rather that this is probably one of the very few instances where the precautionary principle should be applied. We know very little about sea floor geology; little about what tectonic relationships apply; nothing about exploding bombs over seventeen thousand feet down; the technology to deploy one even deeper hasn't been developed; and there is a lot of methane down there. I wonder if a bomb would work...

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