The Gulf oil spill is set to surpass all expectations. The word “disaster” is no longer sufficient. I think the physics of this is beyond the capability of the engineers to solve in the near term. Here is a worst case scenerio that comes to mind: Suppose the underground oil area is simply collapsing on itself like a giant bladder as oil and methane escape upwards. If this is the case, the huge sea pressure will continue to cause the “bladder” to continue to collapse until it is empty, which could a very long time. If this is happening, it means that the sea floor will be collapsing at the point where the well top is. Is this the case?

[ Back ]