Dome Fail

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Brad Johnson sums up the last efforts to stem the spill:

The giant box, known as a cofferdam, was lowered onto the leaking wellhead [Friday], with the intent of pumping the leaking oil up a pipe to the sea surface a mile above. ... After the [100-ton, four-story concrete-and-steel box] was lowered onto the leak site, a slurry of methane crystals formed on the inside of the dome’s surface, making it bouyant and clogging the outtake at the dome’s roof. The giant box has been moved 200 meters from the disaster site, and is sitting on the sea bed.

The methane hydrates natural gas that under the extreme pressure and low temperatures of the ocean floor is in a semi-frozen state have also been implicated in the oil rig explosion, according to rig worker testimony acquired by the Associated Press. The liberal blog FireDogLake was the first media source to discuss the role of hydrates, noting a presentation from November, 2009 by Halliburton, who was responsible for cementing the Deepwater Horizon well, that warned of blowouts caused by hydrate destabilization

TreeHugger looks ahead to the next strategy: island building.

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