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Isn't there a possibility the explosion would fracture the impermeable layer keeping the oil trapped, so that all the oil leaks out in one go?

I understand the idea is that there would be a second impermeable layer between the oil reservoir and the bottom of the rea floor where the silt deposits begin, and that the nuke would be detonated around that intermediate impermeable layer. However, even if the nuke is small wouldn't there be shock waves propagating in the layers of rock downwards to the reservoir?

I know it has been claimed the Soviets did something like this at least once in the past, but still...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:21:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't there a possibility the explosion would fracture the impermeable layer keeping the oil trapped, so that all the oil leaks out in one go?

Who knows? I don't pretend to be a geologist. But I do know that there is a good reason not to detonate nuclear warheads just for shits and giggles. If all this oil leaks out in one go, 2 billion barrels or whatever, I'll join everyone else and hit the panic-button. 2 billion barrels is A LOT of oil.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:27:49 AM EST
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if the entire pool gave way I'd laugh my ass off.  So shoot me!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:30:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've always found that black humour is a good way to deal with disasters, so I'll save my ammo for the local wildlife. ;)

Still. 2 billion barrels. That's 2000 million barrels, or almost 200 times as big an oil spill as the Gulf war spill in 1990.

Yeah, if that happens it's panic-button time.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:35:19 AM EST
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Oh, black humor ... nonsense.  Go ahead.  I'm in northern CA.  All the oil gives way.  Tell me why I should give a shit.  All this ... "The poor Gulf Coast people ..." crap.  Fuck em if they can't take a joke.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:46:43 AM EST
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if that happens it's panic-button time.

What are the consequences?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 01:20:26 PM EST
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Well for one, some of those lovely vacation dollars which would normally flow to the gulf will find their way to CA. over the next decade.  Wonderful!!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 05:59:11 PM EST
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What? Who wouldn't want to surf a chocolate wave? They have nothing to worry about.



you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Jun 17th, 2010 at 06:48:33 PM EST
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