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Senasational Claims By Matt Simmons About The BP Leak

Posted By James Bianco On May 30, 2010 @ 8:30 am In Think Tank | Comments Disabled

Matt Simmons gained fame with his book 2005 Twilight in the Desert [1] where he claimed that the Saudis were overstating their oil output because they hit “peak oil.”

Right or wrong Simmons claimed the price of oil was going to skyrocket and three years after the book’s release the crude oil hit $147/Barrel.

In January 2009 the WSJ called Simmons one of the five most important voices in the oil industry.

Simmons has been wrong in the past and his views are non-conventional and often correct. Simmons is also highly connected within the oil industry so he knows who to talk to verify his claims.

I have no idea if Simmons is right or wrong but his latest claims, laid out in a Bloomberg TV [2] interview Friday (May 28) appear to be nothing short of sensational.

Matt Simmons says “Top Kill” is a sideshow, misses the big problem of a second leak 5 to 7 miles away releasing up to 120,000 barrels/day. Simmons goes on to say we might need nukes to seal the leak. [3]

Bloomberg:

Today Matt Simmons, one of the largest investment bankers in the energy industry appeared on Bloomberg. The chairman of Simmons & Co. INTL went on to explain that there is much more to the oil leak than the news has been reporting. Last Sunday, NOAA confirmed reports of a second fissure about 5-7 miles from the original. This new fissure appears to be releasing a plume the size of Delaware and Maryland combined! He went on to state that “the plume from the riser is minor thing… the best estimate is about 120,000 barrels of oil per day”.

Simmons is quoted as saying, “Obama could remove BP today… tell BP it is time to leave”. Some questions were also brought up that pertained to a nuclear device and how the military could lower one 18,000 feet into the well bore.

Simmons went on to say ” Such techniques have been used by the Russians on several different occasions”.

Matt Simmons “… From all of the best scientists who have thought about this in the past few days, probably the only thing we can do is create a weapons system and send it down 18,000 feet, detonate it and hopefully case in the oil.”

That we would even have discussions about setting of nuclear explosions in hope they would accomplish something is certainly not encouraging to say the least.

A day after scientists reported finding a huge “plume” of oil extending miles east of the leaking BP well, on Friday a Louisiana scientist said his crew had located another vast plume of oily globs, miles in the opposite direction.

James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University, said his crew on Wednesday found a plume of oil in a section of the gulf 75 miles northwest of the source of the leak.

Cowan said that his crew sent a remotely controlled submarine into the water, and found it full of oily globules, from the size of a thumbnail to the size of a golf ball. Unlike the plume found east of the leak — in which the oil was so dissolved that contaminated water appeared clear — Cowan said the oil at this site was so thick that it covered the lights on the submarine.

“It almost looks like big wet snowflakes, but they’re brown and black and oily,” Cowan said. The submarine returned to the surface entirely black, he said.

Cowan said that the submarine traveled about 400 feet down, close to the sea floor, and found oil all the way down. Trying to find the edges of the plume, he said the submarine traveled miles from side to side.

“We really never found either end of it,” he said.

This discovery seems to confirm the fears of some scientists that — because of the depth of the leak and the heavy use of chemical “dispersants” — this spill was behaving differently than others. Instead of floating on top of the water, it may be moving beneath it.

Simmons went on the say scientist are now convinced the last majority of oil is below, and often well below, the surface. June 1 starts hurricane season and they worry that a hurricane coming aground in the Louisiana / Mississippi area could “push” all the below surface oil on the beaches and even inland.


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/05/senasational-claims-by-matt-simmons-about-the-bp-leak/

URLs in this post:

[1] Twilight in the Desert: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0471790184/thebigpictu09-20

[2] Bloomberg TV: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/05/simmons-says-government-should-take-over-bp-oil-clean-up/

[3] need nukes to seal the leak.: http://www.favstocks.com/simmons-says-obama-should-detonate-nukes-to-seal-oil-leak-obama-suspends-deep-water-drilling-programs-scientists-locate-another-vast-oil-plume/2915700/2/

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