Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

When Life Gives You Mud...

I first learned of the Indonesian mud flow disaster back in October. Normally when oil wells blow out uncontrollably they spew forth water, natural gas, or oil. In a stroke of terrible luck drillers on the island of Java struck hot steaming stinky  mud which has been flowing uncontrollably to surface for several months. 

It appears that the drillers encountered a “mud chamber” that had the potential of turning into a  mud volcano. The volume of mud erupting to surface (50,000 cubic metres/day) is much greater than what can be pumped back down hole. This gusher is running on Mother Nature’s time clock now.

When life gives you lemons… Make lemonade

When life gives you mud…

Adriano Mazzini from the Physics of Geological Processes Research Center of the University of Oslo said the disaster could be the birth of a new mud volcano, providing a unique opportunity for geologists. "Nobody has ever studied a mud volcano from Day 1," he said, adding that it could stop at any time or continue to flow for centuries.

In the meantime, the researchers said, the government should explore the potential economic benefits of the mud flow. The government may be able to tap the mud flow as a source of geothermal energy to produce electricity or use it as a material for bricks. If the sludge is determined to be nontoxic, it could also be used as a therapeutic skin treatment.

…from Canadian Press

and when life gives you pie