NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A scientist says the crude oil isn't the only dangerous thing gushing from a blown out Gulf of Mexico well.
John Kessler of Texas A&M says vast amounts of methane are spewing from the well and could pose a serious threat to the ecosystem. Scientists say the gas has the potential for suffocating marine life.
Kessler says the oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane - compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits.
Scientists say that means huge quantities of the methane have entered the Gulf.
Methane is a colorless, odorless and flammable substance that is a major component in the natural gas used to heat people's homes.
A BP spokesman says about 30 million cubic feet of natural gas is burned daily from the leak. But that doesn't account for gas that eludes containment efforts.