back to article California methane well leak filled a Rose Bowl a day

We're delighted to report that has adopted the "Rose Bowl" standard for quantifying improbably large amounts of gas. In this report on the Aliso Canyon gas well blow-out which spewed vast quantities of methane into the Californian atmosphere, before finally being capped on 11 February, the website explains that at the …

  1. Bob Wheeler

    How many...

    Rose Bowl's of hot air is emitted in the House of Commons on a daily basis?

    Can el Reg put an FOI in for this?

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: How many...

      Use a British unit. How many Wembley stadia would that be? (New Wembley, of course.)

      I would estimate at least three.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New Wembley, of course.

        Pah! I'll stick to good old Imperial Wembley's, thank you very much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: New Wembley, of course.

          An Imperial Wembley sounds like a bowel problem.

          1. PNGuinn

            Re: New Wembley, of course.

            Would that be a Rose Bowel?

            El reg - how about a f**t lighting icon?

          2. Valerion

            Re: New Wembley, of course.

            An Imperial Wembley sounds like a bowel problem.

            No, an Imperial Wembley sounds like a 1960s sports car.

            "Ah yes, I had an Imperial Wembley once, replaced it with a Jenson Interceptor".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: New Wembley, of course.

              "replaced it with a Jenson Interceptor"

              As long as it wasn't a *Johnson* Interceptor. Stings like the Dickens to get one's Johnson intercepted...

            2. Neanderthal Man

              Re: New Wembley, of course.

              "an Imperial Wembley sounds like a 1960s sports car."

              No, you thinking of Wembley Imperial.

              Me put foil back on head now.

      2. Rol Silver badge

        Re: How many...

        Rose Bowl stadiums of crude oil gushed into the Gulf?

        Divide the umpty $bn court settlement by that figure and multiply by the ratio of harm methane will do to the atmosphere and that's another bit of American pollution the world has yet again failed to sue them for.

  2. Thought About IT

    Head in sand

    Good job there's no such thing as a greenhouse gas in El Reg land, because you wouldn't want stadiums full of one that's up to 100 times more greenhousey than CO2, released into the atmosphere.

    1. GrumpyOldBloke

      Re: Head in sand

      Don't worry, there is still a need for even more stadiums. Estimates of gas leakage from the Texas Barnett Shale region are about 60,000 kg/h over 25,000 wells. A little more than the California leak at its peak. Then there is the Eagle Ford Shale which probably leaks about the same per well. At about two and a half years to build each stadium I predict a bright future for this industry.

  3. Cynical Observer


    Shouldn't there be some indication of pressure as well? One Rose Bowl in space is not a lot of gas while one Rose Bowl at the pressure of a standard ??? What is the El-Reg standard for Pressure?

    A Derived value for 1 atmosphere is 1430.87 Norris per nanoWales*

    Or have I just inflated the importance of the pressure in this situation

    * If my maths is correct! Oh look! It's Weekend o'clock.

    1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

      Re: Pressure

      And temperature! Don't forget temperature! Charles' law and all that.

      Maybe we need an el reg "standard temperature and pressure" ? Suggestions? Improvements on; "as warm and squashed as a good boozer on a Friday afternoon".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pressure

        If pressure is involved, wouldn't a curry figure into the equation as well? As in "as much pressure as a Welsh sheep-botherer's stomach after three curries"

    2. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

      Re: Pressure


      One of my favorite equations.

      1. PNGuinn

        Re: Pressure


        "One of my favorite equations."???

        you's lucky.

        Wh'n I 're a lad i' any o' us dare't show 't favo'itism 'to any o' 't neighbours' equ'tions 'ee 'd ...

    3. PNGuinn

      Re: Pressure

      Just tell me the pressure exerted by a (Welsh) sheep in a vacuum, already.

      And go easy on the maths, 'cause it's Poet's Day.

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Doesn't sound a lot

    My Mum had a Rose Bowl - it was about 12 inches across and six inches deep.

    Could we please have some INTERnational standards?

    1. Bob Wheeler

      Re: Doesn't sound a lot

      You need more upvotes for getting your Mum's Rose Bowl a mention on El Reg.

    2. Cynical Observer

      Re: Doesn't sound a lot

      And have another on me - for finishing Friday with a giggle. ----------------->

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Potential problem...

    A potential problem with using stadia as a measure of quantity of methane is that, when in use as stadia, they will be producers of methane.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Potential problem...

      Easily solved. Just place the balloon in the stadium and everyone smothers, Rover-style. No more methane production!

    2. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: Potential problem...

      Beat me to it... I was thinking the same thing.

      Have an upvote...

  6. J.Smith

    Re: Carp Soup

    I'm surprised Olympic sized swimming pools and football pitches aren't recognised standards. Every science programme uses those measurements.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Carp Soup Pools and Pitches

      An olympic sized swimming pool can be the size of 6 olympic sized pools (larger too if you feel like it) and a football pitch can be 1.6667 football pitches in size.

      These are the sort of standards loved by economists.

  7. Sureo

    They charge me carbon tax and make me feel guilty for the basketball-court amount of GHG I am responsible for in my life. (Appropriate icon->)

  8. JeffyPoooh Silver badge

    According to a review of the numbers, read on a tech forum...

    No question it was A Very Bad Thing, and - yes - we should strive to reduce methane emissions as a top priority since they've got such a large multiplier over CO2. Such things must be discouraged. Etc. Etc.

    But reportedly its impact is clearly insignificant on the global scale. Mostly because it was a relatively short term source (as opposed to endless). It doesn't begin to compete with other methane sources in the long run. Reportedly...

    If you dislike paragraph 2, then please reread paragraph 1.

  9. Adam 1 Silver badge

    Wow. That's nearly as bad as an extra 3 Passats.

  10. martinusher Silver badge

    Not a gas well...

    Time to be a pedant. Its not a 'gas well', its a 'gas storage facility'. Big difference. We use these facilities to store fuel during slack periods so that its available for peak periods.

    Think of it as a set of giant subterranean gasholders.

    All the fuss happened because the gas was standard odorized gas like you get coming through your meter so people noticed it. Individual bores have failed before, they do so every decade or two, but this one was noticeable because someone had parked an upscale housing development on its doorstep. These homes were sold on the bucolic lifestyle overlooking the San Fernando Valley with absolutely no mention of the facility (or a rather large landfill) being 'just over the ridge'.

    Big cities need big infrastructure.

  11. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Rose bowl is not a reasonable unit

    As mentioned above, the obviously imperial measurement, the 'Rose Bowl' (stupidly-shaped-football stadium) is marginally bigger than your average gran's 'rose bowl' (yes gran, they're lovely...) This could cause great confusion, especially when considering climatic wobbliness and the granhouse effect (usually very warm unless the gas price vs pension ratio is too high ...)

    El Reg must stick to its already well defined standards - The Wembley Stadium, Mellenium Dome or Blue Whale and, on the smaller side of the equation, the bathtub, fruit bowl, kettle or mug (teacups are so pre-decimal!)

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Rose bowl is not a reasonable unit

      Quite, Quite. I'd like to illustrate the point more poignantly for you, but as a 'Merkin I'm simply insufficiently familiar with your third rate footballer stadiums to make the appropriate comparison.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just one of many ongoing methane leaks

    doing thousands of times more environmental damage than all of the clean VW Diesel engines in the world. Neither the EPA nor CARB have not threatened any of the gas companies with billion dollar fines as they have VW. Why is this? Reports indicate there are at least dozens of serious methane leaks throughout the U.S.

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