Latest flyover shows new area over pipeline breaking up into giant sinkhole (PHOTO & VIDEO)
State blames one company for gassy sinkhole, orders more seismic monitors
Louisiana Office of Conservation officials say they are holding Texas Brine accountable for a 4.2-acre sinkhole, methane trapped in an underground aquifer, oil seeping into the area and other events in northern Assumption Parish and ordered the company to increase seismic monitoring to cover a wider area, according to officials late Thursday night. Texas Brine contends that seismic activity damaged its storage cavern.
The 1-mile by 3-mile oil and gas industry Napoleonville Salt Dome has 53 storage caverns, 23 storage wells and 36 brine wells that it rents to seven different companies, Dow Chemical using more than any of the other companies, according to DNR.
“I immediately thought it was the washing machine starting a new cycle, vibrating hard, but quickly realized that machine’s broken and I haven’t used it in months.” She asked, "Do you know if there was extra seismic activity around 2:30?" At that time, the USGS seismic monitor #09, the closest monitor between the Heilig’s house and the sinkhole, registered a sharp increase in activity, Heilig felt the jolt, according to the USGS Bayou Corne sinkhole helicorder graphs. Monitor #03 also registered extra activity.
Flyover: Crude oil now covers much of giant sinkhole — Flowing into surrounding area (ENHANCED PHOTO)
The burning question remains, one that more people are asking this week is, “Whose fingerprint is on that crude oil at the sinkhole only just over 100 miles northwest from the leaking Macondo well that is also leaking methane?" One of the five other companies stores hydrocarbons, Dow Hydrocarbons and Resources LLC, according to DNR’s Napoleonviile Salt Dome Storage Cavern and Well chart. According to DNR, Dow stores refined hydrocarbons in its 31 wells and caverns in the salt dome. Those hydrocarbons include butane (in three of its facilities), ethane/propane, propene (that is highly flammable) and liquid propane. The other four companies operating in the salt dome are Pontchartrain Natural Gas Sys. (storing natural gas), K/D/S-Promix Storage (storing butane and LPG), LLC., Occidental Chemical Corporation/Occidental Brine (not actively brining as of Sept. 2012), and Texas Brine, the company some are calling the present "industry fall guy." None of those are storing in the wells/caverns diesel or crude, as now identified in the sinkhole, if the DNR listing is correct. Since radioactive waste is not listed in DNR’s pdf. chart listing well/cavern company owners and contents, and DNR had authorized Texas Brine to store radioactive waste in its cavern, that list is incomplete, possibly with falsified entries.
Texas Brine, the company that owns a failed salt cavern blamed for the sinkhole says it will comply with new orders.
Texas Brine continues clean up Monday, but is limited to skimming as boats will not be allowed in the sinkhole due to the activity of removing hydrocarbons from the cavern. This is for the safety of workers as the removal of the hydrocarbons may cause pressure changes that could affect the sinkhole.
Description: A sharp tremor was recorded by USGS monitors just after 9 p.m. Wednesday at the site of the giant Louisiana sinkhole in Assumption Parish. The giant sinkhole appeared in August near the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas. The Assumption Parish Police Jury says the tremor was large enough that the body wave phases could easily be identified. A body wave travels through the interior of the earth. The preliminary location of the tremor was just SE of Oxy #3 cavern at a depth of 500m. There is no additional information specific to this seismic activity at this time. The sinkhole is now about four acres in size. Residents were forced from their homes on August third, two months after the bayous started bubbling. They are still evacuated from their homes.
BAYOU CORNE — A growing, 5.5-acre sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish swamps gobbled up an another strip of land Tuesday, parish officials said.
The 80-by-20-foot section on the eastern side of the sinkhole fell in, or sloughed off, about 4:45 p.m., parish officials said.
John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said trees fell in with the collapse, but no one was injured.
He said the collapsed area extended from a mat road that Texas Brine Co. of Houston has installed to clean trees, other vegetative matter and oil out the sinkhole to a point 80 feet north or the road.
These collapses are expected, scientists and Texas Brine officials have said, as the banks along the inside of the 449-foot deep hole find a stable slope.
"Yeah, the outer edge of the salt dome, best we can tell, is gone," Hecox told a few hundred residents Tuesday evening in Pierre Part at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church hall.
Texas Brine, LLC UPDATE October 29, 2012
1. The Observation Well remained shut in today. During hydrocarbon removal on Friday and Saturday, the casing pressure was reduced thus indicating brine was filling the casing. However, after this work, hydrocarbons continued to enter the casing from the cavern causing the casing surface pressure to return to 940-970 psig on Sunday. Hydrocarbon removal is planned to resume Tuesday and continue through the week, with brine being pumped in to replace the hydrocarbon to maintain steady cavern pressures.
2. The testing of the Observation Well last Friday indicated the cavern floor had risen an additional 10 feet from the previous measurement on October 19. The cavern floor has come up approximately 52 feet since it was first measured on September 24. Additional measurements are planned for later this week.
3. The removal of liquid hydrocarbons from the sinkhole surface resumed today. The size and characteristics of the sinkhole remain unchanged. Gas continues to bubble up in the center of the sinkhole.
4. Since perforating the casing last week, the shallow aquifer relief well has still not indicated any gas pressure. Various options to assist gas to start flowing through the perforations are being evaluated. Once these plans are finalized, work is expected to resume later this week in order to begin venting/flaring gas from the aquifer.
Texas Brine, LLC UPDATE October 30, 2012
1. The Observation Well remained shut in today. Casing pressure at the wellhead was measured at 966 psi this morning, which is consistent with the range of all previous readings. Sonar imaging is planned for later this week to determine if there have been any changes to the interior of brine cavern #3.
2. No changes in the size and characteristics of the sinkhole have been observed. Removal of liquid hydrocarbon from the sinkhole surface utilizing skimming equipment continues. Oil containment booms across the sinkhole are being used to partition off the bubbling area in the center in case liquid hydrocarbons are surfacing with the gas.
3. The shallow aquifer relief well remains shut in. There is no discernible natural gas pressure at the well head. Options are still being explored as to how to best clear the perforations in the relief well casing to facilitate the flow of natural gas to the surface for venting and/or flaring.
Officials: Math doesn’t work; end to evacuation is unclear There was a caving in yesterday (I think) and I expect to see more land slowly sinking into this hole.
Parish officials say the volume of the brine-filled sinkhole is much smaller than the amount of displaced earth now in the cavern, prompting worries about other unknown subterranean voids or gaps left in the area by the shifted sediments that could lead to further disturbance at the surface.
Texas Brine, LLC UPDATE November 2, 2012
1. The sonar data collection was completed yesterday evening. That data must now be converted to an imaging format that depicts the interior of brine cavern #3, a process that takes several days to finalize. Total depth measurement taken on Thursday indicated that the bottom of cavern #3 moved up approximately 13 feet since the last measurement on October 19. At 9:30 a.m. today, the slow removal of liquid hydrocarbon remaining in the cavern was resumed. Brine is pumped into the cavern at a rate that displaces equal quantities of liquid hydrocarbon through the casing to the surface where it is removed from the site.
2. The removal of both debris and liquid hydrocarbon from the sinkhole surface continued today. Gas bubbling activity in the center of the sinkhole has reduced significantly following the sloughing event late Tuesday. Results from the sinkhole depth survey taken on October 30 indicate the maximum sinkhole depth is now at 170 feet versus 445 feet on October 4. A repeat sinkhole depth survey was conducted yesterday with results expected early next week. No other change in the sinkhole size was reported.
3. A portion of the water that had accumulated in the casing of the shallow aquifer relief well was removed late Thursday and the well began to vent some natural gas from the aquifer to the wellhead. The vent flow was stopped overnight and reached a modest 30 psi at the wellhead. This morning piping was connected to the wellhead and the natural gas is being flared through a temporary system. Plans are to sample the gas this afternoon and flare natural gas from the relief well over the weekend during daytime hours. Next week, additional water will be removed from the casing to allow greater natural gas flow. In addition, a more permanent flaring system will be installed to allow more continuous venting.
• Conducted sonar survey and ran a PDK log on 1 November 2012
• Texas Brine contractor installed 14-inch observation/vent well – Perforated casing, 30 psi recorded as of 1 November 2012
• Flaring has commenced at the vent well located on Texas Brine’s property.
– SEET has received and is analyzing community ambient air sampled 9/28/2012-10/30/2012 (MultiRAE). SEET will issue a letter to the parish in reference to these findings once the review of the data has been completed.
– SEET has received and is analyzing sample results for air at bubble sites collected 9/28/2012-10/30/2012 (MultiRAE). SEET will issue a letter to the parish in reference to these findings once the review of the data has been completed.
Next Operational Period (2 - 5 Nov 2012) Incident Action Plan
– Efforts are underway to finalize contracts to remove material from inside the casing at the ORW-4 location in an attempt to vent the well.
Texas Brine, LLC UPDATE November 5, 2012 1. The Observation Well was opened this morning at 7:30 a.m. to resume the process of pumping brine into cavern #3 at a controlled rate that displaced liquid hydrocarbon in the cavern up to the surface. The removal of the liquid hydrocarbon continued until late morning. The well was then shut in to stabilize pressure in the casing. The well will remain closed until Wednesday when the process will be repeated.
2. The removal of liquid hydrocarbon and debris remaining on the sinkhole surface was resumed today. There were no observable changes in the shape or size of the sinkhole.
3. The shallow aquifer relief well was shut in this morning while a new flaring system was connected. This new flaring system was restarted this morning. Plans are being developed to continuously operate the flaring system.
• Texas Brine conducted the following operations on their investigatory well: • Collected a total of 4274 bbls(cumulative total as of 5 November 2012) of hydrocarbons from the Oxy 3A Cavern. • Flared a total of 459 mcf of metered gas(cumulative total as of 5 November 2012)
• Air Monitoring Sample Data – SEET has received and is analyzing community ambient air sampled 9/28/2012-11/1/2012 (MultiRAE). SEET will issue a letter to the parish in reference to these findings once the review of the data has been completed. – SEET has received and is analyzing sample results for air at bubble sites collected 9/28/2012-11/1/2012 (MultiRAE). SEET will issue a letter to the parish in reference to these findings once the review of the data has been completed.
Next Operational Period (5-8 Nov 2012) Incident Action Plan
La. sinkhole methane explosion possible says sheriff, refuting naysayers
The Assumption Parish sheriff stated that methane ignition and explosion are possible in the Bayou Corne sinkhole area, refuting naysayers about such an explosion and spotlighting grave human rights issues related to the "history-making event" and "environmental nightmare,’ according to a KLFY Channel 10 three-part special televised report aired Friday. The possibility exists that Louisiana's sinkhole-related methane, percolating in over a dozen sites near and miles away from the sinkhole area, could ignite and cause an explosion, according to Assumption Parish Sherriff Michael J. Waguespack, interviewed about the unprecedented Bayou Corne event unfolding in South Louisiana's swampland. Waguespack, lover of south Louisiana people and culture, made the statement to KLFY reporter Chuck Huebner about the massive amount of methane known to be trapped below the Assumption Parish sinkhole area surface, continually leaking and bubbling to the surface.
In another massive collapse Tuesday after strong quakes six days earlier, the sinkhole grew to the size of seven football fields.
Approximately three million cubic feet of material has gone into this cavern, according to Waguespack. He explained that the sinkhole itself only accounts for approximately 550,000 cubic feet of that material. "So there is approximately 2. 7 million cubic feet of material that’s entered the cavern that’s unaccounted for,” said Waguespack. If and when the voids settle, the volume of the sinkhole could be expected to be six times its current size.
Butane stored in one of the caverns has added concern about an explosion that independent scientists have previously explained is a grave possibility.
Originally posted by CajunBoy
reply to post by Sissel
half the things in this thread has been dis-proven in the other. Fixed btwedit on 7-11-2012 by CajunBoy because: (no reason given)