Below Sinkhole: 500 billion cubic feet of gas, 200 million gallons of oil estimated in Napoleonville Salt Dome

Published: October 15th, 2012 at 3:57 am ET
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>> UPDATED HERE: Comparison photos show significant sinkhole growth on other side of gas pipeline -- WAFB: It's continuing to grow; Company: No change in size (PHOTOS) <<

Via Golden Gate Petroleum, LTD:

Of the primary targeted sands mentioned above, the Big Hum, Cris R and Marg Vag were pinpointed by state officials investigating the giant sinkhole as the probable source(s) of the oil and gas surfacing in Assumption Parish. See: Officials admit crude oil and methane are coming from massive underground formation below sinkhole

Watch the most recent flyover video of the sinkhole area from earlier today here

Published: October 15th, 2012 at 3:57 am ET
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52 comments

Related Posts

  1. New sinkhole image shows ‘original edge’ of Napoleonville salt dome may be gone — Section thousands of feet tall (PHOTO) November 15, 2012
  2. Top Expert: Fears Napoleonville salt dome to continue to break up below giant sinkhole; “An underground Mt. Everest” — Over 50 caverns inside, some with explosive gas December 15, 2012
  3. Sinkhole: Napoleonville Salt Dome Project hydrocarbon survey was over 50 square miles — Reported size of 1 mile by 3 miles only includes top of dome (PHOTO) October 16, 2012
  4. Analyst: They are worried about a breach of the salt dome — Chevron emptying billions of cubic feet of gas from cavern after Louisiana gov’t issues warning August 12, 2012
  5. Sinkhole Geologist: The outer edge of the salt dome, best we can tell it’s gone… at the location of the cavern (VIDEO) October 24, 2012

52 comments to Below Sinkhole: 500 billion cubic feet of gas, 200 million gallons of oil estimated in Napoleonville Salt Dome

  • Usefulbreather

    Pinpointed? Where are the isotopic tests to fingerprint the source? Are they relying on the process of elimination or chemical testing?


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Richard, i like the "fukukuku". Apt term. So, was the Napoleonville salt dome being used for storage or for drilling. I thought for storage, but, how i read this article is that it was for drilling.


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Usefulbreather, it is my understanding that isotopic tests were conducted and are still being conducted, but, doing so is very, very slow for some reason. Weeks and weeks.


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  • richard richard

    i mentioned earlier today how the term 'sinkhole' may become 'geyser' – i was imagining something like a giant pimple :)

    and now here it is, a 3d geopic that demonstrates how it could be so.

    looking at the area from google earth, it's pocketed with bayous and lakes. So it's a low elevation and a high water table and close to the coast. (a lot of dykes in the state too, i believe).

    as the planet may warm and seas may rise, the water table rises and soaks the ground, making it heavier and eventually sinking.

    but some land area is more dense then others, so mini 'volcanoes' begin to appear as the sinking occurs. this could turn into quite a show, may even overshadow fukukuku.

    anyway, just my layperson speculation.


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    • markww markww

      Richard the planet is more sturdy than Man will ever be its man that messed it up Natural swamps the land it was screwed up when they damned all the sediment. See the dams up stream have stopped the flow of sediment that builds the peninsula below New Orleans .The sun warms the Planet now we have chemical trails that is furthering doom on the planet by people who have the global warming all messed up. Chem trails are messing the weather up droughts,storms you name it by stopping the flow of natural earth changes that need to take place. mans finger print is every where today,weak roads bridges that will collapse,HAARP and other things man is not doing anything about

      Mark


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Sooo, are we looking at fracking lines? Did they actually frack into the salt dome like i thought originally? They are calling it sands, salt dome, sinkhole, oil, gas, sludge, drilling, storage, brine, chemicals, natural radiation, fracking fluids, Macondo Well oil, Mississippi Alluvial Aquafer, methane, pressure building, leaking…. sooo i'm getting real confused here. Was there oil inside a salt dome and they fracked it to get the oil, so the ceiling collapsed first and now the bottom? Clarification anyone?


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    • Maggie123

      VicFromOregon: I've been confused about the dome, the various cavities within it, etc. for some time. Pavewaylll has posted some excellent descriptions that have helped me – I think – about the time I'm confident I've got a 'mental model' that covers essentials some new tidbit comes along and I feel confused again!

      Here's what I think is generally accurate: These domes are huge – this one is 5 miles wide. They are used in several ways. One key use is to drill in, creating a cavity, put some water in it, and extract the resulting saline solution. This brine is pumped back out and hauled away for use in industry related manufacturing. (Read today for example the brine is plastics manufacture.) A second use is storage – cavities within the dome are filled with fuels until they're needed. A third use is storage for toxic wastes – which can be anything but as I understand it, 'used' fracking fluids are a common candidate.

      I think both the 2nd and 3rd uses follow the first. The brine creating/extraction activity conveniently leaves empty space, which is then filled for storage as per uses #2 and #3.

      My description is probably vastly oversimplified and for all I know wildly inaccurate! With luck, Pavewaylll will catch your note and set us both straight!

      I think the oil is seeping up along walls outside the dome from natural ancient pocket-layers like the fat purple line. But why is the oil now on the move after eons quietly laying about?? :)


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      • PavewayIII PavewayIII

        You got it, Maggie.

        Texas Brine is part of Bayer. Not sure exactly how the brine is used, but it probably has to do with Bayer's plastic manufacturing operations all over Louisiana and Texas. Bayer is the end-user for whatever they're making from the brine. It goes to someone else in Baton Rouge (Dow?) first.

        As far as I know, nobody is using Napoleonville to dump fracking fluid. They sometimes use salt *formations* in other parts of the country for disposal wells – I think that's how that got mixed up here. Napoleonville is way more valuable for short-term storage of hydrocarbons. It's right in the middle of Louisiana oil and chemical refineries. There's also nothing to frack in Southern Louisiana – the abundant oil and gas are trapped in sand deposits, not shale formations.

        Vic – no oil naturally inside the dome. It's solid salt. Texas Brine just mined the cavern right to the outside edge of the salt. They didn't know it at the time. They were supposedly going by old USGS maps. The sonar image above is fairly recent – they didn't have anything that detailed when they were mining #3

        The salt on the West wall of the cavern gave way somewhere on the bottom half. Sand and shale fell into the cavern. Everything above it on the outside of the salt fell down to take up the space.


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        • JustmeAlso

          Leave the wrecking of the planet up to big companies! All for profit!
          At the end of the road when all is poisoned we can wonder: is money edible?

          Bayer has a history of exterminating:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IG_Farben


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        • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

          1 Bayer Group (Toxic 100 Air Polluters)189,649 0.72 8.88 9.0% 33.8%

          Bayer is the number 1 polluter.

          ://www.peri.umass.edu/toxic_index/

          more details on different divisions of BAYER

          http://data.rtknet.org/tox100/2010/index.php?search=yes&database=t1&detail=1&datype=T&reptype=a&company1=&company2=2709&chemfac=fac&advbasic=bas

          follow the links for more..


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        • fittietucker

          "There's also nothing to frack in Southern Louisiana – the abundant oil and gas are trapped in sand deposits, not shale formations. Sand and shale fell into the cavern" Come again?


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          • PavewayIII PavewayIII

            All the hydrocarbon-bearing layers in the 3-D seismic image at the top (Big Hum, Marg A, Operc, etc…) are the usual targeted sand layers. I've never heard of anyone drilling for shale-bound hydrocarbons around the salt domes.

            I'm no geologist. This is the way I understand it: There's barrier layers between the sand layers – like siltstone, shale, etc. The shale between those layers is relatively thin and not gas-bearing, at least not in any economic sense. Shale that shallow is not source rock. The oil migrated up from underneath the Louann Salt into the sands. That's just the nature of the geology there.

            The bottom half of the Oxy #3 cavern is from 4500' to 6000' below the surface. Texas Brine said that there was 'material' in the bottom third or so of the cavern and brine on top of that. If the west side failed that deep, then sand, oil, brine, shale, mudstone and anything else outside the dome boundary would have collapsed into the relatively lower pressure of the cavern.


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        • Radio VicFromOregon

          Thx to Maggie123 and Paveway111. So, are the drilling operations next to and surrounding the salt dome simple extractions activities from previously stored hydrocarbons, i.e., just sucking stuff back out of a cavern they had been stored in, or are they actually drilling for oil and gas next to the salt dome? If i don't catch your comments here, i will find them elsewhere. I read you both regularly.


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          • PavewayIII PavewayIII

            This might help Vic:

            http://lasinkhole.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/climate_vw.jpg

            The black points are any kind of well *except* water wells.

            The green circles are – or were – injection wells to mine salt = brine wells. Some of the caverns left over have since been turned into hydrocarbon storage. Every storage well operator is connected to at least one of the big pipeline networks. They offer storage for anyone else on that network – it could be natural gas wells hundreds of miles away. The caverns are usually NOT used to store local oil or gas produced in the area. The caverns are way to big and expensive for that.

            Back to the map: black points WITHOUT the green circle are not brine wells and are not drilled all the way to the salt. They were wells drilled specifically for natural deposits of crude oil or natural gas trapped in the sand layers outside the salt. If they hit salt, then the well is a failure and they abandon it. They aim for the lower, outside flanks of the salt dome but stay away from the actual salt.

            The map has black points for oil and gas wells scattered all over the outside edge of the dome because (until recently) they only had a rough idea where the sides of the salt dome ended. Plain black points on top (or nearly on top) of the salt dome were mistakes. They most likely abandoned the well when they hit the salt.

            Producing oil and gas wells around the Napoleonville dome need to truck or pipe their oil and gas directly to refineries.


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            • Radio VicFromOregon

              Great graphic Pavewaylll, thx! And, i take it that this level of drilling intensity and close proximity is not considered a ground movement issue. I've been through parts of the southwest where wells were in just about every other backyard, but, they were shallow and short term compared to the larger ones. I suppose most of that oil has already been extracted these many years on. So, what holds up the rock and soil once the cushioning and support from the volumes of oil is gone? That's a part i never did understand. In Oregon, we use a lot of wells for farming and most of those replenish due to the rains here in the Willamette valley, but the aquifers do get drained, along with many rivers if the farming is done in the desert parts of the state, which then start to run hot in the summer when the waters are too low. It's quite an issue, and pretty obvious that when we extract too much of the hydrologic resource from an area, meaning water, everything suffers. Is it different with hydrocarbons and seismic stability?


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      • Radio VicFromOregon

        Maggie123, thx. I've been following Pavewaylll's posts, too, and maybe the more pieces i know the more confusing it becomes! It would be nice to have public knowledge of all the pieces and all the players, and the local familiarity with the area is priceless.

        On another note, i recently read an article on fog farming and thought of you. I hope to have some land someday up back above the Columbia Gorge in the transition zone (rainshadow to desert), one of my favorite earth place experiences. There's very little rainfall there, but, some good winter snow, and spring fog may be possible closer to the Gorge.


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Not sure about giving too much science credentials to a paper among which main stories of today are
    "Dave Lee Travis jiggled my breasts live on air"
    and
    "No, it's not a doll! Meet the make-up artist who transforms herself into incredibly creepy Halloween creations"

    :-)


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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      the Dailymail that is. This was supposed to go under markww's comment above….


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      • markww markww

        ITS OK I think the story about the Global warming is important cause IF people lied in emails about the whole global warming mess to make TONS of money what could they do to make tons of money here and lie to the people.

        Mark


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        • jec jec

          As in "I created the Internet" Al Gore?..who also created Global Warming. He made MILLIONS! Dont see that being talked about anywhere. Mr. Gore..lets see YOUR IRS tax releases!


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          • Radio VicFromOregon

            Actually, as a Senator, Mr. Gore spearheaded legislation to allow the creation of the internet for military communications against many protests in congress at the time. Learn your history before casting aspersions.


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        • cubby

          Hi Mark, people have been lying about global warming to safeguard profits – Energy companies, don't know of many environmentalists making billions of the global warming data


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    • arclight arclight

      Dave Lee Travis jiggled my breasts live on air

      hi bnb
      "Dave Lee Travis jiggled my breasts live on air"
      that was a classic.. worthy of a global journalistic prize if any article is.. great pictures too!

      they do have some great journos on the mail.. and the establishment dont really like them i suspect..

      in conclusion
      the daily mail is great..

      for the record :)

      glad global warming stopped 16 years ago.. phew! ;)


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      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        Me too, arc ;-)
        can finally drive that BMW again like all the others do!

        glad the mail saved my lifestyle :-)
        and my freedom
        and all that


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      • harengus_acidophilus

        Interesting people on this site.

        We hear about "yellow press" as an exeptional truthteller.

        Same person says:
        "Big Oil big energy & government stick together, producing lies to prevent people faceing the truth. You can trust me, I've had worked for them."

        We hear about selfish arrogance "I know the solution!", about scientific nonsens "exploding like a nuke!", about vernacular instead of common language and so on. We see the multiple use of big emphasis hand in hand with a grain of information spoken in colourful words.

        Sounds like another example of "fear eats mind"

        But… who am I?

        h.


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  • hbjon hbjon

    I'm giving my Fuku brain a rest for a minute while I ponder the sink hole situation here. At first glance, it appears that the newly created lake is composed of a mixture of crude oil and water. It makes me wonder that perhaps someone dumped too much oil in an oil reserve storage facility that, due to hydraulic action, has found a point of least resistance. When life give you oil, make oilaide. The fuel for champions. At some point the thing will find equillibrium and stability. In the meantime they will need to set up pumps and water traps to collect it. Is there a tanker loading facility nearby?


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  • jec jec

    Picture the BP Macondo Oil Well..with the extreme pressure from the underground oil being compressed by the 1000s of feet of ocean water. BP oil spewed out with methane gas mixed in. Now picture that oil well..in the middle of the sink hole…without the high pressure of the ocean to help control it..a plume of oil in the air. What happened to the oil company that drilled in the sink oil area..tapping into a high pressure area of gas/oil which was at extremely high pressure. Too high to control further drilling. It was next to Texas Brine? They capped it quick and left "dodge"…Mantis Oil LLC or something like that name. Do you think they knew they had damaged the caprock? Bet so..or why cap and run away?


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    • Thad

      Jec- go back and read the posts above especially "PavewayIII"
      No one drld the sinkhole it is just that a sinkhole going down the side then through the collapsed wall into TxBrn storage cavern–


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    As the dome collapses the rock layers in the surrounding uplift fracture.. and give way.
    53 caverns of..who knows what.
    What a mess.


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  • markww markww

    to stop other domes the one they have problems now with NOW is going to have to be drained and as it is draining put in a special air dynamic concrete to re shore up the rock structures sides and bottom and then should be OK just a thought I am throwing out there

    Mark


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  • jec jec

    Sure hope the EPA/US Coast Guard does not add COREXIT to breakup the oil SPILL ! See this scientific study:
    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=7545&tid=3622&cid=89188

    Sadly, this junk is toxic, contains DOSS…and the EPA "approved" its use in Deepwater Horizon. As did the Coast Guard. One has to wonder who is watching over the hen house..looks like the foxes…


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    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi jec

      Agree>>Quote: who is watching over the hen house..looks like the foxes…

      COREXIT is used to hide things, not to protect the environment or the public.


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  • WindorSolarPlease

    What are the chances that the sinkhole and the Gulf Disaster turn around and all will be fixed?
    Can we be lucky enough to have these two disasters turn out ok?

    I feel like something has to give, how long can it stay this way?


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Depends on how big the erosion is and how many leaks are occurring. There are those working to try and fix this. But, i am beginning to see that they are making their best guesses and they may only have one or two shots at doing this right.


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Gulf Seafood Radium Levels; Chernobyl in the Gulf of Mexico; via A Green Road
    http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/04/gulf-seafood-radium-levels-chernobyl-in.html

    Bird Radiation Studies; Chernobyl, TMI & Fukushima; Via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/03/bird-studies-and-chernobyl-tmi-and.html


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  • Thad

    "500 billion cubic feet of gas, 200 million gallons of oil estimated in Napoleonville Salt Dome"

    In the formations around the saltdome BUT not in the saltdome– the only thing in the dome is in the made made caverns and what man has stored there— and it includes not oil—


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