Butane near sinkhole to be moved “in an abundance of caution” — Ignition of fuel inside pipe discussed

Published: August 19th, 2012 at 1:54 pm ET
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9 comments


Title: Crosstex plans to transfer butane
Source: The Advocate
Author: David J. Mitchell
Date: Aug 19, 2012

Crosstex Energy LP of Dallas plans to begin on Tuesday shifting liquid butane from one underground storage cavern to another in the Napoleonville Salt Dome, moving the flammable product 1,000 feet farther away from a large sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish, company officials said.

[…]

The cavern now holding the 940,000 barrels of liquid butane is 1,500 feet from the sinkhole.

[…]

Sean Atkins, Crosstex vice president of compliance, [wrote that] the liquid butane “will not free-flow upward to the surface without a mechanical means for doing so, such as pumping.”

Atkins added later in the letter to Hatch, “Again, there has never been a catastrophic failure of a salt dome storage cavern resulting in an instantaneous release of butanes at the surface.”

Atkins’ letter says the worst-case scenario would be, in fact, a pipe failure releasing 8,400 gallons of butane that could lead to a level of pressure change, at nearly 1,600 feet, that parish officials have said would break windows.

John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said that pressure change could result from an ignition of the butane.

[…]

“In an abundance of caution, we have decided to make some piping changes and move product from the well closest to the slurry to the well farthest from slurry to further alleviate any concerns from public” -Jill McMillan, Crosstex spokeswoman

Published: August 19th, 2012 at 1:54 pm ET
By

9 comments

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9 comments to Butane near sinkhole to be moved “in an abundance of caution” — Ignition of fuel inside pipe discussed

  • Fred

    " butane “will not free-flow upward to the surface without a mechanical means for doing so, such as pumping.”

    Wow! It must be freezing in the butane dome! It takes some serious low temperature to liquify butane at 1 atmosphere pressure. If it were under pressure and liquid butane escaped, it sure wouldn't be liquid for long…
    Wonder what kind of huge refridgeration system the dome runs on?

  • CBuck CBuck

    Moved away in abundance meaning quantity? Or an abundance of caution?
    I find it hard to believe anyone having anything to do with the cause of this mess has an abundance of anything except for cash lining their wallets.

  • Anonymouse

    Yes,
    must also be some serious pump moving it up to openly vent into Bayou Corne and on out into the atmosphere….

    It's the earthquakes that concern me.

    There were literally thousands of small quakes in June&July this year in the area,
    some were large enough to rock the house:

    When the New Madrid goes off,
    what will that do to all these storage facilities,rigs,
    pipelines and refineries in Louisiana?

    It was enough to make the Mighty Mississippi run backwards at an extreme speed-
    it caused Churchbells to ring in Toronto.

    There are estimates that the New Madrid earthquakes were felt across nearly 1 million square miles.

    The historic 1906 San Francisco earthquake, by comparison, was felt over roughly 6,200 sq mi…

    Just sayin'…

  • markww markww

    I would empty all domes and put nitrogen caps on them to save the planet from doom if the new Madrid fault goes and or the tilting of the dome in progress takes out more and more and just cause you go another thousand feet that does not work either it is a recipe of failure and doom.

    mark

  • Anonymouse

    Yes,Mark-
    I would not call 1000 feet "progress" with all the known tremours and leaks taking place.

    That sinkhole is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

  • CBuck CBuck

    markww, I agree that this all needs to be moved, but where is a safe place? Is there such a thing?

    • markww markww

      I feel some HONEST Scientists and others in safety and fire protection should sit down and take time & take a serious look at all Flammable Storage concerns and come up with safe non destructible safe storage containers not only as to salt domes but from terror attacks. Refinery storage should also be safer wide open areas in the Country just right for bad people to mess up and natural disasters too

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    "a level of pressure change, at nearly 1,600 feet, that parish officials have said would break windows" and "pressure change could result from an ignition of the butane". Is that the phenomenon that was always called "an explosion" until today?

  • markww markww

    I wonder if they would bet everything they own as to what can or can NOT Happen. No one has said a thing yet as to the explosive force but a few people looking at a worst case event have spoken up and see things from another view point. From not only the salt domes but underground movement,loud booms,cracking on fault systems,earthquakes,methane caps underground, fracturing along the New Madrid fault system and the deep gulf floor,and from center of the Gulf to the Great lakes x rays, sonar,pictures and seismographs and sensors all should be used to investigate this problem.And start working on this massive disaster that is just starting.

    Mark

    Mark