Officials: “Deep natural formation” may be source of gas around giant sinkhole — Fears it could reach surface at explosive levels

Published: October 9th, 2012 at 2:19 pm ET


– Representative of Shaw Group, Sept. 29 (See bottom for more)

Title: Gas found in aquifer previously
Source: The Advocate
Author: By David J. Mitchell
Date: Oct 9, 2012
Emphasis Added

[…] the area between Grand Bayou and Bayou Corne has had a growing number of widely distributed sites where gas has been found bubbling up from area waterways. Gas also has been hit in the aquifer, and earth tremors have been felt in the area.

Parish officials said the gas in the aquifer has led to fears that gas could gather enough pressure to get through the confining clay layer above the formation, reach the surface and accumulate to explosive levels. Numerous tests for months have not shown gas at bubble sites, in homes and elsewhere has come close to such levels. […]

“Further sampling and analysis of potential sources is continuing to attempt a clear determination whether the source of the natural gas bubbling is a deep natural formation or whether it can be narrowed to a processed source, such as a specific storage operation,” [Patrick Courreges, of the Department of Natural Resources] said in an email response to questions. […]

See also: [intlink id=”officials-hydrocarbons-could-have-breached-bottom-of-cavern-oil-detected-on-top-of-sinkhole-videos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: October 9th, 2012 at 2:19 pm ET


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63 comments to Officials: “Deep natural formation” may be source of gas around giant sinkhole — Fears it could reach surface at explosive levels

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    MUST SEE! 2053 Nuclear Explosions, Reactors & Waste Dumped in Ocean, LA Sinkhole, New Madrid, bring your vomit holder and tissue for tears..

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    I think they have it under control ..right?

  • yellowrain

    Deep natural formation???????????? Am I allowed to write BULL SHIT?

    • harengus_acidophilus

      They feel deep inside their stomaches "natural occuring substances" are forming a gigantic bubble of "unknown gas", so deep inside their brainstem is forming a deep thought: "I've got something to say!"



  • Loveistheonlyrationalact Loveistheonlyrationalact

    Can someone please identify the agency that has conducted the non-identification/testing of the gases being released please?

  • markww markww



    • harengus_acidophilus

      Please don't CRY!

      Gas is Gas?
      We have 10(ten) gaseous elements and dozens of compounds.

      Precision is not your strong side, isn't it?


      • vivvi

        What a pointless thing to say. The meaning of Mark's statement is clear enough. I would rather have an unnecessary warning anyday, rather than some idiot saying all is well then BOOM!!! Is somebody paying you to say these irritating things? It is precise enough to know that whatever the exact chemical signature of the 'gas,' it is both flammable and explosive, and toxic as well if that's not enough for you.

        We have already been told that the gas is thermogenic methane. It may contain other gases in varying amounts, and other hydrocarbons and possibly radioactive crap as well. None of this changes the fact that the stuff is explosive, flammable GAS. Which is clearly Mark's point.

    • harengus_acidophilus


      Why do you always want to raise fear?
      To share your pain?

      Is this really the right way?

      I disagree.


  • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

    They won't stop 'kin around until they make a new North American volcano.

    • harengus_acidophilus

      A volcano?

      Thorium driven?


      • richard richard

        with haarp acceleration and chemtrail topping 😉

        • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

          don't forget project x.. it is like whip cream for planetary destruction..

          "These protons then strike a target to produce high-energy particles called pions; the pions then decay into muons, which in turn decay and radiate neutrinos, which then fly through the earth at nearly light speed. Two different experimental areas – one 1,000 kilometers away in Homestake, South Dakota and another 800 kilometers away in Ash River, Minnesota – will detect some of the neutrinos that are produce by the Project X protons"

          ..or, maybe they are trying to figure out the universe, to live harmoniously with it? hahahahahah..what a load of crap..

          could save a ton of energy and tax dollars getting rid of this type of program. Really, like we need radiated neutrinos floating around detectable for more than 1000 km..

          "Man" is a moron for all his capacity for intelligence.

      • fittietucker

        Ha, Ha, Ha. Thanks for calling this guy out.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      There is supposed to be one in Yellowstone Nat'l Park already.

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        Great, on top of the Caldara, no doubt.. UGH! Oh, and there is another of these facilities, that occurs even bigger and further advanced, just down the road from Fukushima.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Pockets of petroleum are often associated with salt domes, usually encircling them. A deep pocket rich in natural gas could have been breached when the west wall of the dome failed. This could be why all the new surface gas bubbling is spreading westward.

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    This article might be enlightening. Maybe part of the long dragged out process has been getting samples from various frackers so that this gas can be compared to their product. Frackers are exempt by federal law from having to reveal their product, location, sludge components, or activities. There could be 30 lawyers on the company side of things to every 1 geologist trying to figure out what's going on.

  • michellemamarn

    @Vivvi- Poor Mark takes a LOT of heat from some here but I definitely agree with you. I've been reading his posts for the last several weeks and it's obvious he knows his stuff and has a wealth of experience as a firefighter. Seems to me his concern is justified and he might just save some lives. Considering his background I should say some MORE lives. I appreciate you speaking up for him.

    • Anthony Anthony

      I know and totally agree. I don't understand it because it moves into a pretty personal attack to read, at the same time, markww seems to have been quite accurate and called and followed & predicted this situation all along!!! I think a common thread through most of us here is we CARE about life. That is a quality we might want to protect. If the words flowing here are correct,the future will be a rocky road. Who knows whose life markww`s urgings may save?

      If he`s a firefighter as shared then he has also seen a lot of danger and may prove invaluable in his insight and experience. Nobody likes being bullied.

  • markww markww

    HI ALL I am not worried about the snide remarks by those couple of guys. I am a bigger person to do or say anything bad about them. I care and write what I see to inform and help the people from my knowledge i learned not only as a firefighter but I worked for NASA as well as a fire protection specialists. So I know about and see things from where i have been and seen and felt through my Long years of caring for people like HH and others. So let them dribble I will keep posting things I see that are interest to the people who need good quality information that you will not find any place with out research Mark


    • vivvi

      I believe these wankers are trying to discourage serious posters who are close to the truth of what's going on. They should know that we are watching for such efforts and are not going to let it go unchallenged. Whether they are paid to do it, or just idiot troublemakers, I don't really care. If they are going to post sarcasm and mockery to discourage the truth, they are not welcome here.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    No one should have to 'qualify' post on this blog..
    All..are welcome..whether are newcomers..or seasoned professionals.
    This is the basis of a well-rounded public blog..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Lol..I must say the shills bringing in new very ..'telling'.
    Particularly when they those they plan to replace.

  • harengus_acidophilus


    I don't like the emotional way to deal with problems.
    Especially if the problems are serious.

    Deep feelings tend to disguise your view.
    They are good for personal relations, but the wrong way
    to deal with a situation of emergency.

    In a serious situation you have to prepare yourself to do
    what ever is necessary.
    There is no time for emotional distress.

    I'm just asking short questions.
    Justified questions.

    No answer is also an answer.

    Don't beat the messenger, look at the message.
    It's not a question of like or not, I just point to logical flaws.

    Did you think, this is trolling?


  • irhologram

    I see nothing emotional in posting the facts and connecting the dots. I see only the seriousness that calamity is due…and that's in no way projecting…it already IS a calamity. It's interesting to note that although they found sludge in the bottom of the cavern it's asserted the crude is coming through the sands of the sides…and even though they've admitted the sinkhole has failed from the bottom… And that methane is in the aquifer and …even though its been admitted in another enenews link today that all these anomalous sequences are proceeding from the same event….And that connecting the dots! we should review that Matt Simmons predicted the Gulf Of Mexico methane mix (that he also said contained butane)..that this lethal mix more deadly than mustard gas, he said…this pressurized mega-pocket would work its way inland through cracks and fissures… So in light of all these dots…. Now here's something new to think about, considering the criss crossing pipelines, nuclear and refining plants that may be affected. iF the event Mark describes as Of Biblical Proportion, are you ready with a food supply?…because it surely would be disrupted Or will you just keep sticking your head in the oil sands… and encouraging others to do the same when they might have prepared?

    • harengus_acidophilus

      What for?

      Given all this dots are connected, the conclusion will be:
      screwed, without any chance. I don't want it to see it like this.

      What is the use of fear – in evolutonary context?
      -> prepare to run

      What is the use of fear in this situation?
      -> prepare for …?

      "Crowd Control" is more easy, if the peaple are scared,
      because scared people are acting instinctive and predictable.

      This is the reason why I don't like the emotional way.
      It strenghtens the instincts but weakenig the ratio.


  • BigLoner

    Whoooaaaa Nelie!!!!!

    The good news is that contrary to my fear mongering of last week (the one where DutchSinse equates the Butane BTUs to many many Hiroshimas), the 1.5 million barrels of liquefied butane is not 1250 feet away, but rather 2,800' away. The bad news is that it's not just CrossTex #971565@ 1.56 million barrels, but also immediately adjacent is CrossTex #971564 @ 1.77 million barrels. But it gets better still because forming a tight little trio of domes is Chevron#972568 at whatyaknow……15.5 million barrels of CNG. Open up the PDF, about a quarter to the right you'll see a little blue asterisk called 'Leaking Water Well Site' that's the growing by leaps & bounds sinkhole. This doc is an old aerial view / out of date. Now pan immediately east / northeast until you see the cute orange triangles on Grand Bayou. Just north at the bend in this bayou are the three armed & dangerous compressed gas reserves grossing out at over 17.84 million barrels. There is no way they can be safely bled off before the sinkhole collapses it's couple salt dome neighbors thereby closing the 2,800' gap. When this all started in August GoogleNews/CNN/NBC/Abc/blah/blah was 24/7 covering the Olimpdicks & right after that a weeks top billing of the old hag queen mothers diamond jubilee. Last week they covered the death of the panda bear cub for like 48hrs straight.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Unreal. The devil is in the details.

    • harengus_acidophilus

      Thank you.

      Excellent example. Rare facts – scaring enough.

      It was just this "like a nuke" which has disturbed me.
      Never ever I want to negate the real danger.
      All singns showing an ongoing process which can lead to total inhabitability of a great area, but no need to overdramatize.

      Is this to much precision what I wish?

      Pls, remind, I'm not a native speaker,
      maybye my words sounds rude without intention.


      • Anthony Anthony

        no H – I think you are just calling for a clear headed approach which I respect. Some of us are just more hyper or expressive I guess. It is potentially a terrifying topic that has flowed here since 311…never a boring moment! I can admit it gets to me too at times.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      "…The bad news is that it's not just CrossTex #971565@ 1.56 million barrels, but also immediately adjacent is CrossTex #971564 @ 1.77 million barrels…"

      You're giving the total capacity of the caverns, not what they were actually holding in August. The first cavern (CrossTex #2) – 2800' away from the failed cavern – held 900,000 barrels of butane. Whatever they're not sending back to the customer, they're transferring to CrossTex #1, which is another 1000' away. As of Oct. 3rd, they claim that there are 730K barrels in #2 and had sent 120K barrels to #1.

      CrossTex caverns are a half-mile underground. Butane is heavier than air – the butane at the bottom of the cavern is compressed to 500+ psi by its own weight. It's a liquid at that pressure.

      At the surface, the butane pressure is something like ten or so psi. It will not explosively decompress if you either rip the wellhead off or bust the side of the storage cavern out. I'm not trying to defend CrossTex – that's just how the physics work for gasses.

      If the well is damaged, the butane will leak out as low-pressure gas and burn, but there's no nuclear-size explosion possible. It doesn't even have the wellhead pressure to flow for transfer – they have to pump brine into the hole to force the butane up and out.

  • BigLoner

    And this CorpWiki for CrossTex. I'm sure with X degrees of separation there's no limit to Koch Bros type slime that prevails.

    Guess I done got trunk-ate'd. Here's the rest of me.

  • Sickputer

    Good primer on salt caverns, both natural and engineered:

    "….There are over two thousand man made salt caverns in the United States and Canada used for the storage of hydrocarbons including crude oil, refined products, natural gas, LPG, and various chemical products. The United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve is stored in salt caverns.

    Salt has innate properties that make it ideal for natural gas storage or storage of other types of gases – it has moderately high strength and flows plastically to close fractures to some extent; its porosity and permeability to liquid and gaseous products are near zero, so stored gas cannot escape; salt caverns provide high deliverability since there is no pressure loss from flow through pores and this feature also allows cycling from injection to production in a matter of minutes. Underground salt formations can occur in large domal structures or in extensive horizontal strata (bedded salt), typically at depths ranging between 600 and 7000 feet. Salt caverns are developed by drilling a well into the salt structure, then leaching and production strings are hung into the cavern from the last cemented casing string. The salt can be solution mined or leached out from the domal structure or strata into a desired storage shape and volume by a solution mining process."

  • Sickputer

    Does anyone know if Chevron has a pipeline near the sinkhole to speedup the gas drawdown? Or just trucks?

    They said they needed two months from August 8th to draw down their reserves. I can't see that happening with trucks alone. Do they bring in big tanks and/or run pipes to railcars?

    Just wondering… haven't seen any sites describing the process.

  • Sickputer

    Interesting article about the SPR:

    "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the world's largest supply of emergency crude oil. The federally-owned oil stocks are stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico."

    "The Gulf of Mexico was a logical choice for oil storage sites. More than 500 salt domes, known to be an inexpensive and secure means of petroleum storage, are concentrated along the coast. Also, the Gulf Coast is the location of many U.S. refineries and distribution points for tankers, barges and pipelines."
    beginning in FY 1995 until January 2009, direct purchase of crude oil was suspended in order to devote budget resources to refurbishing the SPR equipment and extending the life of the complex through at least the first quarter of the 21st century."

    "During the 32 years since receipt of the first barrel of oil until completion of the fill program, the SPR experienced periods of aggressive development and oil purchases, two major drawdowns, the Congressionally-mandated sale of oil for budgetary reasons, suspension of purchases, crude oil time exchanges, decommissioning of a storage site for geologic reasons,"

    "the SPR prepared a plan to expand to one billion barrels and conducted a site selection process to construct additional storage facilities…However, efforts to expand the SPR to one billion barrels were terminated in 2011.

  • Sickputer

    Guess who is number two in the world for largest petroleum reserves?

    Not China, Russia, or India. It's Japan and they use metal tanks.

    Those tanks fared well on 311. But Cosmo Oil on Tokyo Bay had a huge blowout and a depleted uranium plant burned up also. Sendai also had a refinery fire.

  • BigLoner

    The above is a regional 'pre-rebutal' to Pavewaylll from a few days ago.

    I'm not a scientist. But ballpark data sez natgas is lighter than air, explosive level of 5-15%, flashpoint of 306F. Butane is heavier than air, explosive level of only 1.8-8.4%, flashpoint of only -76F. Much more dangerous.

    Furthermore, I was a bit too optimistic re: distances of gas wells to sinkhole. What is current size/eastward encroachment? My current guess is maybe 1500' – 2000' to butane domes; 2400' to natgas.

    As for residents, in 1987 'magmatic CO2 gas (volcanic origin)' killed 1700 sleeping villagers in Cameroon. In 1984 Union Carbide Plant's methyl iscyanate gas killed 2600 (ultimately 15,000) sleeping people in Bhopal India.

    Even with hydrocarbon monitor alarms, local Assumption residents would have very little time to clear out for a butane fissure, let alone a catastrophic seismic induced high pressure pipeline rupture.

    There's lots of ways to buy the farm. Die while sleeping. Die breathing while leaving. Heck, the gas is ground hugging & at 1.8-8.4% explosive level & flash point of -76F its a sure thing anything would set it off. Cigarette / car ignition / light switch / nylon jacket seat cover static / lightning…well do I have to paint a picture?

    Not saying it's going to happen. Hopefully / maybe won't. Don't be so stupid to say it can't. God himself couldn't…

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      You don't need to rebut anything I say, BigLoner. The 'nuclear-size' explosion was based on Dutch's understanding of butane storage at the time. Everyone started repeating his original words even though he had some of the details wrong.

      There are several degrees of danger possible somewhere between 'nuclear-size explosion' and 'no danger'. I have no idea why you suggest I absolutely must mean 'no danger at all' when all I did is point out that the 'nuclear-size explosion' isn't likely because of the way butane behaves.

      The situation does not need sensationalization or exaggeration. It's dangerous, period. Sorry that the laws of physics are somehow a threat to your view.

  • BigLoner

    God himself couldn't sink the Titanic…or so they said in the press release when it was launched.