Officials: We don’t know how much oil is below giant sinkhole — We don’t know where it’s coming from

Published: December 6th, 2012 at 1:57 pm ET


Title: Texas Brine: Sinkhole gas flow diminishing
Source: The Advocate
Date: December 06, 2012

[…] Scientists with the Louisiana Office of Conservation and its contracted agent, Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure, have suggested the cavern failure tapped an oil- and gas-bearing formation thousands of feet deep known as the “Big Hum.”

But officials are not able to say how much oil and gas is in the formation.

“Study is ongoing by Office of Conservation staff and Shaw E&I to determine the potential volume in place, but more work is needed to gather and analyze data to develop a useful estimate,” said Patrick Courreges, spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, of which the Office of Conservation is a part.

“Work is being conducted continually to get to the bottom of this situation,” Courreges said.

Officials have also not pinned down with certainty which formation or formations the gas and crude are coming from.

Courreges added the Office of Conservation and Shaw are analyzing the crude to determine the age of the formation or formations that are the source or sources of the oil and gas being stirred up by the sinkhole-forming events. […]

Published: December 6th, 2012 at 1:57 pm ET


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46 comments to Officials: We don’t know how much oil is below giant sinkhole — We don’t know where it’s coming from

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    Big Hum is a group of sand layers deposited by the Mississippi River eons ago. It is not a hydrocarbon *source* layer. Oil and gas were formed in deeper layers and migrated up to the Big Hum sands. Those sand layers are bent upwards by salt domes and create oil/gas traps next to them.

    The Big Hum sands are mostly filled with water in the deeper formations – the oil/gas floats on top of that water and will collect in the highest spots locally, like the ring around the Napoleonville Salt Dome.

    There is an enormous quantity of oil and gas trapped in spots throughout the Big Hum sands, but you can't drill one well and expect to suck oil from all of South Louisiana. It doesn't even work for the ring around Napoleonville. One well will only produce for a certain amount of time before the pressure drops too low to lift the oil *or* too much water comes up with the oil making it uneconomical to produce that well.

    The sinkhole could stop burping oil tomorrow, or turn into a flaming geyser for the next decade. There's really no way to tell other than identifying the source (Big Hum or whatever) and drilling into that to monitor pressure.

    • 16Penny 16Penny

      They are flat out lying if they are saying they don't know the source. It would be more accurate to say they didn't know what was mixing with at least one known source, which they will not name.
      Anyone got info on the control used for this spectrograph? (page 2 through 6)

      From page 2: "The combined chromatograms in Diagram 1 are the comparison of samples 041-092212-01, 041-092212-02
      and the Standard from the Alkylated PAH analysis. Samples 041-092212-01 and 041-092212-02 have the
      same chemical pattern and are contaminated with the same organic compounds. They contain components of
      the comparison standard but are also contaminated with another lighter hydrocarbon component that is not
      in the comparison standard. Samples 041-092212-01 and 041-092212-02 have a number of compounds
      present at retention time 4 to 7 minutes but the comparison standard does not, "

      They know what the control sample was which was analyzed months ago (9/22/12). I wish someone in the parish would just print off a copy and take it with them to the next meeting. Then we would know what one of the sources is, or know that they are withholding important information if they will not disclose it.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The officials..don't know the origin..or the outcome..but things are under control?
    Is this the part where we throw up our hands..or is this is when.. the officials are told..get the hell back to the sinkhole and figure it out?

  • markww markww

    The Hum is like areas all over the globe oil layers are rivers


  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Again!!! Low levels of H2S coming from the cavern well. "Texas Brine has reported to parish officials low levels of H2S coming from the cavern well. DNR, Shaw representatives, and the OEP Director went to the site to validate Texas Brine’s reading and found no levels of H2S on their monitors. Readings will be repeated in the morning when Texas Brine flows the cavern well again. Should H2S be present at that time, appropriate actions will be taken. We will keep you updated.

    Please note that no H2S readings were picked up on the community air monitors."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And where is the governor?

    Jindal seeks backing from casino billionaire, according to reports

  • In 1986 a cloud of carbon dioxide rising from the lake – a so-called limnic eruption – suffocated over 1,700 people.

  • Imagine what methane or H2S could do

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    "Based on the sinkhole water level transducer, the “burp” that occurred on 1/20/2012 @2245 moved approximately
    15,000 ft3 of water (100,000 gal; 2,700 bbls). This was 0.04 foot instantaneous water level change over the area of
    the sinkhole of about 8 acres. The 0.08 foot change on 11/27/12 moved approximately 30,000 ft3 of water (200,000
    gal; 5,400 bbls). The event on 11/20/12 was preceded by a rapid water level rise of approximately 0.01 foot when a
    gas bubble reached the surface, though the gas dissipated upon reaching surface. A similar rise was not recorded for
    the 11/27/12 seismic event . Both water level changes were recorded by the water level transducer in the one
    inclinometer equipped with such a transducer."

    Also,Texas Brine GEO probe map available here:

    Shaw maps here:

  • CharlesW

    This sinkhole is a scary situation here in the Louisiana area. I will be in the sinkhole (Bayou Corne) area again soon. I will be capturing some HD footage of the sinkhole. I am also reporting on this News story for a radio show out of Fresno, California. I will update you on this important News Story by providing you with NEW HD videos soon. As you can see this sinkhole is ONLY 60 miles from the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power Plant here in Louisiana!

    • markww markww

      Thought if the sinkhole blows the Butane well to the right of the water,which there re indications from the helicorders, we could be facing a nuclear type explosion see video from Dutchsinse below. as a fire captain this could totally wipe out the nuclear plant and start another Fukushima in Louisiana.

      I also believe if by the map 50 miles goes up can you imagine the force when storage tank farms refineries and underground tanks at gas stations all go up it would be a biblical fireball and kill thousands of people by incineration.

      Markww retired Fire Captain


        Gee, Markww, what a cheery thought. Just teasing. Sometimes you just gotta let the doom and gloom go, when there just isn't a thing we can do about it.

        People will do what people will do and Homeland Security ignores us all, until they need a convenient domestic terrorist.


        Markww, may I ask a question? If you got a call from a residence that reported a Natural Gas Leak sixteen feet down and spewing at 5 PSI…what would be your professional response?

        • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

          Good Morning Freedom…

          I have it on video when the gas came up, (working on the video), and it didn't come spewing up. In fact, the guy squatted there for several minutes holding the gauge over the well waiting for the gauge to pick up a reading.

          So my take on it was although zero of course would be normal, 5 PSI isn't all that bad. But remember, this was a very shallow reading, and had they gone deeper, the pressures would have increased.

  • markww markww

    FreedomRox this is bigger than just one person what if is hard when there is nothing to go by.

    The animal was let out of the bag. This is going to happen everywhere.I know if things pop I am going to the balconies escarpment in Texas where it will be the new Gulf Coast. One possibility is freeze the methane, with liquid Nitrogen. One theory I had was to drill to the said of the sinkhole put nitrogen layers and try to freeze the Hum and then layer the side with a aggregate. Maybe if enough drills freeze the animal and stop the side ways drilling some of this may stop but the underground explosions up and down the new Madrid fault and Texas and AZ could be a vent system I know for a fact the Texas boom was felt 60 miles all directions. FREEDOM Rox i think everyone needs to try to come up with solutions no matter how dumb they may be they might work.


    • @markwww : My solution is just a slight modification of the liquid nitrogen possibility… instead of filling the side with aggregate; fill it with politicians and oil & gas executives.

      • bluerthanblu bluerthanblu

        LOL, yeah! Brilliant ideas on these boards, Markww, et. al., yet none being seriously considered. Why? Because they don't involve existing corporate profitability schemes- :/

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        Might as well stick the nukleocrats down there too.. after all, Shaw is Areva.. so they are on site.

  • haizedustrium-1234 haizedustrium-1234

    In the morning, two isolated birds will fly over the an oil carbon-hydrated aqueous pool, flying over water layers of oil, thinking what happened to the other buddies of mine. They were my Hum-mine buddies for y-e-a-r-s. duhh

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Monitoring in area indicated hydrogen sulfide 7:20 a.m. 12/6 DNR Field Update
    "3-A Cavern Well –
    Logging cavern floor depth, Injecting brine/removing oil and flaring natural gas. During flaring operations, crew on site noted that characteristics of flare indicated potential presence of hydrogen sulfide, verified through sampling of separator equipment. Monitoring in area indicated hydrogen sulfide did not escape containment. Well shut in pending evaluation of hydrogen sulfide presence and assessment by Office of Conservation."

  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    HOLY SHIT!!! Something big has happened.. check the helicorders.. every single one of them shows a big event.. WOW..have not seen this before.. maybe 3 or so, but not every one.. 12/07/2012(00)

    • lam335 lam335

      What's a "helicorder"?

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        These displays digitally simulate actual seismograms that are routinely recorded at CERI. The seismograms show a record of how the ground moved at a particular seismograph station in the Southeastern U.S. during a 24-hour period. The seismogram is "read" like a book, from left to right and top to bottom (this is the direction that time increases). As with a book, the right end of any horizontal line "connects" with the left end of the line below it. The colors of the horizontal lines have no particular significance.

        • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

          wondering if these helicorders picked up Japan eq? can anybody do the time adjustment? between 2:30 and 4:30 cst or between 8:30 and 10:30 utc.. what time would that be in Japan?

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    La. sinkhole Big Hum 1000s feet deep might be leaking, new precautions

    Unless I stand corrected.. the Big at a lesser depth than the the caverns..the disturbance in the caverns is below it… it stands to reason that it would be involved.
    I also think there is another issue below the caverns going on..

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Fracking Linked to More Tremors, Sinkholes than Media Wants to Admit (Video)

    Read more:

    • Maggie123

      Thanks, Anne, for posts re fracking. I have concern that it's a 'sleeper'. In so many communities (globally even) it is welcomed as a needed economic boost.

      I'm puzzled alternative energy developments don't attract more interest among local citizens, local political/economic interests also. I can explain it to myself but it's still tough to watch fracking gallop forward when I imagine the same communities dealing with consequences.

  • BigLoner

    Paveway / 16P/ Mark / Charles

    You guys seem to have a better handle on this than I do, but on a few occasions I'm reading info as to the wells 1500' east holding 1.5 mm bbls etc. This map is old ( does not even show actual sinkhole ), but zoom in & confirm if you can in real time what current net fill is on these guys. According to PDR there is POTENTIAL for up to 19 million barrels. Biggest capacity is Chevron #972568 alone at 15.51 bbls natgas.

    CrossTex #971564……1.77 million bbls butane

    CrossTex #971565……1.56 million bbls butane

    Chevron #972568…..15.51 million bbls natgas

    As one can imagine, the results could be Thermo barbaric

    • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

      BigLoner….that is only the capacities listed. There was 945,000 barrels in the Crosstex Butane Cavern when transfer first started.

  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    From the AP Blog: Just now…

    1:15 p.m. Update
    December 7, 2012 //Texas Brine Oxy 3A evaluation was performed this morning and confirmed the well does have H2S present in the hydrocarbon. The Well has been shut in and a work plan is being developed to address this issue. We will update accordingly.

  • CharlesW

    Louisiana sinkhole up close in HD! December 7, 2012 (TODAY) HIGH DEFINITION footage! NOTE: A few people (possibly multiple accounts don't want me to report this news story) Very aggressive individuals with some uknown agenda and or reason(s). They post harassing replies towards me and break the rules listed on this site. I inform my viewers that numerous government agencies are working in the sinkhole area and they are helping people in the community! Not sure if the individuals harassing me have ties to certain organization(s) and or possibly work for the company involved in what has occured in the sinkhole area. Government reps are now monitoring some of the postings here. So if you see any derrogatory comments posted be aware of what is occurring. This is a video link directly related to the subject posted here (Louisiana sinkhole) NO spam! For those that are interested in what is occurring in the sinkhole area I am providing you up close HD footage! Thanks!