State Expert: Crude oil and gas now coming up all over around giant sinkhole — Swamps bubbling back in the trees — Started a few days ago… it’s a good thing (VIDEO)

Published: October 26th, 2012 at 2:01 pm ET


Geologist Gary Hecox at the Assumption Parish, Louisiana Sinkhole Meeting, October 23, 2012:

  • “We also have formation gas coming up all around the sinkhole.”
  • “Going around we’ve noticed bubbles that were in the swamp as well as in the bayous… in the swamp when you get back in the trees.”
  • “All kinds of videos on YouTube of bubbles coming from the sinkhole… I view that as probably a positive thing from a pressure control standpoint… with regard to buildup of gas pressure.”
  • “You’ve got natural gas and crude oil coming in and bubbling up all over.”
  • “The bubbles coming up to the surface in my mind are a good thing.”

Watch the full presentation here

Published: October 26th, 2012 at 2:01 pm ET


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32 comments to State Expert: Crude oil and gas now coming up all over around giant sinkhole — Swamps bubbling back in the trees — Started a few days ago… it’s a good thing (VIDEO)

  • jec jec

    Hope all these scientists realize their "pronouncements" will influence safety of citizens. In Italy, it was a manslaughter charge and 6 yrs in jail..for denying any danger from earthquakes. I can only think Shaw Group and DNR will realize THEY face a finger of blame if they "misspeak"…and lives are lost because of it.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Dr. Hecox is a geologist, not a politician. He seems like he's being honest and is merely trying to explain what they know (or don't know) of the situation to the Bayou Corne residents. It didn't sound like he was trying to sugar-coat anything and he pointed out some of his own incorrect assumptions made in the process so far.

      In response to questions about the safety of remaining in their homes, Dr. Hecox says that his measure of that – knowing what he knows – is "Would he let his children or grandchildren stay there?" He specifically said "No" and the evacuation order was appropriate for now. The audience seemed to appreciate that answer. No risk percentages or probabilities or politician double-speak.

      People here should be glad that he even bothered to speak and answer questions at the meeting. Isn't it common to hear Fukushima evacuees complain that they are either lied to or simply not told anything by anyone? Why would Dr. Hecox ever bother to do this again if people are just going to read between the lines and dwell on wording or expressions taken out of context? Would you trust the Texas Brine spokesperson more since he would be slicker at tiptoeing around the issues?

      The L'Aquila scientists did not say it was safe in town. Actually, they didn't say anything after their meeting there – they just left. Their only conclusion was that they couldn't tell if the quake was going to be in a day, a week or ten years away. The local official spun that as…

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        From a pressure release standpoint, yes, it might be a good sign that there is bubbling in the swamps. But apparently Dr. H. is also not a biologist nor is he an ecologist. Hmmn … can't help wondering what all that toxic goo is doing to the local flora and fauna …

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    How can it be "a good thing"?

    • Anthony Anthony

      I just hope you don't live near this mess anne!

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      Only a "good thing" in that there is less likelihood of a major explosion as pressure is finding a way out.. hence the bubbles.. if no bubbles, then maybe that could signify pressure building and an explosive release of pressure to come.

    • moonshellblue moonshellblue

      I guess because it will not explode since it is naturally venting?

  • concerned_citizen

    Call me crazy, but bubbles with earth tremors….isn't this what preceded the development of the earth opening up and creating this sinkhole?! Like anne and others — HOW can this be a good thing? Oh, wait, Mr. Hecox did specify from a "pressure control standpoint" — so it's good to release gas pressure so as not to cause an explosion??

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      It could be a "good sign" to that person who made the statement if they are part of the group of those dealing with,and/or analyzing & assessing the event who are of the belief that eventually the sinkhole would "finish collapsing and filling back up with swallowed land and begin to stabilize without further event"??! My personal level of concern about the potential for disaster has been "numbed" forever by Fukushima….everything else just seems to be a "distraction" to me nowadays…the gas will pass(me thinks?,lol) 🙂

  • Usefulbreather

    I have to question the logic behind that statement. Isn't he admitting to having found additional bubbling sites that aren't presently mapped, "in the swamp as well as in the bayous… in the swamp when you get back in the trees.” If so, shouldn't they be added to the map? Describing more bubbling sites, but not mapping them along with the others is definitely not a good thing. How many has he found? I just keep thinking about a champagne cork slowing popping off the bottle. First there are a few bubbles, then a few more and then…

  • razzz razzz

    Can't control the gas seeping up to the surface but if it finds the path of least resistance by itself to one area, like the sinkhole, then there is less worry it seeps up randomly in other parts of the swamp.

    Hope the other adjoining cavern walls are thicker than the outside of the dome wall that caved in.

    La Brea Tar Pits is a tourist action near Hollywood.

  • ReactorHalfEmpty

    An interesting related article on currently:

    "Menschengemachte Erdbeben – Die verheimlichten Ursachen der Katastrophen"

    Lists various cases of earth quakes / tremors where it has subsequently been determined that it was quite likely caused by man-made large-scale earth movement / pressure (fracking, river dams, …).

  • datura17

    all i know is, if the gas bubbles and oil is coming from something big and under pressure, then they will do nothing but accelerate, as they are eroding their passage faster and faster with more and more volume.

  • Sol Man

    I think that the increase in the gas release is not necessarily a good thing. Seems that more may be let as the gas pathways are further cleared. I don't want to think about the potential ramifications when drawing this straight line. As a few weeks ago I suggest, no implore, everybody that can, leave the area. Doesn't this seem prudent?

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Very prudent, Sol Man. Mr. Hecox is giving his considered opinion but he is also saying that it is ONLY an opinion. He and the others do not actually know what is going on because they have never experienced this before anywhere in the world, according to the seismologists who sought international help. That each day the sink hole grows, the methane and oil releases increase in both amounts and territory, the cavern walls crumble, and the bottom of the cavern had, yet, another large shift yesterday, i'd say it's time to find friends or family to hunker down with away from all this for the foreseeable future.

  • many moons

    Good thing bad thing there is too much speculation, blind greed followed by an OH NO, what do we do now-lets keep this to ourselves!

    Fracking five hundred feet from a nuclear plant is just fine!!!

    I think "expert scientist" need to take a simple common sense exam before receiving their credentials to kill.

  • Sol Man

    The ramifications would be much worse when we consider the upward-sloping half of the parabola. That is if the occurrences of the gas seeps begets more and larger seeps until an uncontrolled instantaneous event. The greater the quantity that releases, then the more that will be released sooner in time. That is the problem that I am attempting to relate.

  • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

    How much better it would have been had they never used this area for dumping and injecting underground. They have done this all over the country….

  • patb2009

    it's been bubbling for a month, that's helpful.

    if it can bubble at some sort of steady state, or have a controlled slump, it will
    likely not be worst case

  • WorkerBee

    Is that all there is to a gas leak?

  • michellemamarn

    @MarkW- Where are you Mark? This is definitely not a good thing according to Mark. I recall he was very worried about the possibility of an explosion; more bubbles= greater possibility!

  • markww markww

    I am here I have been on my Ham Radio talking to people I know in NYC it seems they are getting ready for the frankenstorm Hurricane.I read the article HERE- gut feeling Here its getting bigger since more gas bubbling up just have to watch and see what it does. The crack from a couple days ago wasn't good slipping. Going to be a strange week coming up. It is almost midnight going to get some sleep and will read tomorrow and Sunday in spare time

    • Radio VicFromOregon

      Interesting Markww. I have to agree that i "feel" there is something very odd going on here, something different, not necessarily fishy like hiding stuff, though, we all know the drill about not alarming the public. What i mean is that every explanation so far given always falls short of what takes place in the next few hours. The sinkhole is always one or two steps ahead of the experts and does the next "unexpected" thing. Given the nature of the mix of hydrocarbons and who knows what else, i tend to agree with this author that the methane has to be taken very seriously for everyone concerned. A sudden dropping or jerking of earth a mile deep down what is essentially now an oil and methane hole can't be a good sign. And, the bubbling thing…hmmm…not just more serious bubbling but many more bubbling sites following the edge of the salt dome, not just the cavern area, so while that may mean that at least the gas is venting, it seems to be venting from several cracks and fissures instead of up the drill hole from the cavern as it ought to be if, indeed, a channel is being followed up through several other caverns stacked one above the other where the gas and oil should rise as a single gusher. My gut tells me that this salt dome is like dropping a piece of flourite crystal. It initially holds together on the outside, but, cracks will have formed all throughout the matrix. You think you have one whole piece when you are actually about to have a pile.

  • arclight arclight

    Greenpeace: US tried to cover-up effects of BP’s Gulf oil spill _Real cost for BP 50 billion Dollars?

    "After the decomposed carcass was discovered, U.S. officials gave strict instructions to the crew aboard the vessels that no information or photographs were to be released. NOAA did later issue a press release about the dead whale, though it was soon edited in such a way that it appeared to minimize the oil’s effect on whales."

    “We believe a full throated debate over the settlement amount needs to happen before any deal is done,” said John Kostyack, a vice president at the National Wildlife Federation, who estimates BP’s potential liability at more than $50 billion."

    • Michele

      Did you notice arklight that at the end of the article there is an ad. for BP working for alternative energy? After fouling our oceans and continents, then walking away from the responsibility they are professing to be searching for cleaner sources of energy. Too Late for the people in the Gulf states and in neighboring Mexico.