TV: New roadway being built to access giant sinkhole — ‘Containment berm’ around hole?

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 1:13 pm ET


Title: Texas Brine begins building access road near sinkhole
Source: WAFB
Date: Jan 23, 2013 10:49 AM EST

Texas Brine begins building access road near sinkhole

[…] Texas Brine said there will be four vent wells along the road.

The roadway is expected to be used to access the sinkhole and create containment berm around it.

See also: [intlink id=”officials-growth-event-underway-giant-sinkhole-site-evacuated-equipment-removed-oxy-3-pad-jeopardy” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: January 23rd, 2013 at 1:13 pm ET


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51 comments to TV: New roadway being built to access giant sinkhole — ‘Containment berm’ around hole?

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    Um… can you contain a hole with a berm?

  • Thad

    JOKE-A berm would isolate the salt water from the marsh– until it over flowed.

    The berm would do noting to limit growth of the sinkhole and nothing to prevent salt water/oil/gas contamination of the aquifier–

    The road- where- how far a way to be safe-?

  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    While I agree with the berm to control the salt and oil from getting in to the swamps and bayous, I wonder if creating that bowl effect that will cause the retaining of water inside the berm, to exert more pressure on that bottleneck plug, as it builds up in volume.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      They can always pump it out before then, rb. The berm is for appearance's sake – it will look like they're *doing* something. They can also clean it out easier with Corexit before staged helicopter fly-overs.

      At some point, Texas Brine is going to announce everything 'fixed' and walk away from all this exactly like Gulf South is walking away from their screwed-up cavern on the other side of the dome. The DNR can chase them down later if/when it collapses.

      I would think Oxy and Dow accountants are hard at work crunching the numbers and figuring out when it might be a good idea for them to bail out. The dome is worthless to them if it's going to be a liability in the future. It will be far cheaper to point fingers in court later and 'negotiate' remediation rather than to just hang around now and get stuck with the bill up front.

      I know Gulf South wants to leave – they already have the FERC withdrawal filed. Oxy and Dow? That's just my uneducated guess based on the industries 'business as ususal'. I expect nothing less here.


        Paveway and Thad…I am forced to agree with you. The berm would have been a great idea to stop the TDS's and TDC's….five months ago.
        Now it's become a losing proposition for Crosstex, PB Energy, Gulf South, and soon, for even Dow.
        PW, do you have a link to the FERC filing for Gulf South? It would save me a lot of searching.
        I also agree, rats flee a sinking ship, or compromised salt dome.

          • FREEDOMROX

            I do thank you Paveway, but for some reason it will not open for me, states it's damaged. I appreciate the attempt.

            As for the naming. It went from Hooker #8, to Vulcan #3, and then the whole Vulcan side and the Geismar facility was bought, lock, stock, and barrel by Occidental. So, mostly it's been an Occidental brine facility, since Hooker was bought out by Oxy in 1969, and run by Texas Brine on the producing end.

            Gulf South is two-pronged and a subsidiary of Entergy/Koch Bros., one is the Pipeline side, and Gulf South Operations is the oil and gas drilling side, that is sinking the well on the east side. So now three oil and gas drilling operation are working on the East side of the dome, when if anyone actually wanted to stop this fiasco, as Thad points out, then one rig on the West side would be the way to go to pinch the formations off.

            Whew! They do like to make hard paper trails, don't they?

          • FREEDOMROX

            PW, I finally got it in WORD. FREC is a fun site to navigate.

            "Gulf South seeks authority to abandon the Magnolia Gas Storage Facility (Magnolia Facility) at the Napoleonville salt dome in Assumption Parish, Louisiana,"

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Here's the gist of that document if anyone has trouble opening:

          (January 3, 2013)

          …on December 19, 2012 [Gulf South] filed in Docket No. CP13-
          31-000… Gulf South seeks authority to abandon the [Magnolia Facility] at the Napoleonville salt dome in Assumption Parish, Louisiana, and the storage services provided from that facility… Gulf South also seeks Commission authority to idle the facilities remaining at the Magnolia Facility which were constructed and placed into natural gas service in 2003, but are not proposed for refunctionalization as transmission facilities… These facilities will remain physically in place
          and held for future use…

          The rest is bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo.

          Bridgeline is also hurting because their gas pipe was refunctionalized as sinkhole fill.

          Also found this interesting post from 2011. They hide natural gas everywhere…

          • Ibuiltthis Ibuiltthis

            Not sure if anyone else has posted this but here is Grand Gulf's update to their Austrian Investors:

            (4) Napoleonville Project, Louisiana (Assumption Parish)
            – Napoleonville Hensarling #1 Well (GGP: 3.99% WI; Non-Operator): The Hensarling #1 well,
            reached a TVD of 12,445 feet and ran electric logs over the Cris R IV and V sands, but was unable to
            locate commercial hydrocarbons. The operator will now plug off the bottom of the well and move to
            testing in the Cris R III and II sands (in that order). Recently completed electric logging operations have
            confirmed net pay of 31 feet of pay in the Cris R II sands and 49 feet in the Cris R III sands. Waiting on
            unit rule clarifications prior to testing.


      • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

        The berm is one of DNRs mandates, and also one of the things TB has been fined for. Sooo, maybe it's DNR that will one day walk away and say everythings fine.

        I had heard a while back that all the other dome operators were "getting out".

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Last I saw, Dow is the Dome Operator. That role seems kind of distinct from facility operation.

          Service and transmission companies like PB Energy and Texas Brine are Facility Operators. Facilities are groups of wells. Gulf South Pipeline leases two Dow storage caverns and drilled one of their own (or tried to). Gulf South refers to those three wells as their Magnolia Facility.

          Texas Brine and PB Energy seem to operate more than one facility each for different companies.

          Texas Brine operates the Oxy-Geismar facility – the original three wells and the #3A well. They use to operate those wells for Vulcan Materials in the 90's and called it their Vulcan Facility back then. #3A is on the Occidental Brine #9 pad.

          PB Energy operates the two caverns just to the South (among others). They use to be named Occidental Brine #9 and #10. From what I can tell, they're part of the Oxy-Taft facility operated by PB and that's the official well names used today.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          Didn't mean to sound like an all-knowing buffoon here trying to correct you, RD. I knew what you meant.

          The musical-chair well naming and laundry-list of operators confused me here for months. This is what I've been able to make of the naming conventions so far, so I'm just offering it FWIW in case anyone else is confused.

      • Thad

        "Gulf South is walking away from their screwed-up cavern on the other side of the dome" — in what way is their cavern screw-up???.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          It's unusable? If you go through the 188 pg. pdf of well history for #973123 (Gulf South #1) you'll see Texas Brine's drilling and solution mining, and PB Energy's failed workover attempt in 2005-06. Open-hole in the rotten salt zone from 2000' – 2500'; failed MIT. The usual.

          More interesting: Pg. 17 and below, where Gulf South responds to a DNR requirement to meet realistic closure costs by P&Aing the cavern or getting a bigger guarantee (bond, CD, LOC, etc.). Gulf South dropped their $75K bond and weaseled a $1.5M letter of credit out of Wachovia. Now they can go bankrupt and let the Louisiana taxpayers pay.

          More interesting #2: At of that document is the schematic for Texas Brine's Magic Slurry and Precipitate Hiding contraption. Insoluble salts from the dome are of no use to the chlor-alkali process. What better place to dump them besides your future failed caverns? That's why the bottoms keep rising in the 'precipitate reinjection' caverns. Texas Brine didn't lie – Oxy 3 wasn't hooked up to their slurry sewer system yet. Some other caverns took it's sludge.

        • PavewayIII PavewayIII

          More interesting #2: [I meant to say at the very end – the last page – of the 188pg pdf. There are a few dozen pages before that establishing Gulf South's permission by the DNR and DEQ to reinject.]

          And in case there's any confusion, the 'insoluble magnesium and calcium precipitates' or whatever is the same thing as the NORM pipe scale they mistakenly asked for permission to reinject into #3. Sonny was right – it was a mistake. #3 wasn't set up for reinjection yet.

          They mention some kind of cellulose flocculant – that's the sticky glop on the brine filter screens. They also use it in FiberOne cereal, but not the used stuff from Texas Brine.

          • FREEDOMROX

            Very good work, Paveway. Is this the same cavern that experienced a 'Blowout' in 2003? Sure looks like it to me. After reading all of this, especially TB's, then these have been dual purpose wells since 1994, and TB wasn't lying about the TENORM being in Frac Tanks until re-injected into the caverns , but in Hooker 1, 6, and GL #3.

            This was well before the infamous letter allowing TENORM into Oxy 3.


      Everyone is afraid to respond, and I said I wouldn't, but, for me…things change.

      Rainbow, at this point in time, you make an excellent point. You are correct in your assessment that bottling up the copiuos amount of overburden waters and concentrating it over the bottleneck, "Throat Seep Plug" would be the height of insanity.

      It would increase the probablility of calamitous consequences, and not to TB, ITASCA, or anyone else…just you folks living nearby.

      Worse, Low pressures and High Gas expulsion signals an imminent subsidence on the horizon. Cannot say when. I don't have a crystal ball, but it is inevitable.

      I am sorry, and I will be made to be sorry I responded, but you are correct.


    Unreal! I would put this in Tips, but always ignored, so here goes.

    The Jan. 22nd update is online and has pictures.

    NEWS ALERT! Want to see your Well Pad on CRACK? Well pressures venting gas is beyond belief in it's surge!

    No. "MRAA-03" on well pad #3 was being plugged and abandoned by drilling crew

    5,173 mcf at Vent Well# 1, (if I am reading this correctly)

    Great pictures of the damages at Well Pad 3, and they are plugging and Abandoning MRAA#3. That's the aquifer vent and monitoring well close to Oxy 3.

    This is ORW 12,

    Well Pad is royally screwed.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    A berm?..who is supposed to build it?
    Please don't say the Corps of Engineers.
    Good… until the first tropical storm or hurricane.

    At what distance?

    They want to hide it from view.
    A berm..easy slough-in material.
    Sand box play.

  • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

    Rose, supposedly it's going to be sheet metal pilons.

    • Thad

      To accomplish protecting the aquifier the sheet piling would have to be driven below the aquifier bottom– don't know if they can drive that deep. The impacts of a diesel hammer may not be wise.

      • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

        Thad….the containment wall, or berm is being done to try to protect the surface environment….swamps and bayous. LOL @ attempting to berm off the aquifer.

        You WERE kidding, right?

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          The surface environment…and heavily intertwined in this environment.
          It just became more entwined..with the last 'burp'..that definitely moved..some stuff around.
          Pylons..In the swamp..with a collapsing salt dome under it?..ya ..right.(sarc)
          I think they better see how the..'sinkhole driveway' holds up first.

          • rainbeaudais rainbeaudais

            Heart….it's not a driveway. It's a road being built to access the sinkhole and gain access to other areas to install more flares.

            Do any of you people EVER have ANY thing positive to say?

            • Ibuiltthis Ibuiltthis

              Rainbeaudais, you have been wonderful throughout all of this and it is commendable that you continue to hold out hope. I hope as well.. For everyone's sake including my own, that all the positive in the world happens around this sinkhole. The truth is, it's hard to do that w/out all of the information, with 20 second videos and basing the future on the past. They have yet to give anything to be positive about. It's not the fault of those who didn't cause this and are trying to fix it. It's, like Dr. Shaw Group stated, it's unprecedented. It is what it is, and it's going to take them revealing the entire situation with a plan of action and everyone working together to give hope to some, at least to me. I feel like there is something huge being hidden and would want to know exactly where the upper echelon working at the sinkhole are sleeping at night.

            • 16Penny 16Penny

              Sure, I'm glad a few residents have chosen to get out of harm's way and move. I can understand feeling like you do not have the means to move. If you think you should stay and risk harm for yourself you are entitled to that as well. If you want to move but can't figure out how, think harder. I wouldn't wait for any buyout, it might come too late.

              Good news! Your town didn't fall in today!

            • richard richard

              the beach was great today 😉

  • sentinelle sentinelle

    And they think the berm won't sink?


      @ sentinelle..berm, no, all of the land the berm would be built upon? Yes.

      I'm pretty sure everyone understand what the updates are showing. High volume gas returns, and low pressures, normally means subsidence is about occur, and over a large area, at least to the bubbling sites.

      This latest belch did some real damage.

  • markww markww

    I hope the people over at the bayou read this especially the Monitors, and Agents watching the disaster. The BERM is not going to work,all it is going to do is fall into the hole. What you have here is a self eating disaster, It is going to grow and grow and it is unstoppable. It is going to be a disaster beyond your or anyone's dream or reality. I myself and Dutchsinse and others have written to you how this disaster is going to sink 5 states and everything in Texas to the Balconies Fault. Bubbles sites are expanding, booms now heard around the country north of the sinkhole which might be methane cause explosions underground and in the atmosphere.Places that had no problems now have flammable gas accumulations. Bubble sites getting bigger and more pronounced , and things are getting worse cause the land by the stationary pad is about to collapse into the hole and around one of the injection sites where you have a picture a crack around the site and about 100 PSI pressure be,ow trying to push up and land falling in towards the Butane Part of the Complex. You might have to scratch off the whole dome its falling apart right in front of your eyes.


    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      Hi..Mark..I don't recall DutchSinse..writing Enenews..I may be mistake.
      What concerns that such long winded hypothesis..whether true or not..pushes this situation in the minds of the people..into the area of conspiracy.And perhaps it is important…to remain with the facts at hand.

      PS.I got to hear..Dutch one evening..hopefully in one of his 'off'
      He was sharp and rude.
      He didn't even give me a chance to speak.
      What is his current take on Fukushima?…I haven't seen anything from him lately.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Typo..I might be mistaken.

  • irhologram

    There is room for Mark's observations, particularly since he has some degree of experience with, what had been, up to now, the norm. I don't see any reason why his or Thad's, or anyone else's voice should not be heard here…if spoken sincerely. I really am concerned with any attempt to control content and I feel that bullying, whether it be bullying BY a shill or bullying BY blog members regarding another's unpopular content…well, it's just not appropriate.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I hope my comment above did not display..lack of welcome.
    Actually.. I have always tried to show I welcomed Mark's comments.
    I am just saying we need to be careful.
    We are having difficulty making people understand the local implications to the disaster..and we don't need to be blown off..due to.. too far-flung hypothesis.

    PS. It's a very interesting hypothesis..indeed.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    PS..Nor did I mean to say anything disparaging about Dutch.
    I'm over it..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    New bubble site found southwest of sinkhole

    "Parish officials added Tuesday that the discovery has led to speculation that the row of bubbles marks the edge of a suspected subsidence zone around the outer rim of the sinkhole and also prompted officials to shift the location of a 1,000-foot-deep well that Texas Brine had been directed to drill at the end of the access road.

    The well will be moved to the front of the road, officials said.

    John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. recommended the change to avoid the possibility that the well, which will be used to collect seismic data, would be compromised in the future."

    Compromised..nice choice of words..
    Fall in the sinkhole..more accurate.

  • irhologram

    Some heavy duty "compromising" going on all day today. As far as the logical thought process that "may" project that interconnected, water soluable, disintegrating salt domes, heading in direction of butane, et al storage chambers…when the domes interconnect throughout the area and with eggshell fault lines interlacing throughout the coastal states…and daily increasing seismic activity now felt all the way to Florida's Disney World monitors in fairly sizeable jolts…. I just have to ask….why would you NOT consider the LOGICAL progression of this disaster.into more than a "local" phenom?

  • Thad

    Build a berm around 9 acres, pump down 1 inch = 253,465,861 bbls


      Thad, I take it you are highlighting the insanity of such an idea. Where would that amount ever be pumped to? Texas Brine and Occidental's offices?

      Maybe not such a bad idea after all. 🙂

  • stopnp stopnp

    And I watched as the planet I lived on was destroyed by greed, selfishness and fear.