Uncontrolled gas flow continues from well in Gulf of Mexico — Trying to stop it from moving underground

Published: February 20th, 2013 at 3:32 pm ET


Fuel Fix, Feb. 19, 2013: Drilling specialists have been pumping heavy fluids into a gas well 50 miles off the Louisiana coast in a bid to halt natural gas moving among underground formations at the site. The intervention is taking place roughly two weeks after workers detected a kick, or uncontrolled flow of fluid, at the Apache Corp. well on Feb. 4. […] tests detected the hydrocarbon had migrated from the bottom of the 8,300-foot hole to a shallower sand formation 1,100 feet below the sea floor. […] The company had contracted with the well control specialists at Boots & Coots, a Halliburton company, to try and kill the well […] “With BSEE oversight, Apache Corp. has been pumping drilling fluids into the well to stop the underground flow,” the agency said in a statement. […]

AHN, Feb. 19, 2013: In an attempt to block natural gas movements from underground formations at the site, drilling specialists on Tuesday decided to intervene by pumping heavy fluids into Gulf of Mexico’s gas well. The decision came nearly two weeks after workers discovered an uncontrolled flow of fluid at one of the Houston-based Apache Corp’s wells. […]

“[We’re] continuing our efforts to control the migration of gas in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. [… Apache’s] continuing to plan for a relief well, if that becomes necessary” –Apache spokesman John Roper

See also: [intlink id=”radio-uncontrolled-gas-flow-gulf-mexico-wsj-experts-trying-stop-flow-gas-below-seafloor” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: February 20th, 2013 at 3:32 pm ET


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  3. Update: Divers look for “breach on the sea floor” near troubled well in Gulf of Mexico February 15, 2013
  4. Gas levels prevent workers from attempting to stop leak in Gulf of Mexico — Well was already in trouble a day before — Six Coast Guard vessels at site — Officials “did not say” when they expect it plugged July 11, 2013
  5. Newspaper: Uncontrolled gas well in Gulf is highly pressured — New flyover of area; numerous work and supply vessels (PHOTOS) February 21, 2013

42 comments to Uncontrolled gas flow continues from well in Gulf of Mexico — Trying to stop it from moving underground

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    They are going to run out of specialists before they run out of petroleum problems it seems.


      16Penny, could you check email, please. Actually, this is a very relevant comment, for the simple fact that observation trumps engineering at this point. It is now within the Earth's power to define what the next step will be, and no silly Halliburton Company can do much to stop whatever will happen. Either it will hold and re-absorb, (lol), or it will find a path of least resistance in one form or another.

      All the Specialist's, Experts, Driggers, Sooth-Sayers….nothing but endless chatter, for as this simple statement 16 Penny made above is profound. It shall do as it shall do, no matter how vehement the arguments may become.

      • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

        Hiya Rox. Insomnia tonight. One more post for you. Look at what BP did to the floor of the once pristine gulf of mexico. Now you know why I don't dive anymore in the Gulf. Utterly disgusted and heartbroken. Some of my lifelong best memories are from diving and spearfishing in the gulf. Costa Rica is looking pretty good right now. The Eastern side as to avoid the fukuplume at the oceanic level is the way to go.


      • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

        Is it possible that the thick layer of oil and corexit on the ocean floor in the gulf is preventing the venting of naturally occurring methane from the ocean floor, causing build up and migrating elsewhere and then releasing in larger quantities?


  • markww markww

    wonder if the underground formations run under the new Madrid fault


    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      If not, it'll get there soon enough.

      Too bad Simmons isn't here to fill in the blanks. I would guess everyone else that knows anything about this is on Big Oil's payroll.

      I would also venture a guess that this is waay beyond anything any of the 'experts' have ever possibly imagined, just like no one could possibly 'imagine' 4 NPP's would blow up.

      Didn't Simmons say that a large chunk of the Mississippi River Valley could just blow up, one explosion triggering another?

      • Thad

        Time Is Short
        To bad Simmons is not here to explain that he had absolutely no scientific education or experience. That he was a financier and explain why he bought 8,000 shares of BP WHILE he was so nusy preaching and predicting doom and gloom.
        Research it you will find NOT one of his predictions came true.

        • We Not They Finally

          To which I would reply, can you at least not look at who wound up DEAD, and what they were SAYING just before their death?? And by the way, his BIG prediction was massive uncontrolled spewing from the Gulf, which IS coming true.L ike what is YOUR agenda? You comments are not credible.

          • Thad

            We Not They Finally

            "his BIG prediction was massive uncontrolled spewing from the Gulf, which IS coming true"


            "what is YOUR agenda?"

            Truth and reality

            "You comments are not credible."

            Where is your documentation otherwise. It is a matter of reacord what he was and what he did.

            Either he was a liar and stock nanipulator or he was insane– No sane man would buy 8,000 shares in a company-in an industry if he truly believe what he was saying.And that is a natter of record.

            Your choice –was your hero a liar or a madman– neither can be trusted?

            • Time Is Short Time Is Short

              Matthew Roy Simmons (April 7, 1943[4] – August 8, 2010) was founder and chairman emeritus of Simmons & Company International, and was a prominent figure in the field of peak oil. Simmons was motivated by the 1973 energy crisis to create an investment banking firm catering to oil companies. In his previous capacity, he served as energy adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush. He was, up until his death, a member of the National Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.

              “The Bushes' ties to John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil go back 100 years, when Rockefeller made Buckeye Steel Castings wildly successful by convincing railroads that carried their oil to buy heavy equipment from Buckeye. George H. Walker helped refurbish the Soviet oil industry in the 1920s, and Prescott Bush acquired experience in the international oil business as a 22-year director of Dresser Industries. George H.W. Bush, in turn, worked for Dresser and ran his own offshore oil-drilling business, Zapata Offshore. George W. Bush mostly raised money from investors for oil businesses that failed. Currently, the family's oil focus is principally in the Middle East.”


              Out of thousands of oil/energy experts, George W. Bush, a President from a family dynasty in the international oil and energy business, picked Matt Simmons to be one of his personal advisers.

              I think the record speaks for itself.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          I never said he was a saint. Lots of people say one thing, and do another. Like all of our political class, for starters, voting to immunize themselves from insider trading laws. But that's for another forum.

          As far as Simmons' predictions, Bayou Corne might be the first of them to come true. The jury is still out, but time will tell, it's early yet. What he said about the Mississippi River Valley has yet to play out, and clearly no one hopes he is right about that.

          Simmons didn't need to be educated on trees, when he was an expert on the forest, and no one that knew him disagrees with that.

          For example, George Soros talks about 'saving the world', but he doesn't turn down an opportunity to make a billion dollars on the suffering of the Japanese people.

          He's not a nuclear physicist, but he knows the financial results of a horrible nuclear accident, and bets accordingly.

          No one will ever call Soros a saint, but if he tells me that Japan is going belly up, I'll pay attention.

          In the end, Thad, it's about explaining the forest to people that need to understand the situation, not fighting over the individual trees. YMMV.

        • pauls

          Mr. Simmons was "shorting" BP stock to the tune of 8k shares. He was sure they would go bankrupt cause "they've killed the gulf".

      • We Not They Finally

        We SAW Matt Simmons on t.v. in August 2010 on the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC. He said there was a hole in the bottom of the sea, oil would be spewing massively for decades, but BP would not say anything because "They would go to prison and their fortunes would be gone." Soon after, he shows up dead. Enough clarification for US!!

    • Thad

      No- there are at least two coastal faults east to west it would have to cross first. The Baton Rouge and the Tapetate. The GoM is a sedimentary basin the formatiin inside are confined to that basin the norther most point is south of Vicksburg MS.. The NMF is far north iutside of the basin


      • markww markww

        One interesting theory is that the “oil volcano” unleashed by the BP oil spill in 2010 may have sparked renewed seismic activity in that part of the world.Jack M. Reed, a retired Texaco geologist-geophysicist, has been carefully studying the geology of the Gulf of Mexico for over 40 years. Reed is convinced that the Gulf of Mexico is currently tectonically active, and that the Gulf of Mexico is the source for most seismic activity along the New Madrid fault.According to Reed, there is substantial evidence that the New Madrid fault zone is directly connected to “deeply buried tectonics” in the Gulf of Mexico

        • 16Penny 16Penny

          If I had to guess a cause for all of the incidents recently with gas explosions, leaky wells, leaky bayou's etc. that would be it. It only makes sense that they were trying to tap an abiotic oils source then it could be warm enough to rapidly melt the methane hydrates. One way to pin this down would be to have access to GOM current readings and look for unusually low inflow to GOM and normal outflow as the sedimentary "airbag" inflated with gaseous methane.

          We are so proud that we can pump natural gas and oil across vast distances. Are we to vain to investigate whether our planet can too?

          • Thad

            16 Penny
            Devil's advocate –:<)
            Methane Hydrates would be a real challege, In situ warm up and poof there it goes as a gas. If it is to be "harvasted" it would it have be kept at a temp and pressure to remain a hydrate until pumped in to a container. And at some point the water phase would have to be removed –as methane hydrate is a combination of methane and water ice and acts as a semi-solid. Methane with out a water content can not form a hydrate.
            Under ground movement of natural gas is well known- that is how a huge gas sand can be produced by a small number of well –the gas within the sand moving to the low pressure point of the producing well
            Cross country transport of gas is inside a steel pipe. Underground it is within a sand formation sealed off between impermeable formations.. There are natural oil and gas seeps where a fault or fracture goes from the containing formation through the sealing layers to surface.. Same as the springs on an aquifer–
            Abiotic oil is still a theory that has all but been passed over as just a theory and no more.
            Not sure what you mean here—
            "It only makes sense that they were trying to tap an abiotic oils source then it could be warm enough to rapidly melt the methane hydrates–"

            • 16Penny 16Penny


              "It only makes sense that they were trying to tap an abiotic oils source then it could be warm enough to rapidly melt the methane hydrates–"

              To clarify, if there is any credibility to the legend, and you were greedy wouldn't you squat your rig down on the source and cut all other producers out or drastically reduce their production. Add in the unprecedented pressures they encountered in the bore and it makes me curious what they were doing.

              I heard rumors that the Russians had found or were looking for an abiotic oil source. I did a quick google on it and it is a very controversial topic judging from the results. I am not a petroleum engineer, nor do I have near the insight or background research. This is not a topic I care to pursue right now, I have some more important irons in the fire.

              The intent behind my comment was that if someone wanted to start proving a case for methane hydrate sublimation in the gulf, finding records of the GOM currents after the Macando mishap might provide some support for a big methane bubble forming under sedimentary layers of the seafloor. Such a gigantic bubble as I have heard claimed should accelerate the outflow currents in the Gulf while slowing, diverting or disturbing inflow currents.

              Notice a lot of "my guess" and other qualifying terms. It is an interesting subject and with all of this gas activity it keeps resurfacing. Now about the fountain of youth and the goose that lays my golden eggs. . . 🙂

              • Thad

                16 Renny
                Sone times my debating a subject the sarcasm sounds like a fight. Note always neant that way.
                As far as the Apache well many more possible hundreds have been drld in the same general area to much greater depths any abiotic source would have been discovered 40 or even 50 yrs ago..The well is classified as a developement well- not an exploration well. mot a discovery well.
                Yes there was methane hydrate around the area of the BP well head and no one bothered to explain it was formed by the methane falling out solution of the blow-out blow. People in the know did not need an explanation- sad they should have and it would have shoert stopped some of the mis-information- It was simple enough to explain show ROV clips in order would have shown as it collected day to day– but the peanut section was already crying it was coming from the seabed. How anything that came out of the BP disaster well get back under the sedinentary layer– if it would hold methane in then it would hold methane out.
                NOAA monitors the GoM closely and constantly– just for "what ifs" — a big methane bubble would be detected– and the boom in drlg would be on. I'm sure you are aware of the onshore boom in natural gas and the problems of fracking– difficulty in getting leases and permits. A methane 'bubble' in the GoM would have the oil companies dancing like drunken sailors–

                • 16Penny 16Penny

                  Ok, please let me bounce this off you. Was the Macondo well along the flank of a salt dome? And I know you think the Methane hydrates fell out of solution as you stated earlier, but the USGS seems to be sure there are large deposits under the sedimentary ocean floor. (see map in link, note yellow indicates salt formations.)




                  "Here, the methane is isotopically light (δ13C < -60‰) which indicates that it is derived from the microbial reduction of CO2. The clathrates in these deep deposits are thought to have formed in situ from the microbially produced methane"

                  My wacky hypothesis:

                  Bore hole intercepted flank of a salt dome and a deep deposit of methane hydrate. As the methane hydrate was heated by the leaking hot oil from deep formations, it released methane gas and water, fresh water. Confined by the geology gas pockets and water puddles formed, starting a cycle of dissolving salt and methane hydrates. What destabilized the in-situ conditions? A change in heat and pressure.

                  As this process progressed the gas could force the fresh water released from the methane compounds through seams in the geology, especially along salt formations which can be eroded by the water. This gives a pathway for migrating gas and water over many miles as the chain reaction forces gas and water through salt welds and permeable…

                  • Thad

                    I need to study hydrates more-came into interest after I left the field for office- bit out of the loop.
                    The MC-252 well was drld near a saltdome- not unusual. The geo-dynamic that created saltdomes up lifted deep formations, cause faults and 'traps' for hydrocarbons. The formation causing the problems beside the Naponleanville Dome from 2,000-3,000ft were drld and are being produced from 11,000-12,000 ft by GGC ~ 5 miles south. The low volune flows of gas and oil at the sinkhole are is due to the breaking of continuity of formations close to the dome. A rubble zone – structural weakness facilitating the breach and reason for problem identifying th exact sand leaking.
                    The optimum place to drl is upslope beside the dome BUT below the rubble zone. Deep GoM basin oil formations are pressureised by a deeper salt water drive-drl upslope the saltwater pushes the oil to the well.
                    Seabed gas hydrate lots of information but there is one thing that keeps repeating the zone where it can occur is restricted to a area between the cold seabed down to the point where geothermal temperature exceed the freezing point of water. Think Yellow Stone in the winter–geyser water ice and snow on the ground and boiling water a few ft down.
                    Scientific thought is that the methane formed biotic below the cold zone then as it migrated up into the cold nearer to seabed surface hydrates form and collect.
                    Deep water wells are referred to as HP/HT –High Pressre/ High Temp.BP 12,750 psi /…

        • Thad

          " oil volcano" ?? the BP blowout was through a cased hole wellhead-

          The blow-out did not increase pressure but reduced formation pressure by the amount of oil and gas that blew-out.– just as you can not increase pressure in a tire by letting air out.

          Jack M Reed's theory has been around for some time yet none of his peer group efe AAPG has supported–? He hinself said it was inly a theory

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      I suspect the New Madrid fault line is affected because just this past weekend I felt/heard a rumbling noise and shaking in the 90 yr. old brick building I live on the top floor of that was NOT due to anything else happening at the time and my family noticed it and felt it was unusual too. Sure enough within an hour I was able to find two separate EQ's listed in both western Tennessee & Oklahoma at the same time the building here on the SW side of Chicago was vibrating like a dildo full of Duracell's!!(?)…I shudder to think of what's "next" on the list of disasters to come?!! 😐 ~**

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Boots and Coots aren't they the ones responsible for the so called clean up of the BP oil spill.

    • Thad

      Nope– just named in the conspiracies by peple seeking a villian claining because Halliburton bought before the BP disaster– Halliburton did now finalise purchace until Oct '10. B&C has no oil spill clean up ability.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Thanks Thad I recalled the name and Halliburton buying them. Thanks again for the reboot of my aging memory.

        • Time Is Short Time Is Short

          "Boots & Coots/IWC is one of the world's premier well control companies. Founded in 1978 by Red Adair's lieutenants, Asger "Boots" Hansen and the late Ed "Coots" Matthews,[1] Boots & Coots International Well Control, Inc. was responsible for putting out about one third of the more than 700 oil well fires set in Kuwait by retreating Iraqi soldiers in the Gulf War."


  • We Not They Finally

    Matt Simmons (former energy advisor to Bush Sr.) said publicly that there was a hole in the sea due to BP actions, and oil would be spewing massively ongoing. That was back in August 2010. The host (Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC) asked him, why don't they say anything, and the response was "Because they would go to prison and their fortunes would be gone." Two weeks later he was found dead in his hot tub at home. I think (someone can check) that the masive ongoing spewing of oil began to come to the surface of the Gulf on the heels of Hurrican Isaac which might have started churning it up from the bottom. In any case, this is VERY serious.

    • Thad

      To bad Simmons is not here to explain that he had absolutely no scientific education or experience. That he was a financier and explain why he bought 8,000 shares of BP WHILE he was so nusy preaching and predicting doom and gloom. Stock manipulator.

      Research it you will find NOT one of his predictions came true.

      "the masive ongoing spewing of oil began to come to the surface of the Gulf on the heels of Hurrican Isaac" there was no massive spewing of oil only tar balls as expected — no live crude.


        Thad, all of the so-called 'Experts', and Drilling Specialists have been wrong. I take up for no one, except the abiotic posting above, yet it is height of hubris that Mankind thinks it can achieve anything that Nature has not already done first. That is known as a lesson learned.

        I respect your knowledge and opinion, but then….you have been proven wrong on numerous occasions as well. Not a jibe, just the truth.

        No one knows it all. Well, One maybe.

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    "we now conclusively know that Methane laden oil and Corexit, resulting from the BP oil spill, permeates the entire geological structure and threatens to reap widespread devastation upon the beleaguered State and perhaps even the entire region. The methane and Corexit has even made its way into the New Madrid Fault prompting FEMA earthquake drills and the need to ship thousands of generators to Louisiana"

    "I’m well aware of what happened to Matt Simmons and at least nine other people who died mysterious deaths after exposing various aspects of this conspiracy."


    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      'Are Monster Sinkholes An Indication That Major Earth Changes Are Coming Along The New Madrid Fault?'


      'Matthew Roy Simmons (April 7, 1943– August 8, 2010) was a famous oil exec who became a BP whistleblower in the weeks before his strange death. Much of what he stated about the disaster was later proven true. He advocated for a complete evacuation of the Gulf of Mexico states, respirators to be supplied to all 20+ million people living on the Gulf (because of fumes from toxic crude, not corexit, which according to him is “worse than mustard gas”), and he believed the real source of the oil was coming from a giant blow-out 10 miles away from the well B site.'


      • Thad

        Time Is Short
        "Matthew Roy Simmons — was a famous oil exec —"
        Simmons never was an exec in any oil company–
        "his strange death–" 67 yo over weight desk jockey- hot water shock to a bad heart- nothing strange about that.
        An the 20 million that did not evac we are still here doing fine doing fine
        First the "real blow-out" was 5-6 miles away now 10–? How was it drld, how was it killed and by who ??

  • We Not They Finally

    We've heard said that there are also volcanoes of methane under the sea. Once things get disrupted through breaches in the sea floor, it's probably a big "all bets are off." It would be helpful to have geologists making comments.

  • dosdos dosdos

    When the earth farts…….

  • irhologram

    We Not They

    Well…they DID, finally. Today. Although parsed. Please see my comments http://enenews.com/gas-covers-2-square-miles-underground-sinkhole/comment-page-1#comment-332483

    From the story: "is enough to have large volumes come to the surface very rapidly if it’s uncontrolled. It’s enough to do very serious damage to anything on the surface if it’s not controlled." That's parsing for explosion.

  • Sol Man

    For your consideration: wife of our 2nd President, Jonn Adams, Abigail, conversed with Thomas Jefferson at a dinner, "…I have heard a clergyman who upon some difficulty amongst his people, took a text from these words: "And they knew not what to do," from whence he drew this inference, that when a people were in such a situation, that they do not know what to do, they should take great care that they do not do they know not what.
    At this he laughed out…"
    "John Adams. by David McCullough 2001 p.559

    We should have moved much more slowly in these life defying technologies. It's a bit late now.

  • irhologram

    Late or NOT, it's where we ARE. Nihilism and hopelessness are not worthy of us. If we did not stand up then, does that mean we just go down whimpering now? When DO we show strength of character? No, we won't be comfortable…but did we completely loose sight of how hard it was for our forefathers to get us here? I hear the literal words here every day: "How sad, how sad." We'll, yes, of course, it's sad and we've done a sad job with our humanity. But does that mean we give up on the bravery within us? We just go down failures, without a fight, without honor? I don't think that's who you think you are.