Louisiana Sinkhole Explained

I looked and looked for an explanation on the Louisiana Sinkhole and found this one. There is a Facebook Page dedicated to the sinkhole that hasn’t been talked about much in the media. This could be catostrophic for all of us. If you don’t know about this sinkhole and want more information check out the page:
Bayou Corne Sinkhole


First, the Napoleonville salt dome is a 1×3 mile underground natural salt deposit. Salt domes are used by petrochemical companies to store crude oil, natural gas (methane), liquefied petroleum gas, and radioactive or toxic wastes, among other things, after they have been mined, and caverns or wells created. For more info on specifics of salt domes and their uses, please refer to this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_dome

The Nepoleonville salt dome has roughly 50 caverns in it (exact number is unclear because I’ve heard so many different ones). One of these caverns drilled and owned by the company Texas Brine is situated on the west edge of the salt dome. On August 3rd, 2012 it was discovered that a sinkhole or “slurry”, about the size of one football field, had appeared roughly above this cavern now known as Oxy Geismar Well #3. This came after months of various bubble sites being found in the surrounding bayous, and “tremors” felt by locals. These bubbles are now known to be methane gas.

At first is was unknown what had caused the sinkhole, but later found that TB’s (Texas Brine’s) cavern had collapsed resulting in the “cave in”. It is now known that the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) knew that there was integrity problems with this cavern at least since January of 2011. There is a letter from TB to DNR stating that their cavern had failed a pressure test…this was ignored, and not admited until someone dug up that letter. The story is the same with radioactive waste that was being stored in the cavern. On Aug. 25, 1995 DNR signed a permit allowing TB to store NORM (naturally occuring radioactive material) in Oxy well #3. The Advocate reported: “The radioactivity of scale, a common byproduct of oil and gas exploration and production, can vary widely from background levels to much higher”, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says. DEQ officials said Wednesday “NORM materials can be harmful if ingested and confirmed they had not been testing the sinkhole for radioactivity.” I’m told that the amount of Norm on site is not enough to pose any health hazards.

It was discovered that the methane bubbles were coming from the Mississippi Alluvial Aquifer. This aquifer runs over the top of the salt dome, and under the bayous and swamps of the area. It is still unclear why the methane has built up there, but they have drilled wells down into it to vent and flare off the methane there in an attempt to relieve the pressure. Currently there are five vent wells completed in the alluvial aquifer and one, Relief Well #2, completed in the cap rock. Four of the vent wells have positive wellhead pressure indicating gas accumulation; the fifth well has no wellhead pressure. The venting was at first unsuccessful due to the wells becoming clogged. Three of the wells are daily flaring methane at a rate of 12 – 32 mcf/day, as stated by the latest field update submitted by the office of conservation. http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/825-p-m-bayou-corne-field-update/

Two days before Thanksgiving it was reported that H2S (hydrogen sulfide) gas was found at at TB’s vent well #2. Texas Brine failed to report this to any of the approriate agencies until almost 24 hours after it was discovered. (Hydrogen Sulfide is a highly flammable and explosive gas and is a mucous membrane and respiratory tract irritant. Pulmonary edema, which may be immediate or delayed, can occur after exposure to high concentrations. Symptoms of acute exposure include nausea, headaches, delirium, and disturbed equilibrium, tremors, convulsions, and skin and eye irritation. Inhalation of high concentrations can produce extremely rapid unconsciousness and death. Exposure to the liquefied gas can cause frostbite injury.” – http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/files/hydsulflab.pdf ) They are currently reviewing a plan to seal the well where the H2S was found.

There have been several “slough ins” and other sinkhole activity. The latest was Nov 27. This was the update posted by the APPJ (Assumption Parish Police Jury) – “An event occurred at the sinkhole around 11:30 pm today which is being considered as a “burp”. Vegetative debris and hydrocarbons came up from below the sinkhole. A few trees in the southwest corner did fall in however most of the debris came from below the sinkhole. Texas Brine removed all crews from the sinkhole and is checking the boom surrounding the area to make sure everything is in tact. A video from the sinkhole, post-event is posted at: http://www.youtube.com/user/assumptionla

Over the past three and a half months the sinkhole continues to grow, currently about the size of 8 football fields. The bubbles are still bubbling and the tremors are still being felt. You can find more details and follow the official updates by the APPJ at: http://assumptionla.wordpress.com/author/assumptionla/ And the two facebook pages created, and maintained by locals at: http://www.facebook.com/BayouCorneSinkhole and http://www.facebook.com/groups/170121413123913/



For my Youtube Playlist on this topic go to:


About Ajai Dittmar

There is nothing 'radical' about wanting to save your historical neighborhood! There is nothing 'negative' for wanting an 'outside investigation' done a public service that has had a lot of embarrassing news, especially when they don't do their jobs! There is nothing 'odd' about wanting politicians to uphold the Constitution they swear to uphold when they are sworn into office! Follow @sibzianna View all posts by Ajai Dittmar

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