See UPDATES below.
I just spoke with someone on the ground in Assumption Parish, LA where a huge sinkhole has swallowed up acres of trees. A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for 150 homes and they expect the sinkhole to grow another 2000 feet. The sinkhole is over a natural gas storage area. Last night and this morning residents reported smelling a diesel like odor near the sinkhole.
There are several pipelines in the area that were mentioned in earlier news today when they were calling it a “slurry.” There is also an abandoned well that was suspect. And we must remember that the bubbling in the swamp started after a blowout. But no one is talking about the salt domes that were used to generate chlorine then converted to natural gas storage. Scratch that. They are talking about the salt dome.
UPDATE: Well, you had to know Texas would be involved somehow. Hat tip to my BlueBloggin buddy.
BAYOU CORNE — The “potential failiure” of an inactive and plugged Texas Brine Co. LLC salt-mining cavern is likely the cause of a slurry area,
Scroll down to update on Magnolia Storage facility operated by Koch subsidiary.
The governor has declared a state of emergency.
People in Beaumont should know that they are storing natgas in a salt dome there. VIDEO Again, thanks to David.
Dave Schultz, vice president of asset development for AGL Resources talks about the new natural gas storage cavern being created within the Spindletop Salt Dome for Golden Triangle Storage. The finished storage cavern will eventually store 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
UPDATE: Natural gas has been bubbling up in the bayou for 2 months but scientists have been unable to pinpoint the source. There is significant oil and gas infrastructure in the area. There is no positive link yet between Texas Brine Co. LLC and the sinkhole.
Employees and residents are experiencing health effects from the strong hydrocarbon odors.
Texas Brine and other salt dome operators use salt-dome cavities left behind from mining operations to store hydrocarbons such as natural gas for companies that lease the wells, company and DNR officials have said. Source
Pictures thanks to commenter William.
This source says the hydrocarbons are naturally occurring.
The Texas Brine Company is the operator of record for the cavern in question, which was used from 1982 to 2011 as a brine mining cavern – in which water was used to dissolve salt from deep within the Napoleonville Salt Dome, with the resulting brine water marketed to supply various industry needs. The cavern was never used for storage of natural gas or any other hydrocarbon, though naturally occurring gas is sometimes encountered in such formations and may have accumulated in the cavern after it was no longer active.
See below for a differing statement about hydrocarbon storage from a worker.
salt dome is one mile wide by 3 miles long. It has 51 caverns, 19 of which are hydrocarbon. The remainder are brine. the volume / day from 3 of those brine wells is fairly substantial. I have been going down there regularly since the incident started. Plot just thickened. I was scheduled to be down there all day Sunday and now waiting on my phone to ring any minute w/ new orders bc of recent news.
Here (scroll down) is a map of the area showing the location of the bubbling, the sinkhole and the homes that are being evacuated.
PRODUCTS: Manufactures sodium chloride brine, table salt & drilling fluids Dried herbs, Spices or extracts, Cooking or table salt, Seasoning mix, Fresh herbs, Dipping sauces or condiments or spreads or marinades, Cooking sauce, Salad dressing or dips, Savory spread or pate, Vinegars and cooking wines, Sauces and spreads and condiments, Pickles and relish and olives, Seasonings and preservatives, CHEMICALS, CHEMICALS & ALLIED PRODUCTS, WHOLESALE: Drilling Mud, DRILLING MUD COMPOUNDS, CONDITIONERS & ADDITIVES, NATURAL GAS STORAGE SERVICES, PIPELINES, EXC NATURAL GAS: Slurry SALT MINING, SALT MINING: Common, WATER SOFTENERS, WATER SOFTENING SYSTEMS
FERC permit issued to Gulf South Pipeline Company LP a subsidiary of Energy-Koch LP allowing Gulf South “to lease, construct and operate natural gas storage and related facilities at the Napoleonville salt dome in Assumption Parish.” The name of the facility is Magnolia Gas Storage.
See page 24 of this report for a table of active gas storage fields in Louisiana. Notice the Gulf South Pipeline Company facility, Magnolia Gas Storage is listed.
Early problems. This is not the first time residents have been evacuated.:
In 2003, shortly after it commenced operations, the salt cavern storage facility in the Magnolia Salt Dome in Napoleonville, Louisiana, experienced a gas leak due to a crack that developed in a well casing near the top of the cavern, leading to a release of 0.35 Bcf of gas and the evacuation of nearby residents within a one mile radius of the storage facility.
Magnolia, Grand Bayou, south Louisiana (USA)
The Magnolia salt dome is located in a sparsely populated area at Napoleonville, about two miles from Grand Bayou, south Louisiana (Fig. 25). In 2003, a cavern gas storage facility was constructed in the dome, operated by Entergy Koch/Gulf South (http://www.txgt.com/sec/Pipelines%2010K%2012-31-05%20FINAL.pdf; Hopper, 2004). On
Christmas Eve/Day 2003, only six weeks after operations began at the facility, around 30 people were forced from their homes by a natural gas leak that led to the release of about 9.9 Mcm of gas in a matter of hours.
Investigations revealed that the gas escaped from a crack in the casing of a well near the top of a cavern, some 440 m (1,450 ft) below the surface. It was eventually plugged at a point below the crack and four other wells were drilled in the area to monitor and control the release of leaked gas that was bubbling up from underground.
UPDATE: A 36″ pipeline is bent and risk of explosion is high. Officials are shutting down a stretch of HWY 70.
Fears that the sinkhole area could expand, sheer off nearby wellheads and release flammable materials prompted Friday’s evacuation order, which remained in effect Saturday. La. 70 South remined open to vehicular traffic until it was closed at 6 p.m. Saturday. SOURCE
See latest update HERE.