The oil and gas industry is entrenched in southern Louisiana — and it is taking a horrific toll. In early August, a “frack-out” occurred in Louisiana’s Assumption Parish, where an underground cavern used to produce raw material for the petrochemical industry collapsed, freeing oil and gas from underground wells. Geologists can only compare the resulting disaster to the drilling technique known as fracking: vast quantities of subterranean liquid forced its way to the surface, cracking apart underground rock and causing the earth to open up under the Bayou Corne, where a delicate swamp forest was swallowed up by a giant toxic sinkhole. The sinkhole has since grown to eight acres — the size of six football fields — and prompted hundreds of people to evacuate. It has boggled geologists, who say the disaster is unprecedented: as Truthout’s Mike Ludwig quoted one expert, “Nobody in the world has ever faced a situation like this that we’re grappling with.”
Scientists are investigating whether the state-ordered removal of crude and natural gas through hydraulic fracturing of the failed storage cavern in the Napoleonville Salt Dome might be connected to recent earthquakes in the Bayou Corne sinkhole area.
Up to five earthquakes have been recordedin the Bayou Corn sinkhole disaster area since Oct. 16. The quakes have occurred at the northwest corner of the Napoleonville Salt Dome in northern Assumption Parish, according to officials and earthquake researchers Friday, who are looking into whether a frack-type process is causing increased seismic activity over the past week.
“It’s as big as we’ve had recently,” seismologist Dr. Stephen Horton said about Tuesday’s quake.
Horton is a researcher with the University of Memphis Center for Earthquake Research and Information that is contracted by USGS to research the New Madrid Fault and the Bayou Corns disaster.
(See: Sinkhole quake jolts further than Bayou Corne)
Cautioning that there is no link so far, John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness director John Boudreaux said Friday that the team of scientists working with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on theBayou Corne sinkhole disaster is investigating the possible link between Texas Brine’s removing crude and natural gas from its failed cavern and the recent earthquakes.
The state Office of Conservation ordered Texas Brine to pump brine into the cavern to push out the crude, similar but not the same as fracking.
Under orders, last week, Texas Brine began extracting the natural gas and oil out of its cavern that has seeped into it from below it.
Dr. Gary Hecox explained Tuesday evening to about 100 residents who gathered for a briefing in Pierre Part that a frack-out had occurred.
At the meeting, Hecox also explained a fracking event had occurred at the dome.
The outer edge of the Napoleonville Dome, not just the breached cavern in it, has collapsed due to what he called a “frack-out,” Hecox said. He explained it was “just like fracking.”
See: Sinkhole salt dome outer edge collapsed, fracked
Earth flowed into Texas Brine’s formerly plugged and abandoned cavern, squeezing brine inside the cavern enough to raise its pressure, so a “frack out,” a blow-out of the cavern extended to the surface, Hecox explained.
A “frack-out” occurs when hydraulic pressure increases enough to crack the underground formations that then become channels to release the pressure, Hecox has explained.
The frack-out brought up brine, oil and natural gas from natural formations along Napoleonville Salt Dome’s edge, into the overlying water aquifer, and to the surface, according to Hecox.
Hecox also said that compacted earth movement into the cavern created instability that led to the sinkhole. That was before Texas Brine was ordered to “frack.”
The 1-mile by 3-mile dome houses over 50 caverns and wells. Texas Brine leases its salt dome site from Occidental Chemical Corp.
The disaster has resulted in government declared state of emergency and a mandatory evacuation that continues to be extended month after month.
The sinkhole Scientific Workgroup has eight theories regarding what has caused the disaster, according to its official update Friday:
“1. Salt Dome moving – natural migration of gas
2. Failed cement casing in OXY #3 well
3. Cavity Failure
4. Salt / Caprock falling from top of the cavern (Natural or Man-made (including penetration into sediments by cavern))
5. Gas storage cavern connections, communications by fractures
6. Low permeability seepage of gas into OXY #3 (source unknown)
7. Regional Tectonic activity (movement on growth faults)
8. A combination of above events”
A citizen reporter under the name Idahopicker is gaining Internet popularity with his video presentations in which he contends officials are not being transparent about the sinkhole disaster and operations there.
“There are some specific reasons that they’re not telling you why they are watching these locations,” he says, pointing to locations of the USGS six monitors on the map.
Since uploading his latest video, Detailed: LA Sink Hole / Salt Dome [Collapsing] Explained, Idahopicker has had 1,452 views of it. This is one of at least eleven videos he has posted on YouTube since the sinkhole disaster began on Aug. 3.
The latest video documents government charts, maps and graphs, including seismic helicorder graphs. Idahopicker says the quakes are registering 3-4 on the Richter scale and highlights loss of integrity west of the sinkhole.
(Watch on this page “DETAILED: LA Sink Hole / Salt Dome Calapsing Explained” YouTube by Idahopicker.)
The Advocate reports “fears that additional subsidence events or sinkholes could occur away from the existing sinkhole between Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou and south of La. 70 South,” as this reported indicated earlier this week.
Tuesday evening, Hecox told some 100 residents in Pierre Part that weakening areas of earth around the sinkhole’s rim are moving west. He said that this conforms with the theories that the sinkhole could grow much larger and other sinkholes could form.
(See: Homeland Security worries La. sinkhole irreparably damaged, more sinkholes)
Hecox said it is more likely that the existing sinkhole would increase in size, rather than other sinkholes developing there.
Idahopicker highlights government text indicating another “Leaking water well site” near the LaBarre et.al. well in the Napoleonville Salt Dome, west of the sinkhole, where one of six USGS monitors has been strategically placed.
Water is running down into the salt there, according to government data, as Idahopicker highlights. It is near there that the helicorder La 09 has frequently shown seismic activity, including this past week when the jolts were recorded and felt by locals.
“These are the worst charts I’ve seen,” Idahopicker says, showing a Sept. 24 USGS helicorder graph.
Hecox says scientists could not know what was is actually happening in the collapsed dome zone until seismic surveying work is complete. Additional early-warning seismic devices have been ordered.
Horton, the seismologist, said the present quakes are no reason for concern and do not appear to indicate that they are leading to any major geological developments, such as the formation of another sinkhole.
“It doesn’t mean it’s leading to something big or a bigger earthquake. It may be part of a cycle, as these things progress,” he told the Advocate, referring to a cycle of quakes that had occurred from June until the sinkhole developed, but then suddenly halted.
Concerned citizens expressing outrage that national news media is not covering the sinkhole disaster better are turning to citizen reporters, such as on Examiner.com and on YouTube channels.
Adding to citizenry speculation about a media blackout, Idahopicker citizen reporter has documented that YouTube has deleted some of his videos. One of those deleted had 1170 views.
“It had 1170 views and then they chopped it,” Idahopicker says. “YouTube kicked it.
Documenting the YouTube message for viewers to see, he says, “There’s absolutely nothing in here that is inappropriate. It says, ‘Content is inappropriate.’”
“Now they’ve started on my channel. They’ve been doing this on other channels and now they’ve started on mine,” he says.
The deleted video was titled, “25 SEPT. Louisiana sinkhole (2) 3’ gas pipes CAVED / SALT DOME is caving in.”
“Content is inappropriate” because you are actually posting pertinent & informative details,” a commenter says.
“Yes sir, I have 2 missing in my ‘LA brine pool’ playlist too,” k9griffin9’s channel owner says in a comment.
In a related oil and gas cover up news story this week about the “White House hiding bags of dead Gulf of Mexico sea animals in garbage bags,” New Orleans-based environmental attorney Stuart Smith highlights in his popular blog how officials cover up and cannot be trusted.
“Yet again, there’s proof that BP — and perhaps more importantly, the federal government — went to great lengths to keep the American people from seeing, let alone knowing about, the worst wildlife devastation from the Deepwater Horizon spill,” Smith stated Friday.
Like citizens who distrust the government and have called for independent monitoring and investigating the sinkhole, Smith says there is ample evidence the same is needed in the BP wrecked Macondo well investigation.
“There needs to be ongoing, aggressive and independent monitoring of what’s really happening at the Deepwater Horizon site,” Smith says.
“It would need to be a body with the unsullied reputation of the National Academy of Sciences. Because God knows we can’t trust the usual suspects.”
Geologists and engineers are now facing problems they’ve never had to deal with simultaneously: a sinkhole, plus a widespread leak of both oil and natural gas. No clear roadmap for recovery exists for Bayou Corne, and evacuees still do not know when they will be able to return to their homes.
Texas Brine, the drilling and storage company connected with the incident (the company drew brine from a salt cavern underneath the bayou), hasn’t faced much blowback. In fact, Texas Brine initially blamed its cavern’s collapse on recent earthquakes – not on its own activities. However, officials say Texas Brine’s collapsed cavern is actually to blame for the earthquakes (as well as for the sinkhole)!
Despite the disaster’s historic proportions, mainstream media have barely batted an eye, aside from a few initial reports in August. Truthout’s Ludwig was one of the only journalists to visit the evacuation zone near the sinkhole and interview evacuees. He produced an in-depth feature exposing the disaster and its implications for the rest of the country.
In the coming months, we plan to follow up on the cleanup effort and the lives of the people who are waiting to go home, and to zero in on more ground-level stories in other locations. As the unconventional oil and gas drilling rapidly industrializes rural areas across the nation, the lessons of Bayou Corne will be crucial to draw upon. The full story of America’s current oil and gas rush cannot be told without the voices of the people living in areas impacted by the industry. That’s why Truthout will soon be taking a “fracking road trip” to the areas hardest hit by drilling, to learn more about how that practice is uniting and dividing families, friends and neighbors, who must make tough choices about the future of their communities when the fossil fuel companies come knocking at their doors.
between fracking and chemtrails depopulation is high in Louisiana selling our land to china, while Louisiana residents are being poisoned at alarming rates. By giant Oil Companies and Rothschild Zionists Banksters or some may say the Federal Reserve and all the Wall Street Hooligans who choose Money over God, Profits over our environment.
What are the Symptoms of Barium, Aluminum, Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, and other chemicals on America, Exposure and why is the Federal Reserve and Wall Street Bankers spraying the United Nations, Louisiana and all Us States.
The symptoms of barium exposure typically depend on which barium compound the individual was exposed to. Barium sulfates, as stated earlier, do not dissolve well in water, so the body can quickly expel them without facing any real health concerns. But other barium compounds are not so easily forgiving. For instance, barium acetate is highly poisonous to humans and can ultimately be fatal in high doses.
The most common symptoms of mild barium exposure include:
- Muscle Fatigue or Weakness
- Difficulty Breathing
- Increased or Decreased Blood Pressure
- Numbness of the Face
- Gastrointestinal Disorders:
Extended exposure to high levels of barium has been found to cause changes in heart rhythm, kidney problems, significant weight loss, paralysis and death. Currently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the EPA and the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) have not classified barium as a carcinogenic agent.
How Do I Test Myself for Barium Exposure?
Medical specialists can perform tests on the body’s tissues and fluids to determine the level of barium in the body. Barium levels in the body can be measured through bone, blood, feces or urine samples. However, there are no current tests available for measuring the level of barium exposure or the length of time someone has been exposed to the element.
What can mercury do to a person?
A sudden high exposure to mercury vapor inhaled into the lung causes headaches, cough, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. It may also cause soreness of the mouth, loss of teeth, nausea, and diarrhea. It may lead to permanent lung scarring. A very high exposure to mercury can damage your kidneys.
Long-term exposure to mercury can cause effects which develop gradually. It may cause shaking of the hands, eyelids, lips, tongue, or jaw. It may cause headaches, trouble sleeping, personality change, memory loss, irritability, indecisiveness and loss of intelligence. It can also cause skin rash, sores in the mouth, or sore and swollen gums. Many of these symptoms go away when the exposure to mercury stops. Your body gets rid of mercury through urine.
Prolonged exposure to manganese may lead to manganese poisoning, a condition known as manganism. You should be concerned about this disease if you are a welder because you may have been exposed to high levels of manganese through welding rod fumes, which contain various toxic metals. (See Manganese in Welding Fumes).
Manganism looks similar to Parkinson’s disease. Patients with either disease exhibit a fixed gaze, tremors, body rigidness, and slowed movement (bradykinesia). Welders exposed to manganese are more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than the rest of the population, especially at an early age.
Clinical Stages of Manganese Poisoning
Doctors recognize three stages of manganism or manganese poisoning (Int J Occup Environ Health. 2003 Apr–Jun; 9(2): 153–63). In the first stage, patients are exhausted, apathetic, and weak, and may get headaches. The patient’s problems may easily be confused with depression and other illnesses. Some researchers believe that this early stage is reversible. If you are a welder who has been experiencing these early symptoms, you should remove yourself from the source of manganese exposure.
The second stage involves short–term memory loss, impaired judgment, slurred speech, and sometimes even hallucinations. “Manganese madness” was the term used to describe the compulsive, strange behavior of workers in the manganese mines (J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1999; 37(2): 293–307).
Signs of the last stage include involuntary muscle movements; tremors; poor coordination; a mask–like, rigid face; and a staggering, strutting gait. This final stage is irreversible and may lead to complete disability. Removing a patient from manganese exposure at this point does not seem to be helpful. In one study, the disease progressed over a 10–year period even after patients were no longer exposed to manganese (Neurology. 1998 Mar; 50(3): 698–700).
The symptoms of manganism may appear anywhere from several months to several years after a patient’s initial contact with manganese (Int J Toxicol. 2003 Sep–Oct;22(5):393–401). If you have been exposed to manganese, it is important to have regular medical checkups and to let your doctor know about your work history. See Diagnosing Manganism for further details.