Louisiana Sinkhole Updates, Technology, and Theory



Everything everybody thought they knew about the Louisiana Sinkhole changed with the latest ‘Belch’ event on January 19th, 2013, for the geology that existed prior, no longer exists.

This is a whole new animal we are now dealing with. With an overburden of water, the combination of the ‘thumper trucks’ performing a Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) for the five days prior, and then Friday the ‘T-Rex’ Tri-Axial set off a chain of events, that has moved around the rock structures, and allowed new migration zones for the formation gas, and even the bedded gas from the salt edge, (whatever is left of it at the top), and that the prior VSP readings are now completely useless.

If ‘Officials’ had backed off when they noticed the seismic events, and the casing pressure rising at the Oxy 3A OBW to over 923 psig, then the event would have settled within days. Instead they kept it up, then proceeded to finish it off with the T-Rex tri-axial array, and render any and all readings taken to date useless.

Nothing is the same underneath this disaster area as it was. If this had been performed in September, then this whole situation may have been mitigated by now.


“Hoffpauir, a technical staff associate with the University of Texas’ Geotechnical Engineering Program, said the diesel-powered T-Rex, which has 6-feet tall wheels, can send seismic waves into the ground in three dimensions, or tri-axially, from a central vibrating plate.

“It’s the only one in the United States” that can do that, Hoffpauir said.”


“The waves started at a low frequency and quickly picked up speed, sounding something like a car engine revving from low to high revolutions. From behind the well, mild vibrations could be felt in the earth at the lowest frequencies but they dissipated at the highest frequencies.”


That is precisely how you set up resonance, and this after, five days of;
“A less versatile type of vibroseis truck, called a thumper truck, was used recently, Texas Brine officials said.”

“Texas Brine plans to do the most intensive seismic testing of all, 3-D seismic tests across a swath of the Bayou Corne area next month.

Expected to deliver a picture 7,000 feet deep, these tests may show whether any feared voids exist underground and the location of oil and gas traps.”

What form of 3-D testing or with what tools is not being disclosed at this time.

As this author reported on various websites on January 20, 2013;

Well venting gas is beyond belief in its surge! Low Pressure, high volume.



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


OXY 3 Well Pad is royally screwed.


This also means there was extensive rock and possibly salt movement during this ‘belch’. It’s found a new path for the gas to migrate. Lots of rocks have shifted and changed position. This is not good news for the Crosstex Cavern 2.

More rock movements are being shown on all borehole heli’s and this event is not over. It is building up for another event…mark my words. This was not a burp, it was a belch and did a lot of damage. I would not be surprised if the salt is now laying twenty to thirty yards further west now and brining out, taking with it a good portion of the stability of the west side of the dome.

Many were claiming it was impossible that the Vertical Seismic Profile, along with the overburden of water over the thin layer of soils and claytard, to be causing the seismic activity that I based my earlier warnings upon.

Seems Dr. Stephen Horton, with the University of Memphis doesn’t agree with the naysayers.

“Recent seismic activity is possibly contributable to VSP activity or the unusually high water, according
to Dr. Horton (1/16/13)”


(Page 15)


Seismic Visual of the Event on January 19th, 2013 from Helicorder LA08.


Many questions have arisen as to why it was vital months ago to find out what the water flow rates were and what path it had taken. If there was just one water source in, then it would just brine an area out, no big deal. That does not seem to be the case here. Allow me to postulate..

First, we have the fracked out cavern full of brine spilling outwards towards the formation waters that is pushed upwards under 7-9000 ft. of overburden pressures, which dilutes the brine and pushes it with ever increasing frequency back towards the breached cavern zone.. Once brined out the pressures force the Formation Waters upwards and eroding the Salt Flank in pockets.. how far? We don’t know.

Then we have the subsidence area that has punctured into the aquifer, and a blowout of the bottom of the aquifer where the caprock broke off is just about a certainty, or there would be no communication with the oil formation, gas, and waters below, nor would methane be able to swell the aquifer.

So we have infiltration from the top of the salt rock from the bottom of the aquifer and under a part of the caprock, (entry from the broken section of caprock), which is most likely brining out into the voids, allowing fractures and large pieces of salt rock to continue breaking off and tumbling below. This in turn gives more space for the waters to continue eastward infiltration and salt rock fractures.

Evidence for this is shown by the recent cracking of the Oxy 3 Well Pad. So, we have infiltration from above, the west side flank, and beneath, with crushed rock and liquids banging around and changing the geology daily.

So, high pressure liquids underneath, pressuring upwards on the sides, and overburden pressures squeezing the aquifer where the caprock broke off, and nothing but water saturating the whole of the overburden that could easily be migrating into these fractures from above the aquifer and any other damaged sections around these cavern wellheads causing salt blowouts in-between.

Remember the funnel of Lake Oxy 3 is determined by nothing but natural materials and fill, and not by a Cement Casing as a Well is…. Make your own mind up, but I believe this theory will be borne out by the surveys they will never allow us to see, at least not in a timely fashion.


Many of these questions could easily have been answered early on by using a very well known tool and just what Representative Joe Harrison, (La. District 51), was stating at the November 08, 2012 Residents Meeting.

Louisiana State Representative Joe Harrison:

“I’m gonna tell you something, the infrared satellite vision that they have, these things can tell you more than you ever imagined. I learned a lot about that during the BP thing. At the base where they’re at, they can tell you more things and actual chemical compound makeups with their equipment than I ever imagined they could. And they’re doing that right now, it’s being monitored.”

Resident 1: They’re doing it through infrared?

Harrison: Yes ma’am they’re just not giving us the information.

Resident 2: Who is they?

Harrison: The federal government […] This thing just seems to escalate […] They need somebody to tie it all together […] It needs to be declared a disaster. Once it’s declared a disaster, a whole new set of rules and regulations are enforced. […]”


What I truly believe Rep. Harrison was talking about is a very well known technology called radar interferometry taken by the VHP Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR), you can learn all about it here:


InSAR’s monitors ground deformation, as well as ground based technology, taking gravity measurements using a Scintrex CG-5 gravimeter, such as those used just after the dramatic slough in of the Daisetta, Texas, May 7, 2008 Sinkhole. (Footnote: 1)



There are many such technologies available that can give the residents and the rest of the Public some much needed answers about the voids underneath, and the topography and low level subsidence over the whole of the salt dome.

Yet, it’s the methane, total dissolved solids, total dissolved chlorides and methane bearing waters with hydrocarbons that are being transmitted all over the area, and all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, that makes this a National Emergency, and a tragedy, ecologically, environmentally, as well as the human toll upon people West, East, and South, of Bayou Corne that are being poisoned even as we speak.

It is time for answers, and since that cannot be achieved at the State level and it has been shown that this local disaster clearly qualifies as a Federal Disaster Area, then Public pressure needs to bear down upon ALL PARTIES INVOLVED, until such an emergency is declared.

It is time for this farce to end.

Footnote 1:






Baker Atlas conducted a Checkshot Survey and an Offset VSP Survey for Texas Brine Company Ltd. in the well Oxy Geismar 3, located in the Grand Bayou field, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. The objectives of the surveys were to:

Measure time-depth information

Image the salt flank

At the time of the survey, the well had been flushed to create a cavern below 3400ft. The surveys were performed in the borehole above this depth. A sketch of the well and possible salt location is shown as Figure 3. All measured depths are referenced to Ground Level. The well is considered vertical.

The survey began at 9:52 hrs on September 25, 2010 and was finished at 10:49 hrs on September 26th, 2010.

A vibrator source was used for the surveys. One vibrator was positioned 123 ft. from the wellhead at an azimuth of 77 degrees for the checkshot survey and then two vibrators were located 3062 ft. from wellhead at an azimuth of 112 degrees for the Offset VSP survey.

A 6204XB 3-component downhole receiver was used to record the survey.

This is how they perform a VSP.


 and this is the final report regarding the Oxy 3 Cavern in 2010.

A CavernSketchIA CavernSketchII

Take Note, the “B” line is the 3D Seismic Pick.

Any Questions?

The full Vertical Seismic Profile can be found at:

Oxy Geismar No 3 (180708) VSP 2-2011

This is the history of the salt cavern. Please take notice of when most were published by the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources. After the Stinkhole formed!


Even earlier SONAR scans show the bottom 1000 ft. of the cavern was compromised as shown by the almost perfect straight line, demonstrating that section was pressed against the shale sheath at the time. It would be interesting to have the drawdown records of the dates after these SONAR surveys.


SONAR Survey of Cavern 10 /06/2007, Pages 49-50 (Notice the straight line deformation showing bottom of cavern pressing against the Shale Sheath, and the Horizontal Slices show even better detail of this)



Regardless, these surveys do constitute proof that LDNR and Texas Brine both were complicit in a cover up of the gravity of the situation, years prior to the August 3rd, 2012 failure of Oxy 3 Salt Cavern.

Now we know how Mr. Hecox could honestly say, “There has been a Frack Out of the cavern.”

“Frack Out” is a term used to describe an over-pressure of fluid that overwhelms the medium within which it operates, or a failure of the medium itself, due to invasive enviromental or man-made factors.

Now new information has come in from EMILY (Hat tip back at ya), over at flutrackers, showing beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hooker #8, (later Vulcan #3, then OXY #3), was sitting upon the shale sheath back in 1995. OXY#3 is the only cavern against the Sheath. It is the furthest westward cavern shown by it’s coordinates. Texas Brine continued to operate this cavern at a lesser capacity for 14 years, then plugged and abandoned it, until the pressures built to a point where it ‘fracked out’ and blew away the shale sheath that had held the bottom of the cavern in for so many years.


Source: Neal, J. T. and T.R. Magorian. April 1995. Geologic Site Characterization (GSC) Principles Derived from Storage and Mining Projects in Salt, With Application to Environmental Surety. SAND95-2400J. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.

The credit will have to go to Sandia for having these documents available. They will email you the articles you request from this list:


(You must have email client installed for Sandia to send this document.)

As for this 1995 paper, this speaks of Oxy 3, as is shown by coordinates of it being the westernmost cavern in the Salt Dome. The last 500 ft. at the time, showed the straight line deformation of where the cavern had been miscalculated and was now resting upon the shale sheath, which is all that held containment at the time.

<SONAR Survey and VSP shown above.>

What was not taken into account was two-fold, first Texas Brine did not take into account was the effects of drawdowns, as this would widen the area against the sheath that was bereft of salt. This finally left about the deepest 1000 ft. (4500-5500 ft.) of the cavern and the contents and pressures sitting on the actual shale sheath itself from the inside.

The second thing not taken into consideration was that salt creeps. When a cavern is filled it is under pressure, plus the weight of the overburden, and when it is drawndown then the salt creeps back in with the difference in temps and pressures. In a very real way, it can be stated a salt cavern functions similar to a lung. This is due to the plasticity of salt rock. Shale has no such elasticity. It can only take so much in the way of pressure, and then it fractures, just as a rib would do in the human body.

Now, add to this that Big Hum, Marg Vag and all the oil and gas and water formation sands were pressing from the outside of the Salt Dome and pinching up against the very same shale sheath that was dealing with the cavern pressures, in almost the exact same spots but from opposing sides. When this shale sheath finally fractured, it was a mighty geologic explosion 4500-5500 ft. down. Enough of one to fracture the shale and other materials all the way to the surface, and to 6500 ft. depth.

Every bit of this was known by LDNR and Texas Brine long before the mill out that failed the MIT test, and they Plugged and Abandoned Oxy #3.

If they had drawndown the cavern one last time and Cemented the bottom 1000 ft.. then pumped back the brine and P&A’d the cavern, then this probably would not have ever happened. Due to the costs, they chose not to. LDNR knew this as well, even about the oil sands pressing against the shale sheath and cavern, due to their accessibility to Golden Gate’s proprietary 3-D 2007 survey, that no one else has been allowed to see.

I wonder what Texas Brine thinks about the cost of that cementing job now?

NEW UPDATE! Now LDNR claims, as well as SANDIA LABS, that they were referring to OXY GEISMAR #1, in the 1995 paper that produced the graphic above. This is the NEXT MOST SHALLOW SALT DOME CAVERN in the NAPOLEONVILLE SALT DOME, and was created in 1976, SN# 151645 and was known to be sitting on a SHALE INTRUSION in the Salt Dome. It was drilled to a depth of 3200 ft, ceiling of 2500 ft.and then cemented up to support a Salt Cavern. SONAR surveys of 9/20/2012  show the true deformations, and the shallow wide volumes of this very shallow 750 ft. in height cavern, mined more horizontinally, than vertically.

Please use this map for location purposes:



Oxy 1


The flat surface is the SHALE INTRUSION INTO THE SALT DOME, and please take note LDNR knew this, and permitted it still, knowing it lay at the edge of the Salt, and on SHALE!

Another Cavern bearing the Occidental name is another former Texas Brine Well #1 SN# 109979 and is just on the East side of Grand Bayou, (across from the Crosstex #1 Cavern with butane within), and is the most deformed Cavern at Napoleonville Salt Dome, and both appear to be setting upon Shale intrusions. Take note of the dogleg cemented at the bottom and the flat shale/salt rock it sits upon as well. Very confusing data……


Take Note of the Cement Wedge at the bottom, but there is more;



Even more:


This Well is currently undergoing a workover and was found to have an anomaly in the casing at 670 ft. This is just below the caprock where it enters the salt. Any anomoly could be indicative of salt rock movement, yet no details of this anomoly has been forthcoming. The flat bottom shown is the shale/salt rock, and the dogleg is the Cementing job. Texas Brine could find the money for cementing both these shallow and potentially dangerously hollow spaces on the edge and one definitely sitting upon the Shale, yet could not spare a dime to cement the bottom of Oxy #3, since it was no longer useful to their interests.

OXY GEISMAR # 1 is in danger of failure, (First two pictures shown above), due to the shallowness of it’s depths, and the width mined outwards at the top. If it is truly a brined out well at the end of its usefulness as of 2011, then why was it not plugged and abandoned?

Oxy Geismar BW#1 is being used for seismic surveying at this time, is wide open, and a geo-string has been inserted into its casing for the 3D seismic survey..


(DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and my opinions should not be construed as such. Please consult your own attorney for specifics on the value of the information contained within this article.) 

IMHO, No more proof is needed, but of course we shall keep building a case. The resident’s and their lawyers can now make the call as to whether to proceed with actions against Texas Brine, and the State of Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources for Willful Neglect and Harm, with Malice Aforethought, and a host of other criminal and civil charges.

Louisiana Sinkhole Operation: Bottom Kill and Top Fill


A Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) is being performed now at the Louisiana Sinkhole in an effort to locate the source of the hydrocarbons and oil deep below the earth that was tapped into by Texas Brine’s Oxy 3 brine cavern which explosively failed on August 3rd, 2012, and created the slough in, known to local residents as the ‘Stinkhole’. This Vertical Seismic Profile will be explained in the next article.

If the VSP can locate the breach through the outer oil/gas formations, and it will without a doubt, then there is a possible way to seal off the breach and kill the source of the methane, oil, and hydrocarbons seeping to the surface of the Sinkhole-become-Lake Oxy 3.


To take care of the methane, oil, and hydrocarbons, set an oil drilling rig due west and in line with the oil sands feeding the sinkhole, (and can be obtained from Golden Gate Petroleum’s Proprietary 3 D survey map), which can drill a deep bore vertical/horizontal hole and tap into all the oil sands, from Big Hum to Marg Vag and the Cris’s to a point below the cavern breach. Making sure that the natural gas is captured and sent down the line for production.

“If need be, then two lateral bores could be also drilled off the primary, horizontally, one on each side, thus penetrating the producing zones in three places.  Cement can then be pumped in and squeeze the formation tops from below the breach.”

“This is not a new technology. it is done offshore all the time. A similar method was used to intercept the wellbore of BP MC-252 and kill it from the bottom.” according to Thad Daly, a retired Oil Drilling Engineering Veteran with 40 years of drilling experience, who collaborated with me on this article, and provided the drilling strategy for the oil sands, (although a despised Halliburton apologist and frequent agitator on most forums, in this instance, the science bears out.)

“After the cement sets, then the drill would need to pull back, set a plug, and then drill horizontally again, dropping angle to penetrate the production zones below the cemented section, thus resulting in a producing well. This would then drop the formation pressures, and in time, be depleted.” Mr. Daly states.


I, also, believe firmly that putting a small platform rig on the center of Lake Oxy 3 and using Sonar sounding, so that we can easily find the weakest and strongest point of the Seep Plug of the lake, and to determine where a rig should be placed to drill into it to bypass the aquifer and to get thru the rubble and the voids to a point at about 2500 ft, and dump drilling mud, (cement), as Stop Gaps trapping the remnants of the formation oil, gas and waters underneath the Lake and aquifer, and lending stability, (once again, all depending upon the results of the VSP.)

Perform mill outs (Drilled Out Cuts) every 500 ft. and pump cement at each interval as the pipe is sealed off, being as generous as the rock perforations will allow, to help protect the bottom of the aquifer.

Then seal the well. This will stabilize the geological area, and bring an end to the natural gas, (methane), venting into the aquifer, and as an extension, into the community and surrounding areas as well.


Then backfill the funnel of Lake Oxy 3, with a clay layer, (Bentonite)to specifications to create a ‘Claytard’, using a Suction/Pumping Barge to ensure a proper seal above the aquifer, and then place over the artificial, yet natural claytard, a layer of Rip Raff (large scrap rock), and Gabion Stone near the rim to stabilize the shape of the lake and help in remediation of the waters contained within. This will offer added protection, should any part of this process be compromised.

The reason for the Rip Raff rock is of course for overburden, and to act as a sealant protector, but the Gabion Stone composed of  limestone, will also provide a means for remediation of the swamp waters itself, as it provides a sound foundation for the last phase of the operation.


Contract with an Algae Farming Operation to remediate the surrounding swamp and sinkhole/lake, such as Aquatic Energy, in Lake Charles, LA., or others closer, or possibly even a Co-Op farming operation involving the residents as shareholders, especially considering what they have gone through, and to foster positive public relations.

Algae have the ability to carry out photosynthesis because of the chloroplast found in their cells. Algae plants have the capacity to survive in salt water. Algae act as filtering systems to remove excess ammonia, nitrates and phosphates from marine aquariums. They are also used to buffer toxins and remove metals.
In the ways described above, the subsidence/slough in/sinkhole disaster can be successfully mitigated, while maximizing profits that can be used to offset the financial losses.
As it stands, for Texas Brine to buy out every mortgage, and to provide for relocation could easily run to 30 million plus dollars, but in this way or any derivative of it, the people of Bayou Corne can come back home, and in a few years, maybe even have a nice lake for recreation.
My thanks to Mr. Thad Daly for providing the technical expertise as it relates to oil drilling. Mr. Daly has 40 years on the drilling side, specialized drilling fluids. FWIW 36 international +20 countries.
He can be reached at his Facebook page by name.


As if the storms and floods haven’t ravaged Assumption Parish, Louisiana enough recently, sparking fears that the contents of the Great Sinkhole-become-lake, are transmitting to the surrounding canals, swamps and bayous; now another threat looms on the horizon.

Many residents have been angered that Golden Gate Petroleum, Grand Gulf, and Petrodome wells at the Dugas&LeBlanc #3, and the Hensarling Well #1 Drilling Permits were approved by LDNR, and that drilling operations  were going forward while the Sinkhole formed in August of 2012, and with good justification. Any wells being drilled anywhere near the Napoleonville Salt Dome area seems the height of irresponsibility on the part of LDNR.  Although, many have defended the Louisiana Dept. of Natural Resources because these permits were already in the process before the actual “Stinkhole” formed, seems empty and hollow to the victims of this environmental disaster.

(AN ASIDE: Yet as of this date, it seems the ‘Hensarling Well’ is soon to be heading, according to the reports below, towards another Mantle-type Blowout. Seems they dodged a bullet this time, but keep in mind these were just the sort of reports Mantle Oil & Gas gave in August of 2010, just before the ‘Blow Out Preventer’ failed and this occurred as shown in the video)




Now though, this ‘before stinkhole’ argument cannot apply to present day, and it is seen by many to be a ‘slap in the face’ to the homeowners that have endured so much already, then only to find out that Gulf South Operators, is now preparing to drill a 10,750 ft. well for oil and gas on the ALDEN P CHARLET, (ET AL) property;  rubber stamped by LDNR on December 21st, 2012. (Well Serial Number: 245837)

Many whom still remember the 2003 Gulf South Incident, and just shortly after it commenced operations, the Magnolia salt cavern storage facility in the Napoleonville Salt Dome, 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 600 million cubic feet of methane gas and led to the evacuation of nearby residents within a one mile radius of the storage facility in which residents were evacuated for 50 days, and resulted in Homeowners being bought out in the Grand Bayou community by Gulf South and Dow Chemical Corporation.

This has not yet been offered to the residents of Bayou Corne, just north of the Gulf South incident. Yet here is Gulf South again attempting to drill in a climate not very conducive to their operations, nor grateful for their timing.

Gulf South’s Permit is located at this link: http://ucmwww.dnr.state.la.us/ucmsearch/UCMRedir.aspx?url=http%3a%2f%2fdnrucm%2fucm%2fgroups%2fconservation%2fdocuments%2fooc%2f4420407.pdf

Another very interesting tidbit is contained within this permit and is the map that is also contained within it.


Please take note of the name Martin S. Triche, whose property has Shell Oil B-1 Well. This begs the question, “Is this the same Martin S. Triche that is a Lawyer, Land Owner, and is also the President of the Assumption Parish Police Jury”?

View Mr. Triche at this link: http://assumptionla.com/node/110

Is this the same Martin S. Triche that stood at the last Resident’s Meeting and stated,

“I just want to tell that you sit here and you tell us you’ve committed to doing everything you can to resolve the situation and all we can do is take you at face value,” Triche told Bruce Martin, Texas Brine’s vice president of operations, during the meeting amid a broad critique of the company’s response.

“But I can tell you, for those of you that were here, the response to the 2003 incident and what we see today are night and day,” Triche said.

Triche, a lawyer, represented Dow in later litigation over the 2003 Gulf South/Dow gas leak.


(Note: Embedding has now been disabled, so please click the youtube link in the vid window starting at the 5 minutes and 20 seconds mark of this video)

(More to be added to this story as it happens)