2:45 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Friday, Aug. 30 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 3 – highest level – though seismic activity has not been elevated since last week’s event, work within berms/directly on sinkhole is being suspended as a precaution while new safety protocols based on observations from the most recent slough-in are finalized

Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation

– Continuing ambient and in-stack gas monitoring on sub-slab ventilation systems

– Ending pressure monitoring and removing monitor from 1428A Jambalaya

– Conducting sub-slab vapor monitoring at 134 Sportsman Dr.

ORW/CPT Wells

– Connecting ORWs 43 and 48 to flow line to flare (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Grouting aquifer monitoring well MRAA 4S (shallow), and developing MRAA 4M (mid-aquifer) – north of containment berm

– Installing master valve on ORW 46 (east of Bayou Corne, south of La. 70)

– Logging Geophone 1 well (3,000-ft well on Oxy 1 well pad)

– Logging Oxy 3A and running bottom tag (work done from Oxy 9 well pad)

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Work on berms/sinkhole suspended pending approval of new safety protocol

4:30 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Thursday, Aug. 29 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 3 – highest level – though seismic activity has not been elevated since last week’s event, work within berms/directly on sinkhole is being suspended as a precaution while new safety protocols based on observations from the most recent slough-in are finalized

Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation

– Continuing pressure monitoring at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Ending pressure monitoring and removing monitor from 1408 Sauce Piquante

– Continuing gas monitoring on sub-slab ports at 134 Sportsman Dr., 1402 Jambalaya, 1457 Sauce Piquante, and 1422 Sauce Piquante

– Continuing monitoring of ventilation systems at 1465 Sauce Piquante and 116 Crawfish Stew

ORW/CPT Wells

– Connecting ORWs 43 and 48 to flare (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Setting up to begin installation of ORW 46 (east of Bayou Corne, south of La. 70)

– Removing water from ORW 3 (west of containment Bayou Corne, south of La. 70)

– Installing CPT 23 (Oxy 3 access road)

– Installing shallow aquifer monitoring well MRAA 4S (north of containment berm)

– Testing dual-phase vacuum extraction system for removal of gas from shallow sands

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Measuring water levels inside containment berm and inspecting berm integrity

2:00 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Wednesday, Aug. 28 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 3 – highest level – though seismic activity has not been elevated since last week’s event, work within berms/directly on sinkhole is being suspended as a precaution while new safety protocols based on observations from the most recent slough-in are finalized

Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation

– Installing pressure sub-slab pressure monitoring at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Ending sub-slab pressure monitoring at 1408 Sauce Piquante

– Conducting ambient and in-stack monitoring of all installed sub-slab ventilation systems

ORW/CPT Wells

– Testing ORW 42 (north of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Grouting ORW 48 (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Setting up to begin installation of ORW 46 (east of Bayou Corne, south of La. 70)

– Removing water from ORWs 17,18,19 (west of containment berm)

– Installing CPT 24 (Oxy 1 well pad)

– Testing dual-phase vacuum extraction system for removal of gas from shallow sands

– Sampling aquifer monitoring wells

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Work within berm/directly on sinkhole suspended due to recent sloughing along east side between access points at Oxy 3 well pad and north berm work pad, pending new safety protocols being finalized

5:40 p.m. Update

Update on last night’s activity on Crawfish Stew Street…

The MiHPT grout hose busted during grouting several times; therefore, a plan was put into place to perform a conventional grouting. The conventional grouting technique was completed by 9:30 p.m. last night. Observation by state & parish agencies showed no leaks at that time. This was reconfirmed this morning.

2:00 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Tuesday, Aug. 27 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 1 – lowest level, indicating little seismic activity detected near sinkhole/Oxy 3

Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation

– Conducting final round of gas monitoring at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Installing sub-slab sampling ports at 134 Sportsman Drive, 1422 Jambalaya Street, 1457 Sauce Piquante, and 102 Bream

ORW/CPT Wells

– Connecting ORW 42 to flare (north of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Drilling ORW 48 (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Installing aquifer monitoring well MRAA 04M (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Installing CPT 114W (north of community)

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Work within berm/directly on sinkhole suspended due to recent sloughing along east side between access points at Oxy 3 well pad and north berm work pad

3:30 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Monday, Aug. 26 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 3 – highest alert level, no work allowed on sinkhole or within containment berms – though no elevated levels of seismic activity have been detected since last week’s event, Code 3 set today due to sinking of trees this morning near area of last week’s sloughing of sinkhole along eastern edge – at present, today’s sinking is believed to be related to last week’s shift, but the situation is being monitored closely for potential further development.

Sub-slab Sampling and Ventilation

– Conducting final round of under-slab vapor monitoring at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Installing additional pressure monitor at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Conducting ambient and in-stack monitoring of ventilation systems of all five installed systems

ORW/CPT Wells

– Connecting ORW 42 to flare (north of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Drilling ORW 48 (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Installing aquifer monitoring well MRAA 04M (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility), collecting soil samples for analysis

– Installing CPT 30 (Oxy 1 well pad) and 115W (northeast of community)

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Work within berm/directly on sinkhole suspended due to Code 3 status

4:20 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Response Activity

Friday, Aug. 23 work-

Sinkhole Activity Code 1 – lowest level, indicating little seismic activity detected near sinkhole/Oxy 3

– Conducting under-slab vapor monitoring at 174 Crawfish Stew

– Installing blowers for ventilation systems at 1465 and 1438 Sauce Piquante

– Continuing pressure monitoring at 1405 Sauce Piquante and 1428A Jambalaya

ORW/CPT Wells

– Conducting pump test on ORW 38 (north of community, behind Sauce Piquante)

– Completing ORW 42 (south of La. 70, west of Texas Brine facility)

– Grouting MRAA 08 (Oxy 9 well pad)

– Installing CPT 68 (west of Sportsman’s Landing)

Containment Berm/Roads/Sinkhole

– Stockpiling clay, sand and limestone

3:40 p.m. Update

Texas Brine has reported to us that the Oxy 3 cavern hard tag was completed today and the cavern floor is currently at 3,916′, which is about 116′ higher than last week’s tag. 

5:15 p.m. Update from the Office of Conservation

Sinkhole movement was expected and within the predicted shift zone

BATON ROUGE – Today, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Stephen Chustz issued the following statement to update the public on response efforts in Bayou Corne and around the sinkhole. The update was provided after footage was posted online late Wednesday by parish officials that showed a slough-in along the eastern edge of the Bayou Corne sinkhole. Although the footage reinforces the seriousness of the evolving situation in the area and the need to hold Texas Brine accountable, it does not represent a new threat to public safety in the area.
DNR Secretary Stephen Chustz said, “The sinkhole has continued to grow over time as we’ve expected. This growth is due to surface water, soil and broken rock that has moved down to fill the space created by the Texas Brine cavern operation that failed in August 2012. This movement is something we expect as the sinkhole shifts out into the predicted area. The failed cavern operation also created a pathway for underground oil and natural gas to rise to the surface. We have seen similar sloughing events several times in the past, often covering areas much larger than that which we saw Wednesday. Again, these movements are expected. We have the best experts in the world working to get this community back to normal as quickly and safely as possible.
“I can certainly understand the concerns of those who saw the slough footage released Wednesday who may be seeing the sinkhole movement for the first time. And for the people of Assumption Parish, as well as those from the outlying areas who are following the response to the situation, I want to assure you that the State of Louisiana has dedicated all possible resources to maintain the highest standard of safety for the public, as well as those who are on-site working on the ongoing emergency response. These movements do not present a new threat to public safety. The bottom line is that DNR and the coordinated state and parish response agencies will continue our efforts to hold Texas Brine accountable for the impact of its failed cavern, to keep the public safe during the response and to do all that we can to provide for the future safety of the public and the environment – and we are committed to that effort until the best available science confirms that the community is once again safe.”
Additional Response Information:
The seismic monitoring systems ordered by the Office of Conservation in Bayou Corn are continuously monitoring for potentially hazardous subsurface developments. These systems detected seismic signals indicative of fluid and gas movement several hours before the slough-in, allowing the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness On-Scene Commander to stop all work within the containment berms constructed around the sinkhole.
Chustz said that the ongoing study of the sinkhole’s progression help experts respond accordingly and understand the sinkhole and natural gas movement better. This monitoring is being carried out by both the multi-agency Science Work Group, created to advise the coordinated response effort, and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Bayou Corne/Grand Bayou Safety created by Governor Bobby Jindal to determine the benchmarks that must be met to provide for a safe return home for members of the community who wish to do so.
Chustz also noted that the slough-in occurred along the eastern side of the sinkhole, away from the community to the west, bringing the sinkhole no closer to La. Hwy. 70 to the north. Though operations directly on the sinkhole have been temporarily halted due to the slough-in and accompanying seismic activity, other efforts ordered by the Office of Conservation continue, including:
• 42 vent wells currently planned/installed
o 39 installed
o 16 million+ cubic feet of natural gas vented to date (Of estimated 45-50 million cubic feet in aquifer)
• 30 pressure/water quality wells installed
• 5 air monitors installed around sinkhole, checked hourly
• 118 in-home LEL/H2S monitor sets installed by Texas Brine, per order, in 56 properties (all properties that have allowed access)
• 3D seismic survey being independently interpreted by DNR consultant to determine likely sources of natural gas and providing information on current and future stability
• In addition, La. DEQ conducts air/surface water monitoring:
o 20 DEQ air monitors checked daily for methane or other harmful gas concentrations
o 6 located in community, 4 along Hwy 70 corridor, 10 on natural gas bubbling sites
o 10 DEQ surface water samples tested daily at bubbling sites
• Seismic monitoring, pressure monitoring of caverns in place to provide early warning of impending stability issues
• Array of surface seismic monitors
o 3 seismic monitoring wells – at depths of 450’, 1,000’, 3,000’
• 4 subsurface surveys to determine current status of caverns/edge of salt
• Ongoing area subsidence surveys
• DNR consultants modeling Oxy 3 collapse, other potential collapse scenarios – establishing early warning protocols
• DNR consultants provide computer modeling to determine likely long-term effects, potential risks to public
• Construction and maintenance of containment berm near maximum estimated sinkhole extent
• Sinkhole oil skimming and debris removal
• Installation of tiltmeters/inclinometers for sinkhole and nearby roadway and bridges
• Monthly sinkhole depth/extent surveys
External engagement:
• Federal agencies: EPA, Department of Energy, Department of Interior
• More than two dozen contractors/consulting companies involved
• Blue Ribbon Commission – made up of experts from across the U.S., Canada and Europe – including experienced EPA consultants, USGS and DOE-Sandia scientists, and experts in fields of solution-mining, gas migration through soil, ground-water remediation, rock mechanics