Author Topic: Oil Drilling Disasters  (Read 7053 times)

Offline zorgon

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Oil Drilling Disasters
« on: October 12, 2011, 07:22:26 PM »
Oil Drilling Disasters

This is going to be a list of major oil spills and drilling disasters. They will not necessarily be in chronological order as I have to hunt them all down again :D This will be a sticky locked information thread. Any comments please start a new thread in this section. We feel it important to keep key topic material on top of the thread lists to use as reference.

So lets start with the big nasty one in the Gulf...

Oil Spills and Disasters

The following list includes major oil spills since 1967. The circumstances surrounding the spill, amount of oil spilled, and the attendant environmental damage is also given.
From Info Please

    March 18, Cornwall, Eng.: Torrey Canyon ran aground, spilling 38 million gallons of crude oil off the Scilly Islands.

    Dec. 15, Buzzards Bay, Mass.: Argo Merchant ran aground and broke apart southeast of Nantucket Island, spilling its entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of fuel oil.

    April, North Sea: blowout of well in Ekofisk oil field leaked 81 million gallons.

    March 16, off Portsall, France: wrecked supertanker Amoco Cadiz spilled 68 million gallons, causing widespread environmental damage over 100 mi of Brittany coast.

    June 3, Gulf of Mexico: exploratory oil well Ixtoc 1 blew out, spilling an estimated 140 million gallons of crude oil into the open sea. Although it is one of the largest known oil spills, it had a low environmental impact.
    July 19, Tobago: the Atlantic Empress and the Aegean Captain collided, spilling 46 million gallons of crude. While being towed, the Atlantic Empress spilled an additional 41 million gallons off Barbados on Aug. 2.

    March 30, Stavanger, Norway: floating hotel in North Sea collapsed, killing 123 oil workers.

    Feb. 4, Persian Gulf, Iran: Nowruz Field platform spilled 80 million gallons of oil.
    Aug. 6, Cape Town, South Africa: the Spanish tanker Castillo de Bellver caught fire, spilling 78 million gallons of oil off the coast.

    July 6, North Sea off Scotland: 166 workers killed in explosion and fire on Occidental Petroleum's Piper Alpha rig in North Sea; 64 survivors. It is the world's worst offshore oil disaster.
    Nov. 10, Saint John's, Newfoundland: Odyssey spilled 43 million gallons of oil.

    March 24, Prince William Sound, Alaska: tanker Exxon Valdez hit an undersea reef and spilled 10 million–plus gallons of oil into the water, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
    Dec. 19, off Las Palmas, the Canary Islands: explosion in Iranian supertanker, the Kharg-5, caused 19 million gallons of crude oil to spill into Atlantic Ocean about 400 mi north of Las Palmas, forming a 100-square-mile oil slick.

    June 8, off Galveston, Tex.: Mega Borg released 5.1 million gallons of oil some 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston as a result of an explosion and subsequent fire in the pump room.

    Jan. 23–27, southern Kuwait: during the Persian Gulf War, Iraq deliberately released 240–460 million gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers 10 mi off Kuwait. Spill had little military significance. On Jan. 27, U.S. warplanes bombed pipe systems to stop the flow of oil.
    April 11, Genoa, Italy: Haven spilled 42 million gallons of oil in Genoa port.
    May 28, Angola: ABT Summer exploded and leaked 15–78 million gallons of oil off the coast of Angola. It's not clear how much sank or burned.

    March 2, Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan: 88 million gallons of oil spilled from an oil well.

    Aug. 10, Tampa Bay, Fla.: three ships collided, the barge Bouchard B155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.

    Sept. 8, Russia: dam built to contain oil burst and spilled oil into Kolva River tributary. U.S. Energy Department estimated spill at 2 million barrels. Russian state-owned oil company claimed spill was only 102,000 barrels.

    Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick.

    Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea.

    Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay.
    Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989.

    Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater.

    July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea.

    Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays.

    Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants.

    June 19, Calcasieu River, Louisiana: An estimated 71,000 barrels of waste oil were released from a tank at the CITGO Refinery on the Calcasieu River during a violent rain storm.
    July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts.
    August 11th, Guimaras island, The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country's fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up effort.

    December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea's west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast.

    July 25, New Orleans, Louisiana: A 61-foot barge, carrying 419,000 gallons of heavy fuel, collides with a 600-foot tanker ship in the Mississippi River near New Orleans. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel leak from the barge, causing a halt to all river traffic while cleanup efforts commence to limit the environmental fallout on local wildlife.

    March 11, Queensland, Australia: During Cyclone Hamish, unsecured cargo aboard the container ship MV Pacific Adventurer came loose on deck and caused the release of 52,000 gallons of heavy fuel and 620 tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer, into the Coral Sea. About 60 km of the Sunshine Coast was covered in oil, prompting the closure of half the area's beaches.

    Jan. 23, Port Arthur, Texas: The oil tanker Eagle Otome and a barge collide in the Sabine-Neches Waterway, causing the release of about 462,000 gallons of crude oil. Environmental damage was minimal as about 46,000 gallons were recovered and 175,000 gallons were dispersed or evaporated, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
    April 24, Gulf of Mexico: The Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig, sank on April 22, after an April 20th explosion on the vessel. Eleven people died in the blast. When the rig sank, the riser—the 5,000-foot-long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig—became detached and began leaking oil. In addition, U.S. Coast Guard investigators discovered a leak in the wellhead itself. As much as 60,000 barrels of oil per day were leaking into the water, threatening wildlife along the Louisiana Coast. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared it a "spill of national significance." BP (British Petroleum), which leased the Deepwater Horizon, is responsible for the cleanup, but the U.S. Navy supplied the company with resources to help contain the slick. Oil reached the Louisiana shore on April 30, affected about 125 miles of coast. By early June, oil had also reached Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. It is the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

From Info Please
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:50:04 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 07:22:44 PM »
Gulf Oil Spill

Deepwater Horizon oil spill - May 24, 2010

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill (also referred to as the BP oil spill, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the BP oil disaster, or the Macondo blowout) is an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. It is the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry.The spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010, explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others. On July 15, 2010, the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead, after it had released about 4.9 million barrels (780,000 m3) of crude oil. An estimated 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) escaped from the well just before it was capped. It is believed that the daily flow rate diminished over time, starting at about 62,000 barrels per day (9,900 m3/d) and decreasing as the reservoir of hydrocarbons feeding the gusher was gradually depleted. On September 19, 2010, the relief well process was successfully completed, and the federal government declared the well "effectively dead". In August 2011, oil and oil sheen covering several square miles of water were reported surfacing not far from BP’s Macondo well. Scientific analysis confirmed the oil is a chemical match for Macondo 252. The Coast Guard said the oil was too dispersed to recover.

Before the Accident

The Deepwater Horizon was a 9-year-old semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit, a massive floating, dynamically positioned drilling rig that could operate in waters up to 8,000 feet (2,400 m) deep and drill down to 30,000 feet (9,100 m). The rig was built by South Korean company Hyundai Heavy Industries. It was owned by Transocean, operated under the Marshallese flag of convenience, and was under lease to BP from March 2008 to September 2013. At the time of the explosion, it was drilling an exploratory well at a water depth of approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in the Macondo Prospect, located in the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 of the Gulf of Mexico in the United States exclusive economic zone about 41 miles (66 km) off the Louisiana coast. Production casing was being installed and cemented by Halliburton Energy Services:o Once the cementing was complete, the well would have been tested for integrity and a cement plug set, after which no further activities would take place until the well was later activated as a subsea producer. At this point, Halliburton modelling systems were used several days running to design the cement slurry mix and ascertain what other supports were needed in the well bore. BP is the operator and principal developer of the Macondo Prospect with a 65% share, while 25% is owned by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and 10% by MOEX Offshore 2007, a unit of Mitsui. BP leased the mineral rights for Macondo at the Minerals Management Service's lease sale in March 2008


Credit US Coast Guard - Full size image here

At approximately 9:45 p.m. CDT, on April 20, 2010, methane gas from the well, under high pressure, shot all the way up and out of the drill column, expanded onto the platform, and then ignited and exploded. Fire then engulfed the platform. Most of the workers escaped the rig by lifeboat and were subsequently evacuated by boat or airlifted by helicopter for medical treatment; however, eleven workers were never found despite a three-day Coast Guard search operation, and are believed to have died in the explosion. Efforts by multiple ships to douse the flames were unsuccessful. After burning for approximately 36 hours, the Deepwater Horizon sank on the morning of April 22, 2010

So it was the huge high pressure release of Methane that exploded that was the primary cause of this oil spill.

Volume and extent of oil spill

An oil leak was discovered on the afternoon of April 22 when a large oil slick began to spread at the former rig site. According to the Flow Rate Technical Group, the leak amounted to about 4.9 million barrels (780,000 m3) of oil exceeding the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as the largest ever to originate in U.S.-controlled waters and the 1979 Ixtoc I oil spill as the largest spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Deepwater Horizon oil spill at Chandeleur Islands LA - Full size here

Damage caused by spill

The spill caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats and to the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries. Skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, sand-filled barricades along shorelines, and dispersants were used in an attempt to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands, and estuaries from the spreading oil. Scientists also reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil not visible at the surface as well as an 80-square-mile (210 km²) "kill zone" surrounding the blown well. In late November 2010, 4,200 square miles (11,000 km²) of the Gulf were re-closed to shrimping after tar balls were found in shrimpers' nets. The amount of Louisiana shoreline affected by oil grew from 287 miles (462 km) in July to 320 miles (510 km) in late November 2010. In January 2011, an oil spill commissioner reported that tar balls continue to wash up, oil sheen trails are seen in the wake of fishing boats, wetlands marsh grass remains fouled and dying, and crude oil lies offshore in deep water and in fine silts and sands onshore. A research team found oil on the bottom of the seafloor in late February 2011 that did not seem to be degrading. On May 26, 2011, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality extended the state of emergency related to the oil spill. By July 9, 2011, roughly 491 miles (790 kilometers) of coastline in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida remained contaminated by BP oil, according to a NOAA spokesperson.

A ton of detailed information and sources at Wikipedia

« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:11:09 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 07:23:38 PM »
Posted this in Sarkoy's Methane thread but it is relevant in here and will be in the Anmial Die Off Thread


Early in the year there were a lot of weird animal, fish and bird deaths... mostly the media and 'experts' had no clue, though some did suspect methane releases from the earth as a cause (methane in water will rob the oxygen so fish suffocate). I have a long list of the deaths that have been mostly forgotten about. Also there have been stories of weird sounds heard... hummings and rumblings... perhaps the earth is venting...(or growing... another theory that is gaining ground) In any case there have been record breaking releases of methane, like the one Sarkoy started this thread with.

In the Gulf Oil spill disaster there was one odd thing... Yes it was a man made accident, but during the leakage, there was an extraordinary release of methane along with the spill...  in fact it now shows that this methane release was the primary cause of the disaster.

Methane in Gulf "astonishingly high": U.S. scientist

(Reuters) - As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday.

Though some oil is indeed made by fossil plants and animals, I believe most of it, and especially methane, is created deep withing the earth, a theory gathering support in main stream science as they are discovering oil wells have been refilling themselves.

This is known as Abiotic Oil

With all this release of methane from beneath the earth's crust, the pressure on the mantle has to change as well. So we can expect a lot more earthquakes and volcanoes as the release in pressure causes the plates to move

Now we just saw a MASSIVE fish kill of Redondo Beach in California...

Redondo Beach fish die-off: Tests show oxygen levels at 'almost zero'

When methane disolves in water, the fish cannot get oxygen and thus cannot breathe and die off enmasse... as has been reported in many areas. Also a giant methane bubble rising into the air can catch a flock of birds unaware and kill them swiftly (like we used canaries in coal mines to act as an alarm when methane levels increase to danger levels giving miners time to escape)

So do we have a source of Methane that coincides with this massive kill?

Well yes, so happens we do... a huge Mud Volcano off Redondo Beach

Methane Hydrate
In addition to naturally occurring oil and gas seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, north of Los Angeles, methane and hydrogen sulfide gases are actively discharging at the crest of a mud volcano only 24 kilometers west-southwest of Redondo Beach, California. The mud volcano is 30m high and its top is about the size of a football field. It formed as gas-charged sediment from depth squeezed up to the sea floor, probably along an active fault at the edge of the offshore Santa Monica Basin. The top of the mud volcano is about 800m below the sea surface, and at this depth the water pressure is 80 times the atmospheric pressure at sea level. As a result, water and methane gas at this pressure "freezes" to form what is termed a methane hydrate. The hydrate ice becomes incorporated in the surrounding ocean-floor sediment. The photo of a cross-section of a sediment core (see below) reveals the rapidly disassociating chunk of hydrate (methane ice).

Methane Hydrate - USGS

The fish kill was March 8, 2011. Shortly after the fish kill a few miles away at the Gulf of California there were a series of quakes:

18-MAR-2011 01:44:12 25.42 -109.71 4.5 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
17-MAR-2011 10:52:42 25.32 -109.70 4.2 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
14-MAR-2011 01:43:49 25.44 -109.66 4.0 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
13-MAR-2011 16:07:34 25.29 -109.75 4.6 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
13-MAR-2011 05:54:25 25.28 -110.08 4.0 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
13-MAR-2011 02:50:11 25.44 -109.76 4.6 24.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 21:58:39 25.31 -109.84 4.5 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 20:16:58 25.42 -109.73 4.3 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 17:54:18 25.51 -109.79 4.7 14.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 17:13:01 25.48 -109.72 5.1 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 14:11:04 25.40 -109.65 5.3 12.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 13:26:02 25.35 -109.93 5.5 17.6 GULF OF CALIFORNIA
12-MAR-2011 12:03:42 25.26 -109.96 4.4 10.0 GULF OF CALIFORNIA

This swarm was about 25 miles from Redondo Beach
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:06:59 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 08:12:10 PM »
More Disasters from Mankind's Drilling for oil

Mud Volcano Was Man-Made, New Evidence Confirms
February 11, 2010

A new analysis shows that a deadly mud volcano in Indonesia may not have been a natural disaster after all. The research lends weight to the controversial theory that the volcano was caused by humans.

Villagers near Sidoarjo noticed a mud volcano beginning to erupt at 5 a.m. local time May 29, 2006. It was about 500 feet from a local gas-exploration well. Every day since then, the Lusi mud volcano has pumped out 100,000 tons of mud, or enough to fill 60 Olympic-size swimming pools. It has now covered an area of almost 3 square miles to a depth of 65 feet. Thirty thousand people have been displaced, and scientific evidence is mounting that the company drilling the well caused the volcano.

“The disaster was caused by pulling the drill string and drill bit out of the hole while the hole was unstable,” said Richard Davies, director of the Durham Energy Institute and co-author of a new paper in the journal Marine and Petroleum Geology, in a press release. “This triggered a very large ‘kick’ in the well, where there is a large influx of water and gas from surrounding rock formations that could not be controlled.”

Mud Volcano Was Man-Made

The mud volcano caused by the unprotected drilling for gas in Sidoarjo that swallowed a few villages and the tolled highway in Indonesia!


This is not the actual mud volcano, it is the hot mud being pumped away into the nearby Porong River. It's just to give visual effect of what the mud looks like and? the high temperature. The centre of the mud volcano (Luci) is about 3km away from the this pipeline discharge point. - sumptechsales
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:25:55 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 08:21:25 PM »
Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom
New Iberia, Louisiana
September 6, 2005

Lake Peigneur sinkhole disaster

This image depicts the huge waterfall that formed when an oil drilling rig in Lake Peigneur punctured the ceiling of an underlying salt mine. The backwards flow of the normally outflowing Delcambre Canal temporarily created the biggest waterfall in Louisiana.

Lake Peigneur
(Transcribed from video)

Early in the morning on November 21, 1980, twelve men decided to abandon their oil drilling rig on the suspicion that it was beginning to collapse beneath them. They had been probing for oil under the floor of Lake Peigneur when their drill suddenly seized up at about 1,230 feet below the muddy surface, and they were unable free it. In their attempts to work the drill loose, which is normally fairly easy at that shallow depth, the men heard a series of loud pops, just before the rig tilted precariously towards the water.

At the time, Lake Peigneur was an unremarkable body of water near New Iberia, Louisiana. Though the freshwater lake covered 1,300 acres of land, it was only eleven feet deep. A small island there was home to a beautiful botanical park, oil wells dotted the landscape, and far beneath the lake were miles of tunnels for the Diamond Crystal salt mine.

Concluding that something had gone terribly wrong, the men on the rig cut the attached barges loose, scrambled off the rig, and moved to the shore about 300 yards away. Shortly after they abandoned the $5 million Texaco drilling platform, the crew watched in amazement as the huge platform and derrick overturned, and disappeared into a lake that was supposed to be shallow. Soon the water around that position began to turn. It was slow at first, but it steadily accelerated until it became a fast-moving whirlpool a quarter of a mile in diameter, with its center directly over the drill site.

As the whirlpool was forming on the surface, Junius Gaddison, an electrician working in the salt mines below, heard a loud, strange noise coming down the corridor. Soon he discovered the sound's source, which was rushing downhill towards him: fuel drums banging together as they were carried along the shaft by a knee-deep stream of muddy water. He quickly called in the alarm, and the mine's lights were flashed three times to signal its immediate evacuation. Many of the 50 miners working that morning, most as deep as 1,500 feet below the surface, saw the evacuation signal and began to run for the 1,300 foot level, where they could catch an elevator to the surface. However, when they reached the third level, they were blocked by deep water.

Clearly, the salt dome which contained the mine had been penetrated by the drill crew on the lake. Texaco, who had ordered the oil probe, was aware of the salt mine's presence and had planned accordingly; but somewhere a miscalculation had been made, which placed the drill site directly above one of the salt mine's 80-foot-high, 50-foot-wide upper shafts. As the freshwater poured in through the original 14-inch-wide hole, it quickly dissolved the salt away, making the hole grow bigger by the second. The water pouring into the mine also dissolved the huge salt pillars which supported the ceilings, and the shafts began to collapse.

As most of the miners headed for the surface, a maintenance foreman named Randy LaSalle drove around to the remote areas of the mine which hadn't seen the evacuation signal, and warned the miners there to evacuate. The miners whose escape was slowed by water on the third level used mine carts and diesel powered vehicles to make their way up to the 1,300 foot level, where they each waited their turn to ride the slow, 8-person elevator to the surface as the mine below them filled with water. Although it seemed to take forever to get out, all 50 miners managed to escape with their lives.

Barges on the Lake. Meanwhile, up on the surface, the tremendous sucking power of the whirlpool was causing violent destruction. It swallowed another nearby drilling platform whole, as well as a barge loading dock, 70 acres of soil from Jefferson Island, trucks, trees, structures, and a parking lot. The sucking force was so strong that it reversed the flow of a 12-mile-long canal which led out to the Gulf of Mexico, and dragged 11 barges from that canal into the swirling vortex, where they disappeared into the flooded mines below. It also overtook a manned tug on the canal, which struggled against the current for as long as possible before the crew had to leap off onto the canal bank and watch as the lake consumed their boat.

After three hours, the lake was drained of its 3.5 billion gallons of water. The water from the canal, now flowing in from the Gulf of Mexico, formed a 150-foot waterfall into the crater where the lake had been, filling it with salty ocean water. As the canal refilled the crater over the next two days, nine of the sunken barges popped back to the surface like corks, though the drilling rigs and tug were left entombed in the ruined salt mine.

Despite the enormous destruction of property, no human life was lost in this disaster, nor were there any serious injuries. Within two days, what had previously been an eleven-foot-deep freshwater body was replaced with a 1,300-foot-deep saltwater lake. The lake's biology was changed drastically, and it became home to many species of plants and fish which had not been there previously.

Of course numerous lawsuits were filed, and they were subsequently settled out-of-court for many millions of dollars. The owners of the Crystal Diamond salt mine received a combined $45 million in damages from Texaco and the oil drilling company, and got out of the salt mining business for good.

No official blame for the miscalculation was ever decided, because all of the evidence was sucked down the drain, but the story described here is the generally accepted theory of what caused this massive disaster.


No description required seeing is believing  :o


Now I hear that some scientists are considering drilling a hole into the magma bubble at Yellowstone...


So lets stop drilling holes in Mother Earth and she might stop trying to rid herself of the human vermin :D
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 08:35:51 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 08:42:14 PM »
Disaster - Lake Peigneur

Diagram showing Lake Peigneur over salt mine

At that time, Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig was drilling down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch drill bit entered the mine, starting a remarkable chain of events which at the time turned an almost 10 foot deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole.

It is difficult to determine exactly what occurred, as all of the evidence was destroyed or washed away in the ensuing maelstrom. The now generally accepted explanation is that a miscalculation by Texaco regarding their location resulted in the drill puncturing the roof of the third level of the mine. This created an opening in the bottom of the lake, similar to removing the drain plug from a bathtub. The lake then drained into the hole, expanding the size of that hole as the soil and salt were washed into the mine by the rushing water, filling the enormous caverns left by the removal of salt over the years. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres of the surrounding terrain. Leonce Viator, Jr., a local fisherman, was able to drive his small boat to the shore and tie it up to a tree, and get out, to later watch it and the tree get sucked down.[4] So much water drained into those caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal that usually empties the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed, making the canal a temporary inlet. This backflow created, for a few days, the tallest waterfall ever in the state of Louisiana, at 164 feet (50 m), as the lake refilled with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The water downflowing into the mine caverns displaced air which erupted as compressed air and then later as 400 foot geysers up through the mineshafts.

Remarkably, there were no injuries and no human lives lost in this dramatic event. All 55 employees in the mine at the time of the accident were able to escape thanks to well-planned and rehearsed evacuation drills, or through heroic efforts by co-workers. The staff of the drilling rig fled the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake. Three dogs were reported killed, however. Days after the disaster, once the water pressure equalized, nine of the eleven sunken barges popped out of the whirlpool and refloated on the lake's surface

Barges sucked into Lake Peigneur sinkhole


The lake had salt water, not as a result of water entering the salt mine, but from the salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay, which are naturally salt or brackish water. The event permanently affected the ecosystem of the lake by changing the lake from freshwater to saltwater and increasing the depth of part of the lake. The biology of the lake was taken into account as salt water plants and wildlife were introduced over time, replacing what was there before.

Canal flowing into Lake Peigneur sinkhole

Related Links:

1.    Wikipedia - Lake Peigneur
2.    P.C. Piazza - Lake Peigneur
3.    Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom
5.    What’s under Lake Peigneur?

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 09:27:38 PM »
Arkansas Earthquakes Decline After 'Fracking' Injection Well Closures

Finally some GOOD news...

What is 'Fracking'? No it's not a swear word... well SOME may think so :P

Hydraulic fracturing or "Fracking"

Hydraulic fracturing, often called fracking, fracing[a] or hydrofracking, is the process of initiating and subsequently propagating a fracture in a rock layer, by means of a pressurized fluid, in order to release petroleum, natural gas, coal seam gas, or other substances for extraction. The fracturing, known colloquially as a frack job (or frac job), is done from a well bore drilled into reservoir rock formations. The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized fluid, such as water, creates new channels in the rock which can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of fossil fuels.

Hydraulic fractures may be natural or created by human activity, and are extended by internal fluid pressure which opens the fracture and causes it to extend through the rock. Natural hydraulic fractures include igneous dikes, sills and fracturing by ice as in frost weathering. Man-made fluid-driven fractures are formed at depth in a borehole and extend into targeted formations. The fracture width is typically maintained after the injection by introducing a proppant into the injected fluid. Proppant is a material, such as grains of sand, ceramic, or other particulates, that prevent the fractures from closing when the injection is stopped.

The practice of hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally due to concerns about environmental and health safety, and has been suspended or banned in some countries.

Hydraulic fracturing

Well the TITLE of this thread tells us WHY this is of concern...  8)

Arkansas Earthquakes Decline After 'Fracking' Injection Well Closures

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The number and strength of earthquakes in central Arkansas have noticeably dropped since the shutdown of two injection wells in the area, although a state researcher says it's too early to draw any conclusions.

"We have definitely noticed a reduction in the number of earthquakes, especially the larger ones," said Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey. "It's definitely worth noting."

The Center for Earthquake Research and Information recorded around 100 earthquakes in the seven days preceding the shutdown earlier this month, including the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years – a magnitude 4.7 on Feb. 27. A dozen of the quakes had magnitudes greater than 3.0. In the days since the shutdown, there have been around 60 recorded quakes, with only one higher than a magnitude 3.0. The majority were between magnitudes 1.2 and 2.8

Earthquake Swarm in Arkansas Intensifies.
Memphis, Tennessee could be epicenter for the next big on
- ATS Thread

USGS list of Earthquakes for that region

So now we have the oil companies fracking the Earth to squeeze out more oil. And we wonder why Mother Earth is PISSED at us?

And to make it worse, this fracking was taking place near one of the most dangerous faults that is long over due for 'The Big One" --The New Madrid Fault

Now how DUMB is that?  :o

Fracking Operations Cause Thousands of Earthquakes in Arkansas
Thursday 28 July 2011

Geologists say fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas caused an outbreak of thousands of minor earthquakes.

The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission placed a ban on fracking wastewater wells in the area yesterday. A moratorium on well activity had been in place for months as geologists investigated a possible link between fracking activity and the outbreak of more than 1,200 earthquakes that measured lower than 4.7 in magnitude.

Fracking Operations Cause Thousands of Earthquakes

After hundreds of earthquakes, Arkansas shuts down fracking disposal wells

by Sarah Laskow

28 Jul 2011 10:21 AM

Here's a novel idea: if your local extraction industry is causing hundreds of earthquakes, make them stop doing whatever it was that was causing the earthquakes.

That's exactly what the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission did yesterday, when its members voted to shut down a fracking fluid disposal well and ban the drilling of new ones. The Associated Press explains:

    Those wells are near a fault system that has spawned dozens of earthquakes this year. A magnitude-4.7 earthquake in February near Greenbrier was the most powerful to hit the state in 35 years.

    After two of the four stopped operating in March, there was a sharp decline in the number of earthquakes. In the 18 days before the shutdown, there were 85 quakes with a magnitude 2.5 or greater, but there were only 20 in the 18 days following the shutdown, according to the state Geological Survey.

So, yah, shutting those wells down was probably the right choice.

After hundreds of earthquakes,

Earthquake Outbreak: Arkansas Bans Fracking Operations Inside Thousand-Square-Mile Area

As if radioactive wastewater, exploding wells and flammable tap water weren’t bad enough, fracking has now been tied to another environmental threat – earthquakes, thousands of them. Geologists have tied fracking wastewater disposal wells in central Arkansas to an outbreak of more than 1,200 so-called “minor earthquakes” (an oxymoron if ever there was one). At least one startled resident is suing the responsible gas companies for the significant damage one of those earthquakes caused to his home.

The good news is common sense has prevailed in Arkansas. According to the Democrat-Gazette, the state’s Oil and Gas Commission has voted to ban fracking wastewater disposal wells within a 1,150-square-mile area north of Conway in the Fayetteville Shale region. According to the Arkansas Geological Survey (AGS), the fracking operations were taking place on top of an active fault line.

So much for environmental impact studies.

Earthquake Outbreak: Arkansas Bans Fracking
« Last Edit: October 12, 2011, 11:27:51 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 10:24:01 PM »

Panorama of the gas site burning, 2011

The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze (also spelled Darvaza, meaning "gate"), Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The Door to Hell is noted for its natural gas firing which has been burning continuously since 1971, fed by the rich natural gas deposits in the area. The pungent smell of burning sulfur pervades the area for some distance.


The field is situated near the Derweze village. It is in the middle of the Karakum Desert, about 260 kilometres (160 mi) north from Ashgabat. The gas reserve found here is one of the largest in the world. The name, "Door to Hell", was given to the field by the locals, referring to the fire, boiling mud and orange flames in Derweze's large crater with a diameter of 70 metres (230 ft). The hot spots range over an area with a width of 60 metres (200 ft) and to a depth of about 20 metres (66 ft).


The site was identified by Soviet scientists in 1971. It was thought to be a substantial oil field site. The scientists set up a drilling rig and camp near by, and started drilling operations to assess the quantity of gas reserve available at the site. As the Soviets were pleased with the success of finding the gas resources, they started storing the gas. The ground beneath the drilling rig and camp collapsed into a wide crater and disappeared. No lives were lost in the incident. However, large quantities of methane gas came out, creating huge environmental problems and causing immense harm to the people of the villages, which resulted in some deaths.

Fearing the release of further poisonous gases from the cavern, the scientists decided to burn it off. They thought that it would be safer to burn it than to extract it from underground through expensive methods. Environmentally, gas firing is the next best solution when the circumstances are such that it cannot be extracted for use. Methane gas released into the atmosphere is also a dangerous greenhouse gas whose potential for global warming is high. At that time, expectations were that the gas would burn within days, but it is still burning, decades after it was set on fire.

A short video of the Door to Hell has been circulating on the internet, falsely identified as the impact site for the 2013 Russian meteor event.

Effects on future development of gas

The deposit as seen at night, 2010.

In April 2010, the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, visited the site and ordered that the hole should be closed, or measures be taken to limit its influence on the development of other natural gas fields in the area. Turkmenistan plans to increase its production of natural gas, intending to increase its export of gas to China, India, Iran, Russia, and Western Europe from its present level to 75 million cubic metre in the next 20 years.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 10:32:19 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Oil Drilling Disasters
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2013, 10:37:38 PM »
The Door to Hell: Take a look inside a giant hole in the desert which has been on fire for more than 40 YEARS

By Rob Preece
PUBLISHED: 21:08 EST, 26 July 2012

At first glance, it could be a dramatic scene from a science-fiction movie.

But this giant hole of fire in the heart of the Karakum Desert is not the aftermath of an attack on Earth, launched from outer space.

It is a crater made by geologists more than 40 years ago, and the flames within have been burning ever since.

Welcome to Derweze in Turkmenistan - or, as the locals have called it, 'The Door to Hell'.

On the edge: Two people stand and look into the burning hole, which has become known as 'The Door to Hell'

Long way down: The hole was formed in 1971 when ground beneath a drilling rig collapsed

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