Second vent well at sinkhole site shut down after encounter with hydrogen sulfide

Second vent well at sinkhole site shut down after encounter with hydrogen sulfide

POSTED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 2:45pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 2:49pm

The following is a release provided by the Office of Conservation related to the ongoing issues in Bayou Corne related to the sinkhole:

Texas Brine’s second vent well (drilled and perforated near the top of the Napoleonville Salt Dome cap rock, much deeper than the shallower aquifer vent wells constructed in the area), encountered hydrogen sulfide gas as venting operations were initiated. Air monitoring detected the hydrogen sulfide gas during venting/flaring operations, and Texas Brine shut the well in to prevent any potential for release. The Office of Conservation concurred with that action to ensure safety of the public and workers on the site.

Texas Brine has also established a safety perimeter around the well, including use of barricades and gas monitors, under the oversight of Conservation staff on site. Hydrogen sulfide does sometimes occur naturally in the cap rock of salt domes, and while the cap rock of the Napoleonville Salt Dome does underlie the Texas Brine facility, it does not extend to the Bayou Corne community. Additionally, ongoing daily environmental safety testing in the Bayou Corne community by DEQ has included tests for hydrogen sulfide, and it has not been detected in the community to date.

DEQ took an extra round of samples today and will continue to monitor the community. The Office of Conservation will be meeting with Texas Brine representatives to further assess the next steps to be taken with the well.

Texas Brine has reported high levels of H2S from their sonic vent well that is drilled into the cap rock. The well was shut in due to these levels. DNR’s contractor, The Shaw Group, is currently investigating. We are currently waiting on additional details from DNR.

Please be advised that H2S is an extremely dangerous gas. Unlike methane, it is heavier than air and collects at low to the ground levels. No community air monitors have detected H2S. Monitoring will continue as usual.

NBC33's Kris Cusanza is tracking this story and will have a full report at 10:00 p.m.

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