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Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING

 
billy B
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05/29/2010 12:29 PM
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Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
Lake Peigneur
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lake Peigneur
Location Iberia Parish, Louisiana, USA
Coordinates 29.9808°N 91.9833°WCoordinates: 29.9808°N 91.9833°W
Primary inflows estimated 8.47 cubic feet (0.240 m3) per second from catchment[1]
Primary outflows unknown to Delcambre Canal
Catchment area 10.2 square miles (26 km2) of the Vermilion-Teche Basin[1]
Basin countries United States
Surface area 1,125 acres (5 km2)[1]
Average depth 3 feet (1 m)[1]
Max. depth 200 feet (61 m)[1]

The backwards flow of the normally outflowing Delcambre Canal temporarily created the biggest waterfall in Louisiana
Lake Peigneur is located in the U.S. State of Louisiana 1.2 miles (1.9 km) north of Delcambre and 9.1 miles (14.6 km) west of New Iberia, near the northernmost tip of Vermilion Bay.
Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Disaster
2.1 Salinity
3 Aftermath
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
[edit]History

The lake was a 10-foot (3 m) deep freshwater lake popular with sportsmen until an unusual man-made disaster on November 20, 1980 changed the structure of the lake and surrounding land.[2][3][1]
[edit]Disaster

In 20 November 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under the lake, while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (36 cm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a remarkable chain of events which at the time turned an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) 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 (260,000 m2) of the surrounding terrain. 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 (120 m) geysers up through the mineshafts.[4]
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, while the staff of the drilling rig fled the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake, and Leonce Viator, Jr. (a local fisherman) was able to drive his small boat to the shore and get out.[4] 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.
[edit]Salinity
The lake had salt water after the event, 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.
[edit]Aftermath

The drilling company, Texaco and Wilson Brothers paid $32 million to Diamond Crystal and $12.8 million to nearby Live Oak Gardens in out-of-court settlements to compensate for the damage caused. The mine was finally closed in December 1986.[4]
Since 1994 AGL Resources has been using Lake Peigneur’s underlying salt dome as a Storage and Hub facility for pressurized natural gas.[5][6]
There is currently concern from local residents to the safety of storing the gas under the lake and nearby drilling operations. [7]
Salazar (OP)
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05/29/2010 12:34 PM
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Re: Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
On the morning of Thursday, 20th November 1980, a Wilson Brothers Corp. rig was drilling for Texaco in Lake Peigneur, Louisiana, which had an average water depth of 6 feet. Around 0430 hours Thursday morning, the drilling assembly became stuck around 1228 ft and could not be freed by jarring or working the pipe. By 0630, the drilling rig began to tilt so the crew abandoned the rig and headed for the shore due to fears that the rig was on unstable ground. Over the following hours, the crew and nearby residents watched in shock as the drilling rig collapsed and disappeared into the shallow lake.

The rig crew had been drilling a test well into deposits alongside a salt dome under Lake Peigneur. By some miscalculation, the assembly drilled into the third level of the nearby Diamond Crystal Salt Mine. The initial consequence was the stuck pipe, but fresh water from the lake soon began trickling into the salt mine. Over the course of the morning, the fresh lake water began dissolving the salt and enlarging the hole until water was literally flooding into the mine.

The mine itself consisted of a number of levels up to 1500 feet below the surface, with each tunnel around 100 feet wide and 80 feet high. Pillars of salt, which were left in place to support the ceiling of each level, were dissolved away by the fresh lake water causing the collapse of the salt above the mine. As the bottom of the lake fell away creating a vast sinkhole, a witness stated, "there was a huge noise like compressed air coming out of the mine. It was because the water was going into the mine faster than the air could get out. It created a geyser that went up 400 feet - spraying water and debris into the air." Fortunately, the men working in the mine managed to evacuate early with no loss of life, thanks in part to the early warnings of some of the mine employees.

The sinkhole grew so rapidly that a 50 foot waterfall formed where the Delcambre Canal reversed direction and flowed back into the newly formed crater. A large whirlpool formed in the lake, sucking down a second drilling rig, 11 barges and a tugboat. The tugboat at full throttle was unable to overcome the strong flow dragging it backwards down the canal into the sinkhole. After two days and an estimated 3.5 billion gallons of water draining in from the Gulf of Mexico, the lake refilled and stabilised. The lake that was once around 6 feet deep was now around 1300 feet deep, with the ecosystem radically altered by increased salt content.

Federal experts from the Mine Safety and Health Administration were not able to apportion blame due to confusion over whether Texaco was drilling in the wrong place or that the mine's maps were inaccurate. Of course, all evidence was lost.

Watch the excellent History channel video on Lake Peigneur

Sources:
Useless Information
Wikipedia
Daily Advertiser
wow
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05/29/2010 12:35 PM
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Re: Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
abduct
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05/29/2010 12:41 PM
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Re: Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
ohyeah


[link to www.savelakepeigneur.org]
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05/29/2010 01:45 PM
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Re: Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
fun with oil drilling

..
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10/06/2012 07:56 PM
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Re: Danger of a giant water sinkhole in the gulf, happened before in Lake Peigneur Louisiana in 1980, THANKS TO OIL DRILLING
bump
For historical interest.

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