Public Lab Research note

Gas, some Hydrogen Sulfide escaping from collapsing salt dome

by eustatic | August 07, 2012 02:19 07 Aug 02:19 | #3159 | #3159

Salt Domes are natural formations often associated with oil deposits, and they are hollowed out and used to store oil, gas, and compressed air.

Sometimes, they go all sideways.

1ppm is a level one could expect from summertime soils off-gassing. But this whole phenomenon is quite interesting.

Other pictures from Cherri

Parish officials have also said they monitoring the air for natural gas levels and what is called the lower explosive limit, or LEL, around the waterborne bubble locations and in populated areas. LEL indicates a risk of explosion. The LEL has been zero in almost all reports.

In a news release Friday, parish officials said that in the Sportsman’s Drive area of Bayou Corne, a stationary air monitor hit 25.2 percent of the LEL on Thursday but officials say the reading is suspicious.

Sheriff Mike Waguespack warned the public Friday not to tamper with the monitoring equipment.

He said anyone caught tampering or trying to feed the monitors some type of foreign source “will be handled accordingly and will be arrested.”

Concerns would occur at 60 percent of LEL, and 100 percent would reflect an ignition risk.

Boudreaux said he also heard community concerns about daily air monitoring reports on the parish website. The reports reflect passes by a boat near the bubbling locations and recently installed neighborhood air monitoring equipment, Boudreaux said.

He said monitoring tests for chemicals in addition to LEL, including, in some cases, hydrogen sulfide, or H2S.

Hydrogen sulfide is regularly tested in connection with oil and gas exploration. He said concerns would begin at levels of 35 parts per million and can be toxic at 100 ppm. The latest reports Friday show less than 1 ppm for hydrogen sulfide.


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