A natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico, located approximately 50 miles east of Venice, is releasing gas uncontrolled and has been partially evacuated, according to the well's operator and a report today in Fuel Fix, an energy news website operated in part by the Houston Chronicle.
Officials say an abandoned brine cavern in the Napoleonville salt dome has been successfully breached.
State Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Monday the investigatory well entered the cavern Saturday evening. Officials say they hope samples taken from inside the cavern will shed some light on the cause behind a massive sinkhole that erupted in Assumption Parish Aug. 3.
Officials say natural gas samples taken from inside the cavern will be tested for connections with gas bubbles that have been identified in other areas of the parish.
A Houston-based brine company has agreed to make a "significant contribution" to a fund for residents ordered to evacuate their homes after a sinkhole formed in Assumption Parish that may be connected to one of the company's salt caverns.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said Saturday that Texas Brine Co. LLC's original permit for the cavern requires the operator to provide assistance to residents in areas deemed to be at immediate potential risk. The permit requirement arises in the event of a sinkhole and evacuation.