drilling

While critics of a proposed hydraulic fracturing project in Mandeville appeared at a state hearing in Baton Rouge, a lawsuit was filed in a nearby courtroom to stop the plan.

The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that the state Department of Natural Resources is considering a permit requested by Helis Oil and Gas. The hearing focused on whether the 960-acre parcel north of Interstate 12 is large enough to handle the process known as fracking.

The St. Tammany Parish Council is filing a lawsuit claiming the project can’t be done on land zoned for residential use.

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The Coast Guard is overseeing an offshore oil spill in Plaquemines Parish. A 42-foot vessel hit an inactive wellhead Tuesday night about nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur.

This article has been updated.

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.

Texas Brine officials say 40 days for answers

Aug 12, 2012

Officials at a Houston-based brine company told residents of a rural Louisiana town that it will be at least 40 days before they get definitive answers about an enormous sinkhole that opened up in Assumption Parish.

Mark Cartwright, president of Texas Brine Co., said Friday the company spent the last week "intensely focused" on an emergency response as they try to figure out the cause behind a sinkhole near Bayou Corne.

Assumption residents demand answers about sinkhole

Aug 8, 2012

Residents near a large sinkhole that opened up in Assumption Parish are demanding answers and a plan of action from their state and local officials.

Officials told them Tuesday night at a community meeting in Pierre Part that they are doing their best to find an explanation for the 372-foot wide sinkhole that swallowed up bald cypress trees and evacuated dozens of people from their homes Friday.