Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hydrocarbon Outgassing Causes Mud Volcano

A hydrocarbon drilling accident caused the fastest growing mud volcano in world history to form. As if we needed anymore evidence for the association of hydrocarbons and volcanoes: Drilling caused Indonesian mud volcano - report

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - Drilling of a gas exploration well, and not an earthquake, set off a volcano that has been spewing boiling mud for two years and has displaced more than 50,000 people on the Indonesian island of Java, experts said on Monday.

Records kept by oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas during the drilling of a gas exploration well called Banjar-Panji-1 show specific incidents that could have triggered the disaster, the international team of experts said. ...

"We show that the day before the mud volcano started, there was a huge 'kick' in the well, which is an influx of fluid and gas into the wellbore," Davies said in a statement.

"We show that after the kick, the pressure in the well went beyond a critical level. This resulted in the leakage of the fluid from the well and the rock formations to the surface -- a so-called underground blowout. This fluid picked up mud during its ascent, and Lusi was born."

The team of British, American, Indonesian and Australian scientists, writing in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, said this pressurized fluid fractured the surrounding rock. Mud spurted out of cracks instead of the wellhead.

"There is not a hope on Earth they are going to stop it now," said the University of California Berkeley's Michael Manga, who worked on the study.

"You can plug up a hole, but if you try to plug a crack, stuff just flows around the plug, or the crack gets bigger. The well now has no effect on the erupting mud, it was just the trigger that initiated it."
Also see here: Indonesia finds flammable gas near mud volcano: official.

JAKARTA (AFP) — Indonesians living near a devastating "mud volcano" that has spewed sludge for nearly two years now have another problem to contend with -- flammable gas.

Highly concentrated methane is pouring into nearby residential areas, a government official told AFP Wednesday, as worried locals said they were afraid to cook at home in case they caused an explosion.

1 comment:

Anaconda said...


Sounds impossible, right? Haven't we heard that before.

After all, Indonesia was a member of OPEC up until just last month. But it dropped out because it wasn't producing enough oil.

Seems strange that a country known for oil production would have problems producing enough oil. But this writer suspects that investment in exploration and production had waned due to heavy handed state intervention.

Wouldn't be the first time the state killed the goose that laid the 'golden egg'.

Maybe things will change.

Why the best candidate for abiotic oil regeneration? Because it's the oil producing region with the most active earthquake and vocanic zone in the world.

Part of the ring of fire.

Also, an active solfataric network is present on the archipelago as evinced by this mud volcanoe.

This writer has postulated a hypothesis that petroleum regeneration is a function of the "Crustal Activity Continuum."

Indonesia at present is ground zero for this hypothsis. The mud volcano described in the post is an example of just how active the hydrocarbon "source fault" network is in the region.

This writer also suspects petroleum was so plentiful, that oil wells tended to be shallow and possibly even antiquated in technology. Deeper wells have yet to have an impact on Indonesia's oil production.

That's why Indonesia is touted by this writer as the least explored oil producing area in the world. How many "source faults" criss-cross this complicated volcanic archipelago?

And might deep oil wells be sunk to levels tapping into large deposits not yet known?

Therefore, this new change in attitude in Indonesia's government could spell commercial opportunities.

Could oil wells be drilled that "top off" from below? And maintain their production if pumped at a specific "flow" rate?

Indonesia -- land of a thousand volcanoes -- land of a thousand opportunites.

Abiotic opportunites.

Indiana Jones there's a Pan Am Clipper to catch, grab your hat and bullwhip -- and don't get lost on one of those remote islands -- those aren't grapefruit lined up over the headman's door...