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Drilling Might Be Getting a Bad Rap For Indonesia's Ongoing "Mud Volcano"

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the make-up-your-mind-son-it-is-mud-or-is-a-volcano? dept.

Earth 31

davide-nature writes "The freakish event has been blamed on a company that was drilling for natural gas nearby. But scientists have found a rock formation deep below the surface and shaped like a parabolic antenna. It could have focused seismic waves from an earthquake that occurred shortly before the eruption, and onto a clay layer. The clay then liquefied and somehow found its way to the surface."

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A multiple oddity? (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 8 months ago | (#44361071)

This can explain the event; a multiple oddity. You know, when singular oddities gang up on you.

Or maybe the drilling had something to do with it...with that rock formation and all that.

Re:A multiple oddity? (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 8 months ago | (#44361177)

If it was due to the drilling which is a common belief, no data to back it up as opposed to studies to disprove it was the drilling then for it to have lasted as long as it had I think more was at work here than just the drilling. It began in 2006 and continues.

Re:A multiple oddity? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44361445)

Is your comment supposed to be in English?

Re:A multiple oddity? (2)

pastafazou (648001) | about 8 months ago | (#44362707)

not sure why someone marked your post as a troll, I couldn't make any sense of what g0bshiTe was trying to say either without rereading it twice!

Re:A multiple oddity? (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 9 months ago | (#44368423)

After I translated his original post to SMS text it made perfect sense.

Re:A multiple oddity? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 9 months ago | (#44370753)

Yeah, I have to apologize after I had posted it I realized that apparently "coherent thought" and writing didn't go together in that post.

Aliens (0, Offtopic)

Major Ralph (2711189) | about 8 months ago | (#44361093)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all I can see is that Earth has been trying to contact aliens long before we ever have.

For more information. (4, Informative)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about 8 months ago | (#44361229)

There is a very long Wikipedia article on this topic that contains a great deal of information on what occurred. While a great deal of work has been done to show that it is not fully the oil companies fault, drilling in to a hydrothermically unstable area with a faulty well design is a recipe for disaster.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidoarjo_mud_flow [wikipedia.org]

Re:For more information. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44361325)

So you're argument is that it's still the oil company's fault since they were in the area? It doesn't matter that what they were doing could have caused a problem since it didn't cause the problem.

Re:For more information. (5, Insightful)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 8 months ago | (#44361579)

Finding evidence of one contributory factor is not the same as disproving all other factors.

Re:For more information. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#44363677)

Factors which are little more than guesses.

However, you and your cronies can't sue a parabolic rock formation, nor can you stand there and promise the electorate you will beat the head of it if'n only they'd elect you.

Re:For more information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44362351)

Wikipedia is a steaming pile of partisan shit. Any moron with an axe to grind is posting/editing articles in Wikipedia. Editors engage in edit wars with people who don't think like them and even lock others out to protect their radical, partisan views.

Re:For more information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44362971)

Sounds like an angry Scientologist. So which page did you try to deface, and have trouble doing so?

Re:For more information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44367453)


From Travel Channel showing the aftermath in 2009, if you read the article linked from slashdot you see a picture of the town flooded.

According to what the Travel Channels reporter says, the company drilled into a super heated pocket of water causing the nearby clay to turn to mud. There were claims that the company had been warned (not in the video) about drilling in that spot. The original article doesn't go into any detail, and almost seems like a right winger denial website by the lack of in depth reporting on the drilling and sticking to the claim it was a natural disaster.

I am going to read the wiki link, but wikipedia is a joke when it comes to what gets posted and making sure an article is fully explained.

And do not let my comments full you, it could have been either event that caused this, I am curios about this disaster and how rare it maybe. It isn't everyday you see mud spewing from the ground out of the blue.

uh oh (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 8 months ago | (#44361275)

After Sharnado I don't think the Sci Fi needs any ideas like Mud Volcano for their next movie. Hopefully none of them read Slashdot.

Not the only mud volcano (4, Informative)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 8 months ago | (#44361291)

This isn't the only mud vent in Indonesia and the others were not caused by drilling either.

Nice try, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44361355)

Nice try Bakrie

Does not seem very plausible (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44361513)

There are earthquakes *all* the time in Indonesia, and mud volcanoes are known across many parts of Indonesia. Why would it pick this earthquake (275km away) at this moment to fail, within a short distance (200 metres) from a borehole that was in progress and which was penetrating high fluid pressure zones at depth? It's an awful coincidence. Why here?

B) best case, these guys drilled into a structure that was "ready to blow". That's a bad move potentially leading to disaster regardless.

C) I'm a little surprised this made it into Nature Geoscience.

One flaw with that argument... (0)

pla (258480) | about 8 months ago | (#44361609)

Okay, the earthquake may have liquified the clay layer. No problem there.

Where, exactly, did that liquified clay layer decide to spurt out of the ground? Hint: Not any of the nearly infinite number of other places nearby that still had a few thousand feet of un-drilled rock covering them.

As full disclosure, I support drilling for natural gas. But we need much, much better quality control (which yes, will raise the price slightly), both during the initial drilling and in upkeep of the well-heads to prevent them wastefully leaking methane into the atmosphere (and ground water); and, we need criminal liability for the oil companies when the planet decides to liquify the mud layer they have chosen to disturb.

Not their fault? BS. They didn't make the mud, but they sure as hell made the tube it used to get above-ground.

Re:One flaw with that argument... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44361929)

The article explains that the mud greased a fault that slipped and connected the mud to pre-existing hydrothermal tubes that allowed it to spurt to the surface.

Re:One flaw with that argument... (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 8 months ago | (#44363443)

Not their fault? BS. They didn't make the mud, but they sure as hell made the tube it used to get above-ground.

To be clear, the mud did not spew out of the bore hole from the drilling. So whether or not the drilling caused the mud to be created, or whether it in any way contributed to the problem, the drilling itself did not create the hole used by the mud to escape. While you might argue that the drilling caused the event that created the escape path, it was a secondary event to the drilling itself.

Re:One flaw with that argument... (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 8 months ago | (#44366105)

Indonesia is the land of mud volcanoes

the mud did NOT come up the borehole they made

may as well blame any nearby lightening strikes on the drilling

Tagline (1)

Optimal Cynic (2886377) | about 8 months ago | (#44361757)

"from the make-up-your-mind-son-it-is-mud-or-is-a-volcano? dept." I think we have a winner for the "most ignorant tagline" dept.

How wrong. (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 8 months ago | (#44361867)

Drilling Might Be Getting a Bad Rap For Indonesia's Ongoing "Mud Volcano"

That is simply no way to refer to tubgirl.

I'm more interested in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44364213)

... the giant, buried, parabolic antenna. And what it's going to focus on next.

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