Saturday, June 5, 2010

Well Blowouts Can Happen In Shale Drilling!

A gas well blowout in Clearfield County, PA caused highly flammable natural gas and toxic water to spew out of the well for over 16 hours. The accident is under investigation. It is suspected that the problem could be with the "blowout preventer" just like the BP Deepwater Horizon Well in the Gulf. Click here to read the article from Mark Levy, Associated Press.

"The event at the well site could have been a catastrophic incident that endangered life and property," Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said in a statement.
"This was not a minor accident, but a serious incident that will be fully investigated by this agency with the appropriate and necessary actions taken quickly."

If the agency finds that mistakes were made, it will take steps to prevent similar errors from repeating, he said. He did not elaborate on any environmental damage.

There were no homes within a mile of the well, and polluted drilling water was prevented from reaching a waterway, said Dan Spadoni, an agency spokesman.

This accident should bring into question the issue of "setback distance" from a well to homes. Does the FAA know something we don't know?

As a precaution, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight restriction shortly after 11 a.m., saying no planes below a 1,000 feet should go within three miles of the site. That restriction remained in effect past 2 p.m., Hanger said.

Can this happen here in the Barnett Shale?
It already has. Jack Smith with the Star Telegram reports that more than 20 blowouts have occurred at Barnett Shale wells!

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