Chevron Still Trying To Contain Natural-Gas Well Fire
By Daniel Gilbert
Chevron Corp. was still trying Wednesday morning to put out a fire at a natural-gas well in southwestern Pennsylvania, a day after an explosion that injured one worker and left another missing.
"It's still burning," said John Poister, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The fire is limited to the well site, in Dunkard Township, about 70 miles south of Pittsburgh.
The blaze is having an impact on Chevron's operations in the Marcellus Shale, a massive deposit of natural gas that runs beneath much of Pennsylvania. The company said late Tuesday that it has cut back on its operations in the region " to ensure we are able to dedicate the appropriate personnel and resources to respond to this incident."
The fire broke out Tuesday morning as Chevron and its contractors were preparing the well to produce natural gas, according to the company. The well had been drilled in March 2012, state records show.
Chevron said that at the time of the incident, the well wasn't being hydraulically fractured, a process of blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals underground to crack open the rock and allow the gas to flow.
Chevron is working with a contractor, Wild Well Control, to try and control the blaze.
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