XTO Fracked Gas Well Fire Burning in Ohio Valley South of Wheeling, WV

by Duane Nichols on February 15, 2018

Powhatan Point is in the Ohio Valley opposite Marshall County, WV

Evacuations underway after Powhatan gas well catches fire

From a News Report by D.K. Wright, WTRF News 7, February 15, 2018

UPDATE: XTO Energy will be bringing in a well control team from Texas after a “loss of containment” resulting in a gas well fire Thursday morning in Powhatan, OH.

Officials reportedly went door to door to residents and businesses within a two-mile radius suggesting that they evacuate. Evacuations are voluntary at this time, not mandatory. They are using an abundance of caution during this time.

According to Karen Matusic, XTO Public Relations, said that they hate that this happened to the community, but they are appreciative of the community being so welcoming.

Officials are in the process of setting up a claims line for everyone affected. 7News will keep you updated once that number is released. Officials are also setting up hotel rooms for those that need them.

Matusic said that there was no estimated time for residents to be allowed back at their homes.

XTO Energy is working with local county and state law enforcement to secure the roads. At this time, State Route 148 in Powhatan is closed.

ODNR has released a statement about the incident:

“ODNR was notified at 9:38 a.m. of a potential incident on a XTO Energy well pad outside of Powhatan Point in Belmont County. ODNR, OhioEPA, and local authorities are all on scene working to mitigate the situation. The well is currently on fire and the local authorities have evacuated a one-mile radius.”

“A well control company will be onsite soon and will work to get the well under control. At this time, no injuries have been reported and we’ll continue to monitor the situation from onsite.”

State Representative Jack Cera is on the scene, because he wants to make sure all of the people living in the area are being taken care of properly.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

NEWS UPDATE February 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

XTO Energy Well Pad Explosion Near Powhatan Point Prompts Evacuation

By Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, February 16, 2018

PHOTO: Emergency vehicles are parked along Ohio 148 in Powhatan Point Thursday while responding to a blast at XTO Energy’s Schnegg well pad near Captina Creek.

POWHATAN POINT — Residents near Captina Creek were evacuated Thursday after an explosion at the XTO Energy Schnegg pad near Captina Creek.

XTO spokeswoman Karen Matusic said the company would provide hotel rooms for about 100 residents who evacuated the area within the 1-mile radius of the fire, which occurred around 9 a.m. Thursday as the company worked to frack a fourth well on the Schnegg pad.

“We had a loss of control, which led to a combination of gas and brine coming out of the well,” Matusic said. “No one was hurt.”

Matusic said anyone who lives within a mile of the pad in need of shelter or other assistance should call 1-855-351-6573.

“All the folks who have evacuated will have hotel rooms in St. Clairsville or Moundsville if they need them,” she added.

Steve Irwin, Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokesman, said the combination of methane and brine flowing out of the well in an uncontrolled manner created the flames.

Methane is the most common component of Marcellus and Utica shale gas streams, while most commercially marketed “natural gas” is methane. Brine can be a mixture of salt, water and other materials.

As of late Thursday, contractors worked to keep pollution from flowing into Captina Creek, as well as Cats Run.

“We are assessing that,” Irwin said of whether any pollution reached either stream. “We are putting booms into the creek to prevent anything that may be in there from spreading.”

“We’re doing everything we can to keep it out of the creek,” Matusic said.

When asked if they would classify the incident as an explosion, Matusic and Irwin settled on the description, “well control incident.”

Matusic emphasized no one was injured, while she said Wild Well Control contractors would report to the scene to extinguish the fire.

Though preliminary reports indicated a mudslide contributed to the problem at the well, Matusic said she could not confirm this, while Irwin said it was too early to tell.

According to ODNR, XTO produced natural gas from at least 40 separate wells in Belmont County last year. Most of the company’s operations are in the southeastern quadrant of the county near areas such as Powhatan Point, Shadyside and Bellaire.

“Thank goodness we’ve had a good record here. However, one incident is one too many for us. Safety is a top priority for XTO,” Matusic said.

Lou Gray, a resident of Town Run Road outside Powhatan Point, lives just inside the 1-mile radius of the evacuation area. He walked into the Powhatan Church of Nazarene Fellowship Hall Thursday afternoon after his daughter told him officials were evacuating the area.

“The only thing I heard was the blow off of the gas,” Gray about the well pad.

Gray said he was initially directed to go to the Powhatan Point Municipal Building and officials at that location advised him to go to the Church of Nazarene along Ohio Route 7. Gray said he was stopping at the fellowship hall temporarily until he could get back out to where other family members live so he could take care of family pets.

Source: http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2018/02/xto-well-pad-explosion-near-powhatan-point-prompts-evacuation/


WTOV News 9 February 18, 2018 at 12:13 am

Situation stable after well pad explosion, fire in Powhatan Point

POWATAN POINT, Ohio — WTOV News 9, February 16, 2018

Authorities remained at the scene throughout Thursday night and Friday morning to monitor things after an explosion and subsequent fire at a well pad off State Route 148 in Powatan Point on Thursday morning.

The situation continues to be stable. An ODNR representative says air and water samples are being collected for analysis. So far, there seems to be no reason for concern. The evacuation radius remains at 1 mile from the pad.

The well pad was being operated by XTO Energy, which is going to fly a drone over the well pad with infrared capabilities to try and get a better evaluation of the problem. There is still no word as to how the leak happened.

“The state has learned a lot over the past few years over some of the problems we’ve had in eastern Ohio, and I’m feeling good about the response,” State Representative Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, said. “I know there’s air monitoring going on, they’re checking the water, checking the creeks, they’ve informed all the public water system up and down the Ohio River, so I think there’s been a lot better communication. We’ve learned how to do these things in the past. But it’s a concern that this is going to take a while to resolve.”

State route 148 continues to be closed to residents. The Ohio State Highway Patrol remains on scene at the intersection with State Route 7. Meanwhile, many people are still displaced from their homes.

A community office has been set up at the Powhatan Point Volunteer Fire Department building located on Mellott Street. XTO representatives and claims adjusters will be on site to assist with community needs. Also a claims phone line is available displaces or affected residents – 855-351-6573.

It’s likely that things will remain status quo for residents throughout the weekend. Once a team identifies the problem, the equipment still has to be trucked in.

Source: http://wtov9.com/news/local/situation-stable-after-well-pad-explosion-fire-in-powhatan-point


Modesto Bee February 18, 2018 at 12:40 am

Winds hindering efforts to shut down exploded Ohio gas well

ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio — Modesto Bee, February 17, 2018

A spokeswoman for a company whose natural gas well exploded and caught fire in eastern Ohio says high winds are hindering experts from shutting down the well.

XTO Energy’s Karen Matusic says outside experts managed to clear debris from the well pad Saturday morning but had to retreat because of high winds. The newly drilled well being readied for production exploded Thursday morning in Belmont County sending a plume of gas and brine into the air before igniting.

Matusic says the experts brought in from Texas and Oklahoma must wait for the wind to subside to begin shut-down work.

Residents from around 30 homes evacuated after the explosion haven’t been able to return.

Two dozen XTO workers were on the pad when it exploded. No injuries were reported.

Source: http://www.modbee.com/news/business/article200722714.html


Theron Horton February 18, 2018 at 1:51 am

XTO Looks to Stop Methane Leak at Well Pad in Powhatan Point

100 residents wait to return home on February 17, 2018



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