Out-of-Control Gas Well Finally Capped and Christmas Observed

by Duane Nichols on December 24, 2014

Methane Geyser Capped  — Flammable gas had spewed from gas well  10 days

Santa, Mrs. Claus and 7 Elves arrested at Seneca Lake in NY State

From an Article by Casey Junkins, Wheeling Intelligencer, December 24, 2014

Sardis, OH — After 10 days of being displaced, people living near Magnum Hunter’s Stalder well pad can spend Christmas at home as workers capped the huge well that had been spouting methane into the air since December 13th.

Now, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency will work with the company to determine the cause of the blowout at the Triad Hunter Stalder well, which led an undetermined amount of methane to escape into the atmosphere. Triad Hunter is the local operating subsidiary of Houston, Texas-based Magnum Hunter.

“ODNR will do a full investigation to determine the cause and ensure proper mechanical integrity of the well before the company can move forward with operations,” Bethany McCorkle, spokeswoman for the natural resources department, said.

Magnum Hunter officials said Tuesday they do not believe the well blowout caused environmental damage because 97 percent of the gas released was methane. They also indicate the company plans to have all wells on the Stalder pad sending natural gas to market next month.

Monroe County Emergency Management Director Phillip Keevert said during the first several days of the ordeal, the damaged wellhead led the escaping gas to remain close to the ground, which he said created a more dangerous situation. Once Wild Well Control employees removed the old wellhead, the methane shot directly upward, similar to hot water spewing from a geyser. Keevert said this was not as dangerous to the residents, so he reduced the evacuation area to three-quarters of a mile Saturday.

As those affected can now celebrate the holidays at home and emergency responders can finally get a break, environmental regulators and company officials must determine what went wrong with the well that has a vertical shaft about two miles deep and a horizontal leg about one mile long.

According to Magnum, company and contract employees had to excavate the area around the wellhead while continuously spraying fresh water on the escaping gas to reduce the risk of ignition. After arriving from Texas, workers with Wild Well Control began the relatively slow process of replacing the entire wellhead assembly.

Magnum officials also said they maintain “customary control of well insurance coverage,” which they believe will cover all losses.


Let me begin by wishing you all Happy Holidays from Western Penna. !

Many of you have been following the ongoing story of EQT’s fracking on Trax Farms (now being called ‘Frax Farms’) and the serious issues being faced by neighbors living close by. It’s kind of like the movie Groundhog Day but this is no comedy for them or their families.

Last night’s supervisor’s meeting brought about the latest update to their story, with discussions about excessive fracking noise, township decibel limits, rotten egg odors, and vibrations. Two policemen were posted at the full house meeting.

Apparently someone complained from a past meeting of whether someone is allowed to record a public meeting or not. As you will see in this video, it is the chairman’s impression after consulting legal counsel that someone openly recording for all to see is A-OK, but it is illegal for someone to record a meeting without announcing they are doing so first. The solicitor later comments that he did not know of any restrictions on recording a public meeting.

You will also get to hear from the individuals living on Cardox Road and beyond, including Gary Baumgardner whose family was supported by the recent petition for EQT to stop fracking on Christmas Day so his grandbaby could visit for dinner. One lady, who lives several miles away, commented that she can hear the noise with her windows closed.

The township is now ready to take more serious action, as they discuss further here:


Bob Donnan, Peters Township (McMurray), Washington County, PA

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