On December 16, 2005, rocks the size of trucks blew out of the ground and the glow of flames could be seen 100 miles away when the gas well in Palo Pinto blew up.
Gas patch people know the story well. Images from the video haunt the dreams of mothers who’s children slumber in the gas patch. It’s the nightmare we keep locked in the closet so the charade of normalcy goes on uninterrupted.
A blowout caused the well to blow up. But what the blue blazes does that mean?
Some Texas Forest Service officers have ignited my understanding with their eye witness account, Massive Explosion Jolts North Texas
…the explosion was caused by natural gas escaping from the side walls of a 4,000-foot gas well… During the drilling process, natural gas began escaping from the bottom of the well, which caused an underground cross flow and spread gas through the substratum.
I’m not sure, but I think that means the gas migrated up from 4,000 feet. Are you scratching your head too? If the Big Gas Mafia has told us once, they’ve told us 10,000 times that it is impossible for anything to migrate up from that far down below.
According to the Texas Railroad Commission, high-pressure natural gas migrated to the surrounding subsurface and formed pockets. As the higher pressure gas vented to the surface, something ignited it, creating an explosion. A one-mile radius around the well site displayed evidence of natural gas within the substrate. In that area, plugged, abandoned wells and ground fractures experienced gas venting from the ground.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Not only did the gas migrate up through the strata, it spread out for a one-mile radius! And the Texas Railroad Commission said so.
Because natural gas was venting through subsurface fracture layers in the ground, there remained a risk of additional explosions. The best option was to contain the fire to the crater and allow it to continue to burn, essentially flaring the natural gas rather than allowing the unburned gas to accumulate and create further risk of explosion.
I don’t know about you, but the nightmare in my closet just kicked the door down and it might take a while to get him contained again.
Be sure to bookmark this, print it out, carry it with you for the next time the Big Gas Mafia tells us it’s impossible for hydraulic fracturing to contaminate our water because the gas is so far “down there.” If you listen to what they say, sometimes you catch them telling the truth.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Yes, it all strangely makes sense.
Accidents are deadly. It's bad enought when they explode the earth off-shore, but do we want it where we live?
You might want to consult with one of those petroleum engineers with no skin in the game you always talk about on this one because your a little off base.
Of course I am, Katie. Of course…
I can always count on your snarky replies! Even when wrong. 😉 Have a good night.
Huh? What do you mean "even when wrong?" I thought, according to you, I'm always wrong.
I am not a petroleum engineer but I am a geologist (Ph.D) and I have no skin in the game. Will that do?
Maybe Katie would be so kind as to explain what she means by "a little off base."
Tick Tock Katie, it's 11:01, where is your comeback? I'll defer to George, the Ph.D, but will add that the general thought in Argyle in the 40's and 50's was that the gas that bubbled up into hand dug water wells(migrated, you might say)could never be captured, what a difference a few decades make!
Don Williams says
You are dead center on, young lady.
There are fractures everywhere and stuff migrates. Our rivers (Susquehanna) are bubbling up here in the snowbound northeast thanks to the Marcellus drilling. Check out one of my earlier posts for some comments from someone who should know his stuff: http://srs444.blogspot.com/2010/02/revelation-444-cracks-in-rocks-of-ages.html
Keep at it and ignore the anonymous wannabes.
I enjoyed reading that, Don. Thank you for putting the LINK here.
I once had a geologist with the Texas Railroad Commission tell me that the frack water injected into disposal wells cannot enter the water table because it is disposed of permanently under a permeable barrier. …stuff makes you scratch your head.