There is a video on Facebook you can watch to get the general idea of how frightening this event would be for those living nearby. I have additional video and maybe I’ll post it on YouTube at some point.
It sounded like a jet engine and smelled of natural gas and chemicals. The people living nearby didn’t know if the well might blow up or suffocate them in their sleep.
An online complaint was made to the TCEQ at about 10:00 PM last night. They showed up 13 hours later at the Ruggiero’s house and I just happened to be there. The jet engine noise stopped at about 10:00 AM, an hour before the TCEQ arrived and 12 hours after the noise first started. Neighbors listened to the noise and breathed the fumes all night long.
We learned from the TCEQ investigators that they came to the area about 1:00 AM but were unable to locate the well. This, despite the fact that all well site locations are on the TCEQ website with GPS coordinates.
When they didn’t find the site last night, they went home and came back this morning. The Ruggieros gave them a map and a printout from the TCEQ website with the location information.
If you watch the video, you will notice the compressor fan is not turning. Aruba does not have a permit for a compressor at this site. They have a permit for a compressor at a nearby site that has no compressor. When Christine explained this to the TCEQ inspector, he informed us that the Texas Railroad Commission permits compressors. It’s not their fault they have not had proper training.
In the past two years, I have received several calls late at night when there were emergency situations in the Barnett Shale. I am not equipped to deal with gas well emergencies but, it seems, there is no one else to call.
I have personally called the Texas Railroad Commission emergency number only to hear it ring endlessly.
I’m tired and so are most of the people who live in the gas patch. Could some investigative reporter please take on this issue? It’s really not my job.