A Chesapeake Energy drilling rig working in Oklahoma hit a shallow pocket of gas on Thursday causing a blowout which burned the rig to the ground. Jim Gipson, Director – Media Relations for Chesapeake, told the media one story but told a concerned Denton citizen a completely different story. Both stories can’t be true.
You can read Story #1 and Story #2 on EARTHblog.
UPDATE: the comments on EARTHblog are interesting and gave me the opportunity to update the post with additional information from a petroleum engineer.
Since this industry is stuck on stupid we may never know the whole truth so we will have to assume the worst.
Here’s what we do know:
Somewhere near Sweetwater, Oklahoma there is a big, gaping hole directly through the High Plains aquifer. The hole is now full of additive laced drilling mud and the newly released shallow gas .
Previous blog post about the blowout HERE.
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I think usually the first story you get from the crew working the well is more true than what follows from spokesmen, trying to avoid litigation. Case in point:
One week after several south Caddo Parish residents were first urged to evacuate their homes because of a GAS WELL BLOWOUT are still waiting to get access to their homes.
“Monday morning after employees from Dallas-based Exco Resources called authorities to say they couldn’t contain bubbling gas and extreme gas well pressure underground. Workers at the drill site had noticed the problems the previous evening, but waited approximately 12 hours before calling emergency crews and warning them to evacuate people who lived nearby”
Now watch the spokesman’s response:
That made me laugh. Stuck on stupid.
Wait 12 hours to start evacuations?
Smells like Lawsuit material. And, an invitation to have stronger regulator oversight.
Makes one wonder where this shallow high pressure gas pocket came from?? It certainly could have migrated upwards to this place from other shale gas drilling/production activity. When we drill into high pressure zones(shale formations), that high pressure gas will tend to migrate to a lower pressure zone (high pressure to low pressure)–and many, many paths are available to allow this migration. You can bet that CHK didn’t know about this gas pocket, nor did they expect it–or they would have taken proper measurements to protect the rig from this event.
PS: Remember that, in general, lower pressures exist higher up in mother earth.
Thank you! That is very interesting and explains a lot.
I hope people in that area are getting their water tested STAT.
It’s as if the frackers are completely unaware of the fact that we insurgents are sharing info, videos, news stories and, of course, the frackers varying responses. “__________ couldn’t be reached for comment” is always a bad sign. Maybe they are too busy cooking up a better explanation that sounds more plausible. As if we were completely unaware of the first set of lies.
To David above. It is common knowledge in the oil patch that if something goes wrong, everybody preaches the prescribed song–which is entitled “Protect the Oil/Gas company”–it was not their fault.
A Nonny Mouse says
It looks like my hunch might have been right. How can we warn people in Oklahoma about the dangers to their drinking water?
Cathy McMullen says
The aquifer and water shed in that part of Oklahoma feeds into the water supply for the Texas Panhandle, Norht Texas ,New Mexico, and Colorado. Millions of people will be affected if there is contamination. I will contact the EPA since it would seem to be a multi-state issue.
Hey Chesapeake officials,
Where will we send our invoices for the air and water testing to be paid? Please answer ASAP!!
A Nonny Mouse says
Considering it’s Oklahoma, the officials will go ask Chesapeake if everything is okay and Chesapeake will slap them on the back and assure them it’s all good. If you notice any OK officials suddenly getting a new gravel driveway, cattle guard and pipe fence you’ll know.