A natural gas well blowout in northwest Fort Bend County that began Tuesday morning could last for days before the system is fixed, authorities said.
Louisiana Gas Development Corp., which operates the well, and Houston contractor Wild Well Control Inc. have been trying to cap off the well on Smith Ranch just east of the Pecan Grove Plantation subdivision, about 1,000 yards from the southeast corner of Country Place and Windswept.
No injuries or fires have been reported since the incident that occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management.
As gas keeps gushing out and shooting to the sky, a jet engine-like noise can be heard and the air has a noticeable odor.
According to Pecan Grove Volunteer Fire Department, the smell can be attributed to a mixture of salt water and mud carried by the gas.
The incident has drawn responses from other local agencies that include Richmond Fire Department and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Offices. The Texas Railroad Commission also is on hand.
“Our agency is monitoring to ensure the operator is taking appropriate actions,” said Grey Grossman, the commission’s representative. “The public is not in danger.”
Grossman said the gas mainly contains methane.
Oh methane is all. No problem. That’s only the most powerful greenhouse gas–20 times more powerful than CO2–and it’s shooting into the atmosphere so forcefully they have declared the area a no-fly zone.
No detectable levels of natural gas have been found in the air to threaten homes, and there is no need for evacuation, Richmond Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hafer said.
Meanwhile, Bob Lutts Park on Harlem Road has been closed out of precaution.
A Federal Aviation Administration temporary flight restriction issued Tuesday is still in effect today. It bans unauthorized flights below 2,500 feet within a 2½-mile radius of the site.
Grossman said the rupture happened when a blowout-preventing device didn’t close as workers were pulling a pipe from the well during a workover.
The company had a similar incident in Crosby years ago, Grossman said.
Just another good reason to just say no the the Pickens Boondoggle and the bridge to nowhere.