Energy. Environment. Economy.

Wyoming County Gas Well Spill Forces Evacuations

The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that waste water is flowing from a gas well in Washington Township, Wyoming County. Three families have been evacuated and are staying in nearby hotels. More from the Times-Tribune:

The well was releasing the salty, chemically treated wastewater at around 800 gallons a minute but the flow has since been reduced to 400 gallons a minute, [said DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly]. About 5,400 barrels of the fluid have been captured in tanks and about 3,100 barrels of that has been trucked off site. There are 42 gallons in a barrel.

Some of the fluid is running off the pad but a temporary catch basin has been set up across the road on an adjacent leased property to contain it, she said. A well control crew is scheduled to arrive on site later this morning.

The well is operated by the Texas-based Carrizo Oil and Gas. Recent well site data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection shows Carrizo has 107 active wells in the state, and has paid more than $20,000 in fines for 48 violations.


  • Bill

    You haven’t seen anything yet wait till one of these wells or pipelines blow. You can search the web for gas lines blowing but they are always hiding under (on web searches) oil rigs heading or something else. If you search the web you can see the hugh fire and explosions they pproduce.

    • Iris Marie Bloom

      Bill, here is a list of pipeline accidents in the U.S., since you asked. — As to this blowout, I feel for the families. Now, if you have uncontrolled flowback spewing out of a gas well at high pressure and high volume, wouldn’t that indicate a blowout? Seems that only industry-approved language is used by the press these days, and blowout is a scary word, after all. However, according to OSHA, a blowout is defined as an “uncontrolled flow of gas, oil, or other well fluids from the well.” Fracking flowback is certainly a well fluid, so this was a blowout.

      Wonder what Carrizo will be fined for this toxic incident? The small change they’ve had to pay for their 48 violations so far is meaningless.

  • chedd

    So, at 800 gallons per minute, that’s 48,000 gallons per hour. It
    happened last evening and wasn’t capped until early this afternoon, so lets
    say, what, 16 hours? (I know that’s closer to 20 hours, but let’s low-ball it to account for the decreased leak flow toward the end). That would be 768,000 gallons of fracking fluid
    spewing from the well. Of course, they say they have captured or
    trucked away 8500 barrels, which is about 350,000 gallons. So where are the other 400,000 gallons of toxic fracking juice?

  • Ms Kitty

    48 violations, only $20,000 in fines? That averages out to $416.66 per violation, hardly a deterrent.

  • Peter Mokayi

    what are the precautions to be observed when opening a gas well

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