Gas driller resumes work three weeks after accident
Saturday, May 14, 2011
By Laura Olson, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG -- Three weeks after the gas-well blowout at one of its Bradford County sites, Chesapeake Energy announced it will resume well-completion operations in Pennsylvania.
The company had voluntarily halted hydraulic fracturing and other procedures to prepare a well for production following an April 19 accident. As workers attempted to seal that well, briny wastewater spilled for several hours into a nearby creek tributary.
Chesapeake's well-completion work resumed in late April at its West Virginia and Ohio sites, but sites here remained idle as state Department of Environmental Protection officials sorted through company paperwork detailing what happened.
DEP spokeswoman Katy Gresh said the agency also was waiting on "assurances" from Chesapeake that they would use local well-control specialists if the company has an accident requiring such assistance. In the Bradford incident, the company called the Houston-based company Boots and Coots, who did not arrive on the scene for 12 hours.
Ms. Gresh said Chesapeake agreed to local well-control specialists in the future, which the company also noted in its statement.