Friday, April 1, 2011

DEP Determines Source of Shale Fire

The Department of Environmental Protection found that mismanagement of explosive natural gas byproducts was the cause of a Washington County drilling site fire in mid-February. The Marcellus Shale fire hospitalized three workers who have since been released.

The site, owned by Chesapeake Energy Corporation near Avella, was out of compliance with best industry practices. DEP Secretary Michael Krancer distributed a letter of best management practices to all well operators when dealing with compensate, a wet gas liquid byproduct, after the incident.

DEP spokeswoman Katy Gresh said suggested practices were detailed in the letter.

"Identifying the presence of vapors on a site determining the most effective procedures and the most effective equipment that can be used to prevent spill and manage vapor emissions," she says.

Another Washington County fire occured in late March last year due to the mismanagement of condensate. The drilling site was owned by Atlas Energy Incorporated in Hopewell.

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