Fracked natural gas well blowout still burning after two weeks

Article by Amanda Doyle

A BLOWOUT at a fracked natural gas well in Louisiana, US, has been burning for two weeks and is expected to burn for another month.

The blowout occurred at around 03:20 local time on 30 August at a well operated by GEP Haynesville in the Red River Parish in Louisiana. According to Louisiana State Police, no injuries occurred and the fire is contained to the well. No evacuations or road closures have been necessary.

According to environmental investigative journalism website DeSmog, a state official has said that the well will likely burn for another month until a relief well has been drilled. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) has said that there is no threat to air quality. However, Sharon Wilson, Texas coordinator of environmental advocacy group Earthworks and a certified optical gas imaging thermographer, told DeSmog that it is likely that there will be impacts on air quality. Wilson highlighted that the LDEQ meters are on the ground, while a drone or air canister testing would be better to survey the plume of smoke.

While GEP Haynesville reportedly told local news agency KPVI that the fire started during flow-back operations, the exact cause has yet to be determined.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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