Chevron alerts residents

February 21, 2014

BOBTOWN – Residents near the Lanco well pad in Dunkard Township, where an explosion and fire took place Feb. 11, can expect additional loud noises as remediation at the site moves into full swing over the next several days.

“The plan at this time is to cap (well) 7H, then (well) 6H, and to then run diagnostics on (well) 8H to determine the best path forward. The next step in the process includes cutting and unbolting the upper portion of the well head so that the blowout prevention equipment (or capping stack) has a clear connection point,” Chevron said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “We will utilize specialized equipment that creates a high-powered stream of water and sand to cut through the upper assembly of the well head.”

Greg Leathers, director of Greene County Emergency Management, visited the site Friday.

“Right now, they are prepping to try to start some offensive operations, on Sunday perhaps,” Leathers said. “It will not be completed (capping the wells) over the weekend.”

Chevron said the work could take several days.

“Due to the pressure needed to pump the water and sand in a jet-like fashion, this process has the potential to be loud. Abrasive water-jet cutting is the safest cutting method in potentially flammable atmospheres because it is self-cooling and provides no ignition source,” Chevron said. “Part of the plan might involve flaring of the gas. We ask residents not to be alarmed if this occurs, as this is expected under these conditions.”

The company emphasized the well intervention process it and Wild Well Control will undertake involves many steps and must be executed in a “precise, controlled, methodical manner.”

“We are working to be efficient in our efforts to minimize the duration. However, the safety of our workers and operations will determine the appropriate pace,” Chevron said.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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