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Westmoreland

Isolated 'casing issue' likely caused problems at gas well near Beaver Run Reservoir, company reports

Stephen Huba
| Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, 4:51 p.m.
Natural gas flares off near Beaver Run Reservoir on Route 380 in Bell Township on Feb. 5.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Natural gas flares off near Beaver Run Reservoir on Route 380 in Bell Township on Feb. 5.

A pressure anomaly that recently forced the shutdown of a Utica shale gas well near Beaver Run Reservoir was likely caused by a “casing integrity issue” about a mile underground, CNX Resources told investors.

The update was contained in a footnote in the company’s 2018 annual report , posted late last week to its website.

“While the company is continuing to evaluate the cause of this incident, it appears that the pressure anomalies that the company observed were caused by a casing integrity issue that occurred at a depth below approximately 5,200 feet, allowing gas traveling up the wellbore to escape into shallower formations,” the note said. “CNX believes this issue is isolated to this well.”

The significant loss of pressure during fracking operations at the Shaw 1G well on Jan. 25 was accompanied by pressure increases at several nearby shallow oil and gas wells not owned by CNX, the company said. All hydraulic fracturing operations on the four-well Shaw pad remain suspended while CNX continues to investigate the incident, the company said.

Meanwhile, test results from Beaver Run Reservoir since the incident have come back normal so far, said Matthew Junker, spokesman for the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

The reservoir serves as the public water source for about 130,000 customers of the municipal authority living in northern Westmoreland County.

The Mountain Watershed Association is holding a public meeting on the incident at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Delmont Volunteer Fire Department.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, shuba@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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