Texas workers hope to cap blown out Marcellus gas well
Workers from a Texas well control company plan this afternoon to start capping a blown-out natural gas well in Bradford County by shoving ground up rubber, plastic and heavy mud into it, state environmental officials said.
"The focus is to get this well permanently killed. That is the objective at this time," said Dan Spadoni, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.
The well in LeRoy exploded late Tuesday and still is seeping contaminated water, which vacuum trucks are collecting so it does not get into nearby waterways, Spadoni said.
Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp., the natural gas company that owns the well, blames equipment failure for causing the blowout. Drilling fluids spewed out of the well bore, escaped containment, crossed over farm fields and went into a stream.
The DEP is testing water from nearby wells but so far has no test results, Spadoni said.
The company said initial testing found little impact on local waterways from the spill of thousands of gallons of drilling fluids from the well, located in a rural area about 25 miles from the New York State border.
The company said early today that crews built a containment system to divert tainted water away from Towanda Creek.
One family who lives nearby was temporarily relocated until the well is brought under control. Other families who were asked to evacuate have returned to their homes. No injuries have been reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.