Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Explosive Arlington Chesapeake Energy Event During Thunderstorm Is Not Being Reported

Way back on Saturday, January 23, 2010, my next door neighbor, a Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas drilling site, started making real odd explosive noises, like loud pops.

After a couple hours of hearing this I walked over to my neighbor's to take pictures and video. Just as I arrived so did the white Chesapeake Energy pickup you see in the picture.

The pickup arrived at a high rate of speed, which sort of told me that whatever was happening, that was causing the popping, was serious.

I never did learn what this particular Chesapeake malfunction was. Or if any real danger was involved. But I did blog about the incident.

Moving forward more than a year. Earlier this month I heard from a lady in Arlington, Kim Feil, who told me about a Chesapeake Energy Barnett Shale Natural Gas drilling site incident which occurred in the wee hours of April 11, 2011.

Kim Feil has been trying to get answers about what happened that night, answers from TCEQ, answers from Chesapeake Energy, answers from the Texas Railroad Commission.

So far, no real answers.

So, this morning Kim Feil sent out the following....

Dear Media, during a power loss in the storm of April 11, two TCEQ investigations are ongoing to determine why emission events occurred in the same time frame.

Please inform the public of the added risk in the gas patch with storms.

Regarding the Chesapeake, Fulson site at 5720 S Watson in SE Arlington:

On  4/11/2011 early am, the emission events have been noted as follows..... (this before I have the 911 records that have gone past my 10 day open records request).

2:30 am   (approx per Mr Loredo) spewing sound awakens neighbors
3:00         Mr. Lordeo calls 911
3:15         (per records dept) Jane Lynn's first call to 911 did not result in the dispatch of the fire department-yet was told Chk would be contacted
3:30         Councilman Rivera contacted by Jane Lynn
3:34         Fire Dept dispatched (19 minutes after Jane's first call)
3:40         Jane Lynn's second call to 911 when being sickened with fumes that filled her home. Also by that time Loredo reports the fire truck was driving around the neighborhood and pointed their light on the Chesapeake contact sign
3:50         Emission sound stopped when the Chesapeake rep went onto the padsite
4:18         Fire truck back in service

In speaking with Mr O'Quinn from Railroad Commission,  a rep visited the site on 4/14 and noted that dry gas was released when the burst plate on the separator broke apart (as designed) to release pressure.  When I told him of the reported witnesses duration of the sound being almost 1 1/2 hours, Mr. O'Quinn said that long time frame would not be the sound of depressure in a relief valve (which is a short duration sound).  This indicates to me that the well did NOT AUTO SHUT ITSELF DOWN as was reported by Arl Fire Chief Don Crowson.

So it is suspect that there was actually a failure of the computer in the automatic well shut down that explains the duration of the venting of raw, unodorized, natural gasses from approx 2:30-3:50 am which is an hour and twenty minutes.

If the well auto shut itself down, then the Chesapeake rep would not have needed to go onto the site to make the sound "go away".

Then two evenings later Chesapeake rep, Tony Rutigliano, was applying for six more wells at this site. He honestly tried to tell council that he was not sure of the events.  Generalizations of emission behaviors and questionable information about the system being closed looped and about how the auto well shut in worked, as designed, made for the need to have this tabled and investigated, however, council approved the new wells by one vote.

As I see this, the only safety feature that worked as designed was the burst plate on the separator to relieve pressure.  But if the well itself was not shut in, then gasses flowing for almost an hour and a half was a failed attempt in preventing natural gas effluents from entering the airshed and our atmosphere.

In speaking with Mr. Mallick from TCEQ, the investigation is still in process and he could only say that the reports of the emission durations matched the same time frame as the XTO/Dalworthington Gardens's event that night during the storm.  Both have been reported to have lasted around an hour and twenty minutes.

I am reporting this to the best of my ability from the sources I have received information from.

Kim Feil

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