Pennsylvania orders EOG to halt Marcellus shale drilling

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, June 8 -- Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection ordered EOG Resources Inc. to suspend its natural gas well drilling activities in the state.

DEP’s order follows a June 3 blowout at one of the company's Clearfield County wells which sent gas and at least 35,000 gal of drilling wastewater into the sky and over the ground for 16 hr.

DEP Sec. John Hanger said that while the order bans all drilling and hydrofracturing operations for specified periods of time, the suspension will remain in effect until the department has completed a comprehensive investigation into the leak and the company has implemented any needed changes.

“DEP staff, along with an independent expert, will conduct a detailed investigation of not just the incident that occurred last week in Clearfield County, but of EOG’s drilling operations, as a whole, here in Pennsylvania,” said Hanger.

“The Clearfield County incident presented a serious threat to life and property. We are working with the company to review its Pennsylvania drilling operations fully from beginning to end to ensure an incident of this nature does not happen again,” Hanger said.

Under the order, EOG is prohibited from drilling activities up to 7 days; from engaging in fracing operations up to 14 days; and from completing or initiating post-fracing operations for 30 days in any wells throughout the state.

“These actions and operations cannot resume until the department agrees that the investigation has been fully completed,” DEP said, adding that the results of the investigation will also help determine whether additional enforcement action should be taken against the company.

Hanger added that EOG has been fully cooperative and in agreement with the department's ongoing investigation and order.

DEP said the leak began around 8.00 p.m. on June 3, when the well's operators lost control of it while preparing to extract gas after fracing the shale.

As a result, DEP said that “natural gas and flowback frac fluid was released uncontrollably onto the ground and 75 ft into the air. The well was capped at around noon on June 4.”

The EOG well pad is in a rural area near the Penfield-Route 153 exit of Interstate 80 in northwestern Clearfield County, near Moshannon State Forest.

DEP's preliminary investigation has determined that a blowout preventer on the well failed, but the agency does not yet know if that failure was the main cause of the incident. DEP said the BOP has been secured and will be one piece of the investigation.

EOG, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas Co., operates 265 active wells in Pennsylvania, 117 of them in the Marcellus shale formation.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

Related Articles

EOG Resources’ budget down 40% to $4.9-5.1 billion

02/20/2015 EOG Resources Inc., Houston, plans a capital budget of $4.9-5.1 billion in 2015 including production facilities and midstream expenditures, represe...

EOG Resources sells bulk of Canadian assets

12/09/2014 EOG Resources Inc., Houston, has divested all its Manitoba assets along with certain assets in Alberta in two separate deals that closed on Nov. 28...

EOG Resources improves Eagle Ford completions

10/16/2014 EOG Resources Inc. said completion design advances in the Eagle Ford shale contributed to several noteworthy well results in the second quarter.

Houston launches Energy High

03/10/2014 Last summer this editor had the opportunity to visit two corporate-backed oil and gas apprenticeship programs in Scotland. Aberdeen College and For...

Record Barnett HC content seen in combo play

12/02/2009 Hydrocarbon content in the thickest part of the Mississippian Barnett shale combo play in North Texas is so great that even 2-3% recovery is highly...

EOG sees reserve hike in Barnett Combo play

11/06/2009 Improved horizontal completion techniques in the North Texas Barnett Combo play have led EOG Resources Inc. to estimate that ultimate recoveries in...

Texas-East

11/06/2009 EOG Resources Inc. has expanded its acreage position in the Haynesville shale play to 153,000 net acres after adjusting for the expected exercise o...

Pennsylvania

09/22/2009

Seneca Resources Corp., Williamsville, NY, said its first operated Marcellus shale horizontal well averaged 5.8 MMcfd of gas over 6 days.

BLM begins scoping period for EOG Uinta basin gas project

09/09/2009 A 30-day public scoping period for a large natural gas infill project proposed by EOG Resources Inc. in eastern Utah will begin on Sept. 9, the US ...
White Papers

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...
Available Webcasts


Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

When Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected