Chesapeake Issues Follow-up Report on LeRoy Blowout
Chesapeake Energy Corporation vice president of strategic affairs and public relations Michael Kehs issued an inter-office report to fellow Chesapeake executives on Oct. 15 that detailed findings by an independent agency that investigated the April 20 blowout that occurred as Chesapeake’s Atgas well pad in LeRoy Township near Canton was being completed.
The situation was monitored by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and deemed to be fully contained within a week of the accident, but public outcry for a more extensive investigation prompted Chesapeake to secure the services of SAIC, a Virginia-based company that provides scientific engineering, systems integrations, and technical services to gas companies and other industries.
SAIC, which, Kehs noted, has extensive experience working with governmental agencies, filed two reports with DEP, the first addressing water sampling results from the area surrounding the Atgas well, and the second proving specific details of a single residential well that produced testing results significantly different from others in the area.
According to Kehs, the SAIC reports are backed up by volumes of data and technical tables and have been accepted by DEP. The key conclusions by SAIC are that no nearby water wells were impacted by the blowout and there was minor impact to the land. There was, however, minimal, temporary impact on a small tributary of Towanda Creek and to the creek itself.
“In summary, this accident was one of the most serious that can happen during the completion of an onshore gas well. While it was regrettable and Chesapeake has taken extensive steps to prevent another occurrence, nobody was injured, the public was never in danger, and there never was a lasting impact to the environment,” Kehs stated.
For a closer look at the study and subsequent analysis, readers may log on to http:/www.chk.com/news/articles/pages/release_2011101501.aspx.