Control efforts underway for well blowout near Hythe
Published Tuesday, March 9, 2010 11:10AM MST
It's been about two weeks since a gas well blew, and has been on fire near Hythe, Alta. Specialists are now moving in to regain control of the area in an attempt to extinguish the fire.
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has approved a plan to put out the fire temporarily and install new blowout preventers, which would enable any gas being produced by the well to be burned off through a flare stack.
The ERCB says it's possible that trace amounts of sour gas could be released during the procedure, but mobile air quality monitoring units will be in the area to monitor for any hydrogen sulphide emissions.
On Feb. 24, the gas well blew while a crew worked at the rig.
Oilpatch vandal Wiebo Ludwig called an Edmonton radio station early that day to report that the blowout was not far from his Trickle Creek farm.
Prior to that, Ludwig had led an environmental protest near a gas well site about two kilometres from his farm. The drilling is the works of gas company Canadian Superior Energy.
The group wants the natural gas exploration in the area stopped for health and environmental reasons. Ludwig says the Energy Resources and Conservation Board has, so far, been reluctant to halt production.
RCMP have said the Hythe blowout was not suspicious.
With files from the Canadian Press