Gas well leak now called blowout

The city of Denton released additional information this afternoon related to the April 19 incident at an Eagleridge Operating gas well site on the city’s west side.

Earlier in the day, the city sent out a press release acknowledging the incident as a blowout, one of the most serious problems encountered in the field. Essentially, operators no longer have control of the well. Early in the Barnett Shale boom, a blowout in Palo Pinto County in December 2005 ignited, blowing a 750-crater in the ground and burning for several days.

The city’s link to the Texas Railroad Commission’s initial report of the blowout in Denton shows that a flash fire was a risk until the operator got extra water to the site.

We had reported that the Denton fire department evacuated homes in the area.

It could be that the city released additional information today after an internal email was leaked to Brendan Carroll, one of two candidates challenging Jim Engelbrecht in District 3, and he posted the email on his Facebook page yesterday.

During the final campaign forum hosted by the League of Women Voters on April 18, Engelbrecht responded to residents upset by the incident and the lack of information coming from the city. (There had been no statement from Eagleridge. We blogged what we could here and here - the second link includes video of the incident).

I tweeted from the April 25 forum that Engelbrecht told the crowd he expected more of a report from the city either Friday or Monday. On Friday, April 26, the city posted a press release that had been circulated among the media earlier in the week. It contained no new information.

This latest information from the city shows that more reports are coming, though our link back to the original TCEQ report on emissions shows the operator has changed the estimates. Frankly, I didn’t make a screen capture of that page because I didn’t think TCEQ would over-write it. But Cathy Mcmullen, a member of the Denton Stakeholders Drilling Advisory Group did: TCEQ initial report.

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