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DEP: W.Va. gas well fire is finally out

Sep. 27, 2010 @ 08:33 PM

CAMERON, W.Va. (AP) — A gas well fire in the Northern Panhandle was extinguished Monday after burning for seven days, and an investigation into what sparked it can now begin.

Over the weekend, Chesapeake Appalachia said it had excavated the well head and found the source of the leak. On Monday morning, crews injected mud into the well to stop both the leak and the fire, said state Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kathy Cosco.

Specialists with Texas-based International Well Control Inc. stopped shut down the well around 11 a.m., Chesapeake spokeswoman Stacey Brodak said in an e-mail later in the day.

“The fire was resolved without any impact to streams or water sources,” she said.

Chesapeake was drilling a new well about 9 miles from Cameron in Marshall County when the accident occurred. The drilling rig was about 15 feet away from a producing well that had been shut down.

The existing well was apparently leaking, and something ignited the gas. The rig was not involved in the blast, and no one was injured.

Chesapeake Appalachia is a subsidiary of Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy.

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