One missing after blast at Chevron gas well in Pennsylvania

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 11, 2014 7:43 PM

By Elizabeth Daley

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - One person was injured and another was missing after an explosion and fire on Tuesday at a natural gas well owned by Chevron Corp in southwestern Pennsylvania, a company spokesman said.

The blast occurred around 6:45 a.m. local time at Chevron Appalachia's Lanco 7H well in Dunkard Township, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh.

"One employee of a contractor is currently unaccounted for and another contractor employee was taken to the hospital for minor injuries and has since been released," Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson said in an email.

The Lanco well pad has three natural gas wells. Nineteen workers were on the well pad during the explosion, Robertson said, adding a fire continued to burn.

"At the time of the incident, preparations were being made to run tubing, which is often done prior to bringing wells into production," Robertson said.

There was no drilling or hydraulic fracturing at the time, he said.

Robertson said the company did not immediately know the cause of the explosion. Wild Well Control, an organization trained specifically to deal with natural gas explosions, was on site, he said.

"Chevron's primary concern at this point is to contain the fire and ensure the safety of its employees, contractors and the surrounding community," Robertson said.

(Writing by Ian Simpson and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Edward McAllister and Chizu Nomiyama)