An uncontrolled sweet gas release occured at ConcoPhillips well site on Sunday, December 9th at approximatley 8am. The well site is located approximately 30 kilometres northeast of Tumbler Ridge. ConcoPhillips initiated their emergency response plan and report that there were no injuries, and the incident is contained to the site which is approximately 120 x120 feet. The area is covered in snow, and the expectation is that risk of a forest fire is very small. Trappers and First Nations people have been notified, as well as the Oil and Gas Commission.
The company is conducting air monitoring on site, and believe that the environmental impact will be very small, and that the incident does not pose a threat to the health and safety of the local community.
The estimate is that the well is producing 50 to 60 million cubic feet a day, which would be a very good well with that capacity.
Crews will be drilling a well 400 metres from the first rig and then drilling at an angle to reach the burn site. Mud will be pumped through which is expected to put out the fire. The process is expected to take about three to five weeks.
Phe Befoe, Senior Vice President of Health and Safety said in an interview that this is a rare occurance and that Conoco Phillips has drilled approximately 6,400 wells throughout Western Canada between 2001 and 2007 without incident.