Drilling regulators pull double duty as industry promoters

Drilling regulators pull double duty as industry promoters by Mike Soraghan, November 30, 2011, E&E Publishing
The explosion nearly knocked Jim Eubanks off his feet and did knock his house partially off its foundation. Outside, flames were shooting up at an Encana Corp. well about a quarter-mile from his house. His neighbors in a community outside Silt, Colo., also reported feeling a rumbling under their feet that many mistook for an earthquake. Four months later, an inspector for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued a “notice of alleged violation” to Encana for having an untrained rig crew that allowed pressure to build before the explosion because “no one on location knew how to unplug it and relieve the pressure.” But when the complaint went to higher-ups in Denver, it got revoked. Encana had explained that the crew did know how to operate the blowout preventer, though that was not what caused the explosion. A commission memo written later would explain — “no injuries to people, nor damage to [wellsite] equipment,” so there was “no need for a hearing, no rule violation.” That didn’t satisfy Eubanks. In a brief phone interview earlier this year, he said the commission ignored its own inspector and “swept it under the rug.”

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.