Wind damaged Pengrowth Energy gas well causes natural gas leak into Dead Horse Lake

Cleaning up after gas leak near Hussar by Bob Brown, April 19, 2015, drumhelleronline
Oil company and Alberta Government officials have spent much of the last week or ten days at the site of a natural gas well leak near Hussar, about half an hour west and south of Drumheller.

“The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) is responding to a release from a suspended well operated by Pengrowth Energy Corp. near Dead Horse Lake,” reports public affairs officer for the agency, Jordan Fitzgerald.

“The well is located in Dead Horse Lake approximately 0.5 kilometres from the lake’s shoreline.” Dead Horse Lake is about five kilometres north of Hussar.

“Strong winds in the area on April 9 caused damage to the well’s well head (and) the well released a small amount of natural gas into Dead Horse Lake,”  [Companies are required to plan for natural occurrences such as wind, rain and storms, and construct facilities accordingly. How can a well be installed so shoddily that it is damaged by wind?] explained Fitzgerald. “The company has since capped the well and natural gas is no longer being released. Water sampling results show no readings of natural gas content in Dead Horse Lake.”

He adds no-one was hurt in the effort to cap the leak and there was no perceptible impact on wildlife.

“Clean-up is underway,” promised Fitzgerald.

“AER staff have visited the site and are continuing to work with the company to oversee the company’s response to the incident.” [Emphasis added]

Gas well leak near Hussar capped by The Drumheller Mail, April 18, 2015
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has confirmed a gas well leak occurred near Hussar at the end of last week released natural gas into close-by Dead Horse Lake.”Clean-up is underway,” said AER Public Affairs Advisor Jordan Fitzgerald. He was unable to provide the estimated amount of gas released before the well was capped by well operator Pengrowth Energy, based in Calgary.

“AER staff have visited the site, and are overseeing the company’s response,” the spokesman said. The well is located .05 km from the shore of Dead Horse Lake, and was a suspended well, so not producing at the time.

Fitzgerald said AER was notified April 10 of the April 9 leak, and AER staff from the regulator’s Midnapore office in Calgary attended. He said water sampling of Dead Horse Lake by the AER showed no reading of natural gas content. He said there was no reported impacts on wildlife or public safety.

Strong winds in the area April 9 caused damage to the wellhead, allowing for the release of gas, Fitzgerald said. He was unable to confirm if the well head was sheared off by the shifting ice on the lake.

The Mail has contacted Pengrowth Energy for information.
Hussar is located approximately 55 km south of Drumheller.

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