Nov. 5, 2019: Three days into the blowout, media reports!
Thousands of acres sealed off following blowout at Eagle Ford Shale well by Sergio Chapa, November 5, 2019, chron.com
The rural area northewest of the DeWitt County towns of Yorktown and Nordheim are home to hundreds of oil and natural gas wells.
Thousands of acres of land remain sealed off following a blowout at a natural gas well belonging to Devon Energy between the Eagle Ford Shale towns of Yorktown and Nordheim.
The accident happened at a Devon Energy natural gas well near Cotton Patch Road and FM 952 in DeWitt County early Friday morning. No injuries were reported but authorities evacuated rural families living within a two-mile radius of the blowout, which sent natural gas and a light form of crude oil known as condensate spewing into the sky and surrounding countryside.
A cause of the accident it not clear but in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, Devon Energy reported that the company is working closely with local and state authorities and well-control specialists to cap the well and to minimize damages. The company is providing lodging, meals and other needs to the affected families.
“Safety and environmental protection are our highest priorities during this process,” Devon Energy spokesman John Porretto said in a statement. “A number of steps have been taken to contain any fluid runoff at the well site to protect the surrounding environment. We’ll begin assessing any necessary environmental clean-up as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
The Yorktown Volunteer Fire Department reported that authorities shut down Cotton Patch Road, FM 952 between State Highway 72 to Cabeza Road and FM 2656 in response to the accident. The two-mile radius is equivalent to more than 8,000 acres of land.
Numerous residents and neighbors expressed concern on Facebook about their safety and the safety of their livestock. The Railroad Commission of Texas, the state agency that regulates the oil and natural gas industry, has dispatched an inspector to the site.
Devon has brought in Great White Well Control of Houston to bring the well under control, Railroad Commission officials reported.
Sharon Wilson, a Dallas-based anti-hydraulic fracturing activist with the environmental group Earthworks, said the rural poor continue to pay a heavy price for accidents in the oil fields and that regulators do not enforce the law.
There have been at least nine blowouts in Texas through July of this year, Railroad Commission records show.
“Devon isn’t Texas’ first repeat offender, or second, despite our state government’s promises of responsible oversight,” Wilson said. “Because neither communities nor climate can trust either companies or regulators, the only way to protect the public interest is to keep it in the ground. And for existing facilities, we need strong rules, reliably and transparently enforced.”
Texas oil and gas well blowout highlights fracking’s ongoing risk to health and climate, Statement of Sharon Wilson, Earthworks’ certified optical gas imaging thermographer on the DEVON Energy incident near Yorktown, TX.
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
- November 5, 2019
“Yet another oil and gas well blowout in yet another town demonstrates yet again that the only way to guarantee your safety from oil and gas production is not to live near it.
“This isn’t Devon’s first blowout, or second, despite its promises of safe operation. Devon isn’t Texas’s first repeat offender, or second, despite our state government’s promises of responsible oversight.
“Because neither communities nor climate can trust either companies or regulators, the only way to protect the public interest is to keep it in the ground. And where extraction is already occurring, we need strong rules, reliably and transparently enforced.”
According to eyewitness reports, DEVON Energy had lost control of an oil and gas operation–a “blowout,” in industry jargon–outside of Yorktown, Texas, that spewed methane and other health hazardous air pollution for 3 days into communities as far as 30 miles away in Karnes City, where TCEQ air quality monitors have shown a record spike in benezne of 8ppb on November 2nd, which is nearly 6 times over regulatory long term exposure limits.
… Natural gas contains methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more powerful at warming the climate than CO2, and a variety of air pollution toxics, such as cancer-causing benzene. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment recently released a study that found health impacts such as headaches, dizziness, respiratory, skin, and eye irritation as far away as 2000 feet from oil and gas operations that were functioning properly as engineered. During a “blowout” incident, operations are abnormal.
- DEVON spokesperson stating company commitment to environmental quality in response to incidences of methane and other air pollution (Carlsbad Current Argus)
- DEVON Energy air pollution documented in Eddy County, NM (2019)
- DEVON Energy air pollution documented in Canadian Co., OK (2017)
- DEVON Energy air pollution documented in Tarrant County, TX (2017)
- DEVON Energy air pollution documented in Eddy County, NM (2017)
- Earthworks Blog on Colorado health study and impacts on residents living near oil and gas operations.
Companies & regulators in Canada break their promises too, all the time, and lie, a lot.
Nov 4, 2019 Update:
Still no media coverage.
People in the community are reporting there is a thick cloud of hydrocarbons over the area:
“You should see the cloud this thing has produced with many homes nearby.”
Record high levels of benzene 8 ppb recorded on the state air monitor in Karnes City.
Nov 2, 2019
“The entire atmosphere for miles is drenched in natural gas, which of course, is filled with cancerous Benzene.”
When you watch the 56 second video, watch closely the area in pink above.
Nothing reported in the media on the blowout or on Devon Energy’s website:
Refer also to Encana’s (soon to be Ovindictive‘s) sour gas blow out at Frac’d to Hell Fox Creek, Alberta:
Whimps Extraordinaire! Ex-Encana VP (Gerard Protti) led AER taps Encana with $7,500 administrative penalty for major sour gas blowout at Fox Creek Alberta, Nothing for injecting 18 million litres of frac fluid into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers.
Encana says sour gas and condensate blowout at Fox Creek has been capped; AER compliance dashboard does not
AER Responding to Encana Sour Gas Well Blowout in AER’s blanket approval, fracing free-for-all near Fox Creek. Was it caused by what Mayor Ahn fears? Fracquakes?
2015 09 23: AER’s EMERGENCY COMMAND CENTRE SET UP 2.5 HRS AWAY! DON’T AER COMMAND STAFF WANT TO DAMAGE THEIR BRAINS? Encana’s Fox Creek blow out spewing 20,000,000,000 litres/day sour gas & condensate: Where’s the regulator? Ex-Encana VP Gerard Protti = AER Chair; Ex-Encana Manager Mark Taylor = AER VP Industry Operations
Encana’s Fox Creek blow out spewing 20,000,000,000 litres/day sour gas & condensate: Where’s the regulator? Ex-Encana VP Gerard Protti = AER Chair; Ex-Encana Manager Mark Taylor = AER VP Industry Operations