State issues notice to EnCana for natural gas leak near Silt |

State issues notice to EnCana for natural gas leak near Silt

Donna GrayGlenwood Springs Correspondent

Natural gas leaking from a well known as the Arbaney well pad in West Divide Creek south of Silt has caused the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to issue another alleged violation notice to EnCana Oil & Gas (USA).The notice was issued Sept. 28, said Brian Macke, deputy director of the COGCC. EnCana is required to investigate the nature of the gas leak and to stop it.We havent determined what, if any, follow-up well take subsequent to that, Macke said.EnCana is also testing the Dietrich water well located on EnCana property about 800 feet from the Arbaney site.No hazardous levels of natural gas nor associated toxic chemicals has been found, Macke said.Thus far, the investigation has shown that the character of the gas has been changing; its looking like Williams Fork gas after three samples were taken, Macke said. Were continuing to test the Dietrich well and will continue to monitor it after the remedial work on the Arbaney well is finished. We havent determined what additional enforcement well take. Were still investigating.COGCC field inspector Jaime Adkins observed the gas leak on Sept. 23, Macke said.Bubbling of gas around the wellhead and elevated pressure in the surface casing of the well prompted the COGCC to require EnCana to run a series of tests which determined that production gas from the Williams Fork member of the Mesaverde Formation, where EnCana draws its marketable product, was leaking to the surface.COGCC ordered EnCana to cement the well to arrest the gas flow.Macke and Adkins appeared before the Garfield County commissioners last week to update them on the well work.Macke also said the COGCC has added another field inspector who will be moving to the area in the near future.EnCana also recently decided to reduce the number of drilling rigs in the county by one-third, Macke said. It now has 33 rigs operating, about half the rigs operating in the entire state.

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