Well pad fire under investigation

BY ROBERT L. BAKER

A late Tuesday (Aug. 21) night gas well fire originally reported in Susquehanna Countyas an explosion may have just been a valve fire.

Kristi Gittins, vice president of public affairs for Chief Oil & Gas which operates the Ellwood Phelps 2H well pad in Lathrop Township, said, “there was no explosion.”

However, a valve did catch on fire in one of the separator units, Gittins said, and workers did have the well shut down in under 30 minutes.

Colleen Connolly, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said that DEP personnel were on scene Wednesday morning.

She noted that a passerby called the fire in around 10 p.m.

Gittins siad the fire never left the immediate area and there was never any potential harm to personnel or the area.

Gittins added that three wells are located on the Phelps well pad site, and all of them have been shut down until the one unit can be replaced and the others re-inspected.

The Phelps site is located just off of SR 2009 (Abington & Waterford Turnpike) near its intersection with SR 2002, about three miles north of Nicholson.

Connolly noted that the incident remains under investigation and Chief had voluntarily agreed to stop operations until it could figure out what happened and fix it.

A number of fire companies responded to the scene Tuesday night, including Hop Bottom, Nicholson and Factoryville.