Crews still working to cap Alberta natural gas well still spewing after blowout

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FOX CREEK, Alta. — A blowout at a natural gas well in northwestern Alberta was still spewing gas and other chemicals into the air on Tuesday more than 24 hours after the leak began.

“Our priority is bringing the well under control as safely and quickly as possible,” said Jay Averill, spokesman for well owner Encana.

“From first light (Tuesday) morning, we continued to assess the well and are evaluating a range of options to safely bring the well under control.”

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The well, located 18 kilometres from the community of Fox Creek, is licensed to produce hydrogen sulphide, a poisonous gas that smells like rotten eggs. Alberta’s energy regulator says none of its crews have detected gas off the well site.

“The situation is in a controlled state,” said Peter Murchland. “We have no indication there’s any threat to public safety.”

Staff from the regulator were on site with Encana crews to ensure the well was capped as quickly and safely as possible.

Murchland says an investigation will begin once that is accomplished.

Data on the regulator’s website on Tuesday afternoon indicated that the well had released more than two million cubic metres of natural gas and condensate, a mixture of fluid hydrocarbons that come up with the gas.

The Canadian Press

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