Wednesday, August 6, 2014

DEP Releases After Action Reports On Chevron Well Fire

The Department of Environmental Protection has completed its After-Action Review of the fatal well fire that occurred on Chevron’s Lanco gas well pad on February 11.
The report, released Wednesday, provides a summary of the incident, a chronology of events, a review of the problems encountered during the well incident and recommendations.
The report points to possible human error and a failed screw and nut assembly as factors that allowed gas to escape the well and led to the fire. Chevron has since inspected other wells with similar installations and issued guidelines.
The DEP report is critical of on-site communications between Chevron and DEP, as well as the company and the media. It recommends establishing a specialized response protocol that would set up a system for DEP senior managers to coordinate operational response and establish DEP’s authority on the site to ensure that DEP staff has proper equipment, access and adequate staffing to perform their function.
The report said in part, “Chevron failed to continually provide meaningful update information on the emergency incident during the regularly scheduled briefings held at the Unified Command Center location at the Miller Pad. DEP staff were excluded from discussions at the Miller Pad Unified Command Center with Chevron and Wild Well while they developed the information provided at the regularly scheduled briefing.
“Chevron controlled access at the site based on what they believed were PSP (PA State Police) directives. DEP personnel were prevented from accessing areas of the site on several occasions. Proper coordination and communication between PSP, Chevron, and DEP could have prevented this situation.
“On several occasions, DEP requested that Chevron brief the media on the ongoing situation. Chevron did set up and staff a Joint Information Center (JIC) located at the Bobtown, PA, Polish Club on February 12, but then made a decision to move the JIC to Morgantown, WV on February 16. Locating the JIC at a location where media could 16 better access Chevron personnel would have improved communication with the public. The JIC should have included personnel that were authorized to speak freely on behalf of the company.
“There was uncertainty about the location of the actual decision making authority for the incident (on site or at Moon Twp.). Chevron was not clear with DEP staff where such discussions were being held and which Chevron personnel had ultimate decision making authority.”
A separate DEP Bureau of Investigations report examines more closely the factors leading up to the fire and makes specific observations about staffing, training and management oversight of the operations on the well pad.
Click Here for a copy of the After Action Review of the Chevron well fire.  Click Here for a copy of DEP’s Bureau of Investigation’s report on the well fire.
DEP Issues Report On Chevron Gas Well Fire

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner