Saturday, December 23, 2023

Conventional Oil Well Storage Tanks Burn In McKean County, 6 Local Fire Companies Respond

At 5:50 a.m. on December 19, 2023, the
MSL Oil & Gas Corp well tender reported a fire in crude oil storage tanks at the Dutter 235 conventional oil well in Wetmore Township, McKean County.

The fire occurred at three 5,880 tanks containing crude oil and a subsurface production wastewater tank.

Four McKean County fire companies (2, 5, 20 & 26), Company 72 from Warren County and a tanker truck from Elk County Company 8 responded to the fire. Company 6 in Elk County was on standby. [Read Central PA Fire Wire Facebook page]

MSL Oil & Gas Corp also notified DEP.  Water Quality Specialist Alexis Jacobs was at the well site by 10:30 a.m.

Jacobs described the incident and its aftermath this way in her inspection report--

"The evening prior to the incident, two of the tanks were full and being heated to prepare for crude oil pick up. The third tank contained approximately 1.6 ft of crude oil. 

"The two tanks that were being heated have an open pipe constructed through the bottom of the tanks which allows for an open flame to heat the oil. 

"It is speculated that the vapors and crude oil from the partially filled tank that was not being heated, caught fire due to the open flame heating set up on one of the adjacent tanks.

"All 3 tanks are intact but will be fully assessed for structural integrity."

"The well tender, of MSL, spotted the fire and reported the incident to the local fire department. Responding personnel and evidence at the site indicated the fire was contained within the secondary containment. 

“Foaming agents were utilized to extinguish the fire. The wells plumbed to this tank battery were not involved in the fire. 

“Fire foam remains within the secondary containment and will be taken off site and disposed of appropriately. 

“The site lacked sufficient evidence of crude oil discharge, therefore, there were no violations cited as a result of this incident.”

Jacobs did not include any specific follow up actions the operator should take in the inspection report, but said “follow up inspections will occur to ensure the complete resolution of the incident.”

[Note: Fire fighting foam can contain PFAS ‘forever chemicals.’  It would seem to be a wise precaution to sample for PFAS contamination at the fire site.]

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(Photos: Top-- Courtesy of the Kane Fire Department Facebook page; Bottom- from DEP inspection report.)

PA Oil & Gas Industry Public Notice Dashboards:

-- PA Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Dec. 16 to 22 - 46% More Conventional NOVs; More Abandoned Wells; Conventional Well Fire; Venting Gas, Spills, Plugging Mess  [PaEN]  

-- Conventional Oil Well Storage Tanks Burn In McKean County, 6 Local Fire Companies Respond  [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industry Compliance So Far In 2023 - It Isn’t Pretty   [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - December 23 [PaEN] 

-- DEP Posted 56 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Dec. 23 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- AP: Drilling Under Pennsylvania's 'Gasland' Town Has Been Banned Since 2010, It's Coming Back  [PaEN]

-- CNX Resources Begins Disclosing General Information On Fracking Chemicals, Air Monitoring Results Online At 2 Shale Gas Well Pads  [PaEN]

-- Oil & Gas Facilities Self-Reported 13,432,713 Tons Of Air Pollution In PA In 2022; 101,741,616 Tons Total Since 2012  [PaEN]

-- US DOE, Treasury Release Proposed Regulations Implementing Clean Hydrogen Production Credit Setting A Sliding Scale For Credits  [PaEN]

-- CNX Ends Coordination On West Virginia Adams Fork Ammonia Energy Project, Anchor Of ARCH2 Hydrogen Hub Application  [PaEN]

-- HEI Energy, Penn State Study Uses 28,500 Water Sample Results To Help Identify Oil & Gas Industry Groundwater Pollution  [PaEN] 

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves Water Withdrawal Requests For Shale Gas Drilling In Loyalsock, Pine Creek Exceptional Value Watersheds  [PaEN]

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves 32 Shale Gas Well Pad Water Use General Permits In Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming Counties  [PaEN]

-- FERC Approves PJM $1.25 Billion Winter Storm Elliot Settlement With Non-Performing Natural Gas, Other Electricity Generators  [PaEN]

-- Project InnerSpace Launches Cross-Collaborative Future of Oil/Gas Well-Based Geothermal In Pennsylvania Study  [PaEN]

-- PUC Update On Investigation Of Dec. 12 Home Explosion In Sewickley Heights, Allegheny County  [PaEN]

NewsClips This Week:

-- WNEP: Residents Awaiting Water React To Return Of Shale Gas Drilling In Dimock, Susquehanna County: ‘Stab In The Back’

-- The Allegheny Front: Environmental Groups Pressure Gov. Shapiro To Crack Down On Shale Gas Industry 

-- ABC27: PA Environmental Groups Hold Press Conferences Asking Shapiro To Take Action On Fracking 

-- Fox News Guest Essay: Pennsylvania’s Radical Plan To Produce Energy And Protect Our Environment - By Gov. Josh Shapiro & Nick Deiuliis, CEO CNX Resources

-- PA Capital-Star: CNX Gas Company Begins Self-Reporting Air Quality Data As Part Of Shapiro Partnership

-- Bob Donnan Blog: Oil & Gas Industry Air Pollution In Pennsylvania

-- Bob Donnan Blog: Oil & Gas Industry Groundwater Pollution

-- Marcellus Shale Gas Industry Coalition: All We Want For Christmas Is - Permit Reform; More Energy Infrastructure

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: PA Shale Gas Drilling Activity, Gas Prices Fall, Report Says  [406 new shale gas wells drilled in 2023 increasing DEP’s workload]

-- Bloomberg: Congressional House Democrats Investigate Diversified Energy Oil/Gas Producer Methane Emissions, Business Practices  [PA Largest Conventional Well Operators] 

-- Pittsburgh Business Times: Diversified Energy Oil & Gas Well Company Share Drop Sharply After Congressional Democrats Start Well Probe

-- Tribune-Democrat: CPV Fairview Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant Gets $900,000 School District Tax Repayment After Reassessment Settlement

-- TribLive: Home For Holidays Has Different Meaning For Victims Of Natural Gas Explosion In Plum Boro, Allegheny County 

-- AP: 1 Dead After Propane Gas Hotel Explosion In Lancaster County

-- WPXI: Major Natural Gas Leak At Ross Twp., Allegheny County Business Forced Road Closures, Evacuations

-- KDKA: Explosion, Fire At AmeriGas Propane Gas Facility In Beaver County, No Injuries

-- Bloomberg: LNG Natural Gas Shipping Rates Slump On Lower Demand Despite Red Sea Chaos

-- Inside Climate News: Thousands Of Oil/Gas Wastewater Spills Threaten Property, Groundwater, Wildlife, Livestock Across Texas

-- Reuters: Texas Grid Over Relies On Natural Gas To Restore Power After Blackouts, Study

-- The Guardian: How US Utilities Keep Fossil Fuels In New Homes

[Posted: December 23, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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