Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Post-Kick Arbaney Well Flare - The event that started it all

EnCana had been drilling this well [the Magic or (Majic) 10-2] when it encountered a massive "kick" or gas pocket. The resulting underground disturbance shook the ground nearly a mile away and even knocked one home off its foundation. My mother was on her way into the house when the earth moved -- like an earthquake. At first she thought she was just dizzy or something, so she hurried into the house to splash some water on her face. While at the kitchen sink -- nearly a mile from this well, the ground shook again and this time nearly knocked her off her feet. Luckily she grabbed the sink and avoided a fall. She said it sounded like the back of the house was coming off, but then things subsided leaving a huge 1/4" crack where one room adjoins another. Other neighbor's homes were impacted similarly and one neighbor reported that a 70 foot hillock parallel to the line of disturbance dropped in elevation. Despite all this, the Earthquake center in Golden, CO had no report of seismic activity. But maybe they only measure deep earth activity. I don't know, but that was weird.

Of course we reported this to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission whose first response was that it was "impossible". They took our report, labeled it as a "flaring" complaint and remained very unresponsive to this event. In fact, when we later stressed this event to the COGCC just after the massive well blow-out that occurred less than a month later, I was told the event didn't happen and there was never a report. When I said it did happen, I was informed the report couldn't be found. Luckily, we kept a copy and provided them one.

We have always felt that this kick -- the flaring results of which are shown in the video -- may have contributed to the massive seep in 2004, where EnCana lost thousands of feet of casing cement down a borehole, but decided to frac anyway. To our knowledge and despite our efforts to inform them to the contrary, the COGCC ignored this event entirely as if it had never happened.

It would have been great to film the disturbance, but alas.... it was asses and elbows at that moment. All we see here is the partial combustion of the aftermath -- all that gas and no where to put it -- this 'flare' went on for hours into the night. Don't you love the American flag flapping beneath the filth pumping into the environment. Thankfully, that offensive practice has fallen from favor.

In April, 2004, this region was the focus of a massive natural gas well blow-out that released an estimated (and acknowledged) 115 million cubic feet of natural gas into the environment.

EnCana Oil and Gas, USA was found by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to have been responsible for this devastating event.

Despite that and despite that the seep is ongoing, and despite us have found a new seep on June 28, 2008, the COGCC continues to allow drilling of this extremely fragile area by the same operator who caused the seep in 2004. And, as of this post (08-05-08) the COGCC (same supervisor in charge of that and this investigation) continues to minimize the full scope of the new seep through a failure to fully investigate. They will not even test the ground water which we drink.

To follow the course of natural gas development and its impacts to this very special place in Colorado, visit journeyoftheforsaken.com

All videos are best viewed with Quicktime, which you can download free online.

[This video was filmed 03-09-04]