Friday, April 22, 2011

Chesapeake Energy suspends Pa. well-completion operations, including fracking, after blowout

One of Pennsylvania's largest shale-gas producers has suspended production on seven hydraulic fracturing operations after a well blowout spilled toxic chemicals into a local waterway this week. Chesapeake Energy, which will use a mix of plastic, ground-up tires and heavy mud to plug the well, said it was unsure of what caused the blowout a day and a half after it occurred, Edward McAllister of Reuters reports.

"The accident in northeastern Pennsylvania has stoked an already fierce debate in the United States over hydraulic fracturing," McAllister writes. "This is the kind of incident that is likely to shine a spotlight, again, on the fact that despite repeated assurances from industry and regulators in Pennsylvania, things there keep somehow going wrong," said Kate Sinding, senior attorney for the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council. (Read more)

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