Investigation of Denton Gas Well Blowout Continues

State agencies have begun filing initial reports on a pipe burst at a gas well near the Denton Airport last month.

The Railroad Commission of Texas and the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality are both conducting investigations into the April 19 incident.

The leak at the at the Smith-Yorlum 7H gas well forced the evacuation of several Denton homes.

According to an initial report by the TCEQ, some tubing above a valve at the fracking site separated at about 1:30 a.m., releasing air and frack water. Crews were able to keep control of the situation until about 8 a.m., when they elevated the emergency level in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration policies.

Several homes in the area were soon evacuated. At about 11 a.m., the RRC arrived.

Denton police and the fire department blocked off much of Jim Christal Road as a precaution. Special crews were called in until just before 4 p.m., when they finally capped off the well.

The TCEQ Emission Event Report states that the fracking water was confined to the well site and did not spill onto other properties. The report also said that 1,281 pounds of natural gas were released, but noted that the amount falls below the 5,000-pound threshold they use.

At this point, the investigation continues into any effects from the incident.

The TCEQ and the RRC are still working on their final reports, which the city of Denton estimates will be released by the end of June.

The well operator, Eagleridge Operating, said it is awaiting the final reports and a product quality investigation before commenting on the incident.


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