Last night an equipment failure happened during well-completion activities on the Yarasavage 1H northwest of Tunkhannock, PA. The well, drilled into Marcellus shale well, is owned by Carrizo Oil & Gas. An equipment failure led to release of completion fluids – at an initial rate of 800 gal/minute. About 5,400 barrels were captured in tanks, and other fluid running off the pad was captured by a catch basin set up near the road.
The waste fluid leak was only part of the problem; natural gas also leaked from the well. So last night officials asked four families living within 1500 feet of the well site to evacuate. Three more families voluntarily evacuated to a local hotel.
By this afternoon well crews managed to cap the malfunctioning well, and residents were allowed to return home. State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) crews told the press that they did a “sweep” of a mile-and-a-half wide circle around the well to detect volatile organic chemicals and/or methane in the air. They found none. They also reported that they tested for radiation but didn’t find any.