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For immediate release
Calgary, Alberta (Feb 24, 2010)… The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) is working with well control specialists and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) at the scene of a sour natural gas well blowout 19 km north west of Hythe, Alberta. The well is licensed to CNRL and the blowout occurred at approximately 3:00 am on Wednesday, February 24.
The gas well is on fire. There is no threat to public safety at this time. There have been no readings of sour gas (hydrogen sulphide) by air monitors on site. An ERCB Air Monitoring Unit is also in the area and taking air quality readings. ERCB inspectors are on site and have already begun an investigation into the incident.
Residents in the area have been notified. The closest resident to the well is 7.4 km away. There have been no injuries resulting from the incident. All appropriate authorities have been notified.
Blow outs in Alberta are rare. In 2008, the ERCB recorded a blowout rate of 0.118 blowouts per 1,000 non-abandoned wells in Alberta. Last year, ERCB field surveillance staff conducted 21,576 field inspections of energy facilities in Alberta.
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For more information, please contact:Bob Curran, ERCB Communications