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Natural gas wells damaged in storm

Two Faulkner County filmmakers are concerned about wind damage done to several Southwestern Energy natural gas wells during last week's storms. They are worried the damaged tanks could harm the environment.
Two Faulkner County filmmakers are concerned about wind damage done to several Southwestern Energy natural gas wells during last week's storms. They are worried the damaged tanks could harm the environment.

FOX16 got answers Monday from both Southwestern Energy and the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission. We are told test results show no negative impact on the environment, but the documentary filmmakers we spoke with are still worried.

After Tuesday night's severe storms, April Lane and her sister-in-law, Emily, got a tip about damaged natural gas wells in Bee Branch.

“There was a large piece of the production tank laying in a creek bed, as well as on the fence lines and across the fence. Lots of trees down," says April Lane.

The duo is working on a documentary about the natural gas industry and fracking, a way to get gas out of the ground, so they grabbed their gear and shot this video.

They also called the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to report the damage.

“My concerns are what was being held by these tanks? And, what happened to it after the storms are through?” said Emily Lane.

You can see Southwestern Energy crews cleaning up in the video shot by the Lane sisters.

Monday, FOX16 went to the natural gas giant to find out whether any fluid got into the ground. In written statement the company told FOX16: "the site has been cleaned up and testing has been conducted on soil and water samples and results show no negative impact to the environment."

“The biggest problem with any of this fluid getting out onto the soil or into a stream is the fact that local residents aren't educated enough to know what's in it. If they need to keep their cattle away from a stream or if they need to keep their family away, That's things they need to become more informed about," says April Lane.

The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission reassures anyone with concerns that Southwestern Energy believes the spill produced no more than one barrel of "produced water" and anything spilled was contained by the secondary containment as required by state law.

Southwestern Energy also told us it installs secondary containment around "produced water" tanks at all of its locations which are designed to hold one-and-a-half the amount of fluid that can be held by the largest tank in the containment.

ADEQ says the storm damaged production equipment, and it is working on a damage report.
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