The Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (ODNR) is doing a happy dance that they’ve shaken down XTO Energy $425,000 to settle a violation by XTO for drilling a shale well in Belmont County a year ago that exploded and caught fire.
Last February, XTO was drilling a fourth Utica Shale well on the Schnegg well pad near Captina Creek (York Township, Belmont County, OH) when XTO “lost control” of the well and it exploded and caught fire (see XTO Energy Utica Well Explosion in Belmont County – 100 Evacuated).
There were 24 people working at the well pad at the time. Fortunately, none of them were injured. Following the explosion and fire, 36 nearby homes and farms (around 100 people) were evacuated. XTO put them up at nearby hotels in St. Clairsville, Moundsville and Wheeling.
Crews worked hard to try and keep the brine gushing from the well from reaching Captina Creek. XTO hired Wild Well Control to put out the fire (which happened quickly). XTO also hired Cudd Energy Services to cap the well.
So the accident was already expensive to begin with, and now ODNR has extracted a few more pounds of flesh from XTO, giving it to (very worthy) local first responder organizations:
Belmont County first responders will receive $425,000 to enhance their ability to keep their communities safe through new equipment and training, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The funding for these first responders is provided in accordance with a compliance agreement between XTO Energy Inc. (XTO) and ODNR. This financial support will directly fund the purchases of equipment and training to bolster response capabilities within the communities of Belmont County.
“The safety of our local first responders is paramount in any emergency situation,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “That is why we worked to help provide them with the additional support, training and equipment to ensure they are prepared and able to safely respond.”
The table attached to this release designates the name of each public entity, the corresponding address and the amount to be remitted to the public entity.
The compliance agreement remittance settles violations of ODNR’s regulations regarding an incident that occurred during drilling operations at the Schnegg Unit C 7-H well in Belmont County on Feb. 15, 2018. An additional $425,000 will be paid to the ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management’s regulatory programs.*
*Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources (Feb 8, 2019) – ODNR Secures Additional Funding for First Responders
List of first responder organizations and how much each is receiving from the XTO settlement:
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