Texas gas well erupts again

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Texas gas well erupts again

The Associated Press

ANAHUAC, Texas (August 23, 2000 2:09 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - A natural gas well that was partially clogged after erupting this weekend has blown again, forcing dozens of evacuations and increasing the danger of a flash fire.

The re-eruption Tuesday prompted the Texas Department of Public Safety to expand the evacuation area from 1 mile to 2 1/2 miles, displacing 100 more families, most from the town of Double Bayou. The number of displaced families Tuesday reached 130.

A 1,000-foot column of white vapor, which happens when the normally odorless and colorless natural gas hits humid air, continued to gush from the drill hole.

The 10,000-foot well, drilled by Aspect Resources LLC of Denver, blew out Sunday when drillers hit an unexpected gas pocket that caused equipment failure because of a change in pressure. Afterward, it was partially clogged by sand.

Vice President Alex Campbell said Tuesday's eruption was smaller than Sunday's blowout.

Authorities remain concerned about a fire threat, which could be started by something as harmless as static electricity. Blowout experts are working to recap the hole permanently.

Besides the evacuation of residents, several streets have been closed off and the Federal Aviation Administration established an air restriction within a five-mile radius of the blowout site, which is 35 miles east of Houston.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), August 23, 2000

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