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East Cheyenne Gas Storage Leak Capped; Evacuations End

Well-control contractors Saturday afternoon capped a natural gas storage well leak and began returning the site to normal at Houston-based Midstream Energy Holdings LLC's underground gas storage facility near Peetz, CO, in Logan County.

The contractors shut in the well and halted the venting of natural gas into the atmosphere at East Cheyenne Gas Storage facility, a FERC-certificated interstate gas storage facility. The facility is located about 23 miles north of Sterling, CO, and is near the Rockies Express and Trailblazer interstate transmission pipelines east of the Cheyenne Hub. The storage field is currently interconnected with Trailblazer Pipeline.

By mid-afternoon Saturday, East Cheyenne's contractors and local officials began securing the wellsite, opening roads surrounding the well, and notifying evacuated homeowners that they could return. East Cheyenne plans to reimburse evacuated homeowners for their expenses.

There were no interruptions to the storage field's normal operations or its customers, spokesperson Paul Rabb told NGI late Saturday.

"After arriving onsite Thursday night, the well-control team spent Friday assessing the situation, developing a plan to shut in the well and preparing the site for well-control operations, including improving access, de-powering the well, removing fences, and staging cranes, water tanks, trucks and other equipment nearby," he said.

Actual work to bring the well under control began at 6 a.m. MDT on Saturday, and the well was shut-in at about 1 p.m. MDT.

Contractors last Thursday were working on one of the site’s 16 wells when a safety device failed, resulting in gas from the single well escaping into the atmosphere.

The storage facility has been in service since late 2011 and is considered to be the newest gas storage facility in the western United States, able to provide up to 19 Bcf of capacity, according to Houston-based Midstream Energy.

Midstream Energy last December said East Cheyenne had reached an operational milestone, hitting a peak withdrawal record of 180,000 Dth/d, with additional capacity available to support more withdrawals.

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