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Malfunctioning Carrizo Well Capped in Pennsylvania

Workers brought a malfunctioning natural gas well in Wyoming County, PA, under control on Thursday, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday told NGI's Shale Daily on Friday that the well, which is owned by Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., began malfunctioning Wednesday afternoon. The DEP was notified at 11 a.m. Thursday that a crew had started work to cap the well.

"The crew shut in the well and everything has been contained on site," Sunday said. "There wasn't anything that got off site or into a waterway."

Sunday said about 5,400 barrels of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing were captured in tanks at the well site, which is in Washington Township. Reports said the well was located off Keiserville Road, about four miles northwest of Tunkhannock.

Sunday said three families who live near the well were evacuated Wednesday night but were allowed to return to their homes Thursday. He said DEP inspectors were at the site and the incident is under investigation. There were no injuries.

The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, PA, reported Thursday that Carrizo posted the following statement about the incident on its website:

"An investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. All relevant emergency and regulatory agencies are being notified that the well has been brought under control. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident. The safety of our employees, community residents and stakeholders remain our first priority."

The statement did not appear on Carrizo's website on Friday. Richard Hunter, vice president of investor relations for Carrizo, could not be reached for comment. The newspaper also reported that Carrizo had supplied bottled water to residents within 1,500 feet of the well and has agreed to sample water supplies from those residences.

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