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Fire at Consol Energy Site in Pennsylvania Contained Quickly

A faulty valve that leaked gas at a Consol Energy Inc. site in Greene County, PA, on Thursday is thought to be the cause of a fire that burned briefly at a pump station near a four-well pad before it extinguished itself, regulators and company officials said.

Consol Spokeswoman Kate O'Donovan said no injuries were reported at the site and all personnel were accounted for. She said the wells at the Green Hill 11 pad in Center Township, about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, were not damaged either. Workers at the site were able to get the fire under control by shutting off the flow of gas, said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) spokesman John Poister.

"This was one of those things that [Consol] was able to get control of pretty quickly," he said. "The DEP is on site trying to determine a little more about how this happened and what exactly failed. We're obviously seeing what can be prevented in the future. Once the investigation is done, the agency will determine if it will issue a notice of violation."

The fire was reported to the Greene County Emergency Management Agency at about 3:30 p.m. EDT Monday. Poister said the fire was out and under control in less than an hour.

Greene County is one of the most heavily drilled areas in Pennsylvania. More than 1,300 unconventional Marcellus permits have been issued there, which was the location of an explosion and fire at a Chevron Appalachia LLC well site in February that left one worker dead and another injured (see Shale Daily, Feb. 11).

Although less severe, the Consol fire comes less than one month after a large fire broke out about 80 miles to the west in Monroe County, OH, at a Statoil ASA location. The fire destroyed much of the surface equipment at that site (see Shale Daily, June 30).

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