A flood debris-driven sour gas leak on a wellhead pipeline in the Turner Valley south of Calgary was brought under control at midday Friday, according to the Alberta Energy Regulator and the natural gas production operator, Calgary-based Legacy Oil & Gas Inc.
Legacy was in the process of shutting down production at the Turner Valley Field when trees and other debris caught in raging Sheep River floodwaters caused a flow line rupture that sent a low rate of flowing gas that was about 1% hydrogen sulfide (H2S), or “sour gas,” into the atmosphere.
“There are no residents located within the well’s emergency planning zone. Legacy has air quality monitoring on site and has not detected [concentrations] that would exceed regulated levels for public health,” Legacy said on its website.
Although its Calgary office was closed Friday because of the flooding, an Alberta Energy Regulator spokesperson through e-mail reported that flooding had subsided enough Friday morning to expose the wellhead, allowing Legacy to access a master valve and shut off the well.
More generally, the oil/gas industry in Alberta was working throughout the southern parts of the province to shut down vulnerable facilities in the path of severe flooding. A ConocoPhillips Canada spokesperson told local news media in Alberta that the company’s directive to its field workers was to shut in anything that would be in danger from the flooding.
Workers in Calgary were being encouraged to work from home, and the town of Turner Valley, in the midst of the brunt of the flooding, was evacuated earlier as a precautionary measure.
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