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Crews working a well blow-out near Abbeville, Hilcorp responds

Posted: 3:51 PM, Mar 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-12 19:39:37-04

Crews are working to contain a well blow-out in White Lake, state officials confirm.

The well is owned by Hilcorp, officials with the state Department of Natural Resources say.

The well has been shut in for years, DNR officials say, and about a week ago started bubbling. It’s suspected that it is salt water and gas that is bubbling. Hilcorp confirms this, saying that the well is producing salt water and minimal amounts of natural gas.

There’s no fire, nothing spewing into the air, and no injuries reported, DNR officials said. There are no residences nearby, DNR officials say.

It is not the kind of blowout most people picture when the term is used (i.e. fire or massive amounts of oil/gas blasting high in the air), but is instead primarily produced water with some natural gas, mainly noticeable as bubbling in the water around the wellhead casing, DNR officials said.

Because of the way the water and gas are coming out, it appears capping the well will be complicated, officials say. A contractor who specializes in this kind of procedure is on the scene and has been working on the well, officials say. However, because it’s a complicated procedure, there’s no timeline on when the well will be capped, officials say.

Hilcorp Energy released the following statement on the blow-out incident

Hilcorp Energy Company on Tuesday, March 5th, discovered a leak at an inactive natural gas well in the Lac Blanc field near Abbeville in Vermilion Parish. At present, the well is producing salt water and minimal amounts of natural gas. Hilcorp promptly notified the appropriate regulatory agencies and began our ongoing operations to shut in this well. Hilcorp and well safety personnel are on site.

The company says they will provide updates as they become available.