Rancher Sues Fracking Operators

Methane Explosion Causes Serious Injury


A rancher in Perrin, Texas sues several fracking operators after a serious explosion on his property left him permanently disfigured and disabled.  

Related: Karnes County Explosion Proves Costly

Cody Murray, a 38-year-old husband and father, sustained extensive burns when a giant fireball erupted from the pump house on his property in early August. Murray’s father, wife and four year old daughter also sustained injuries.

Court records claim that the explosion was caused by methane gas that leaked into the well from nearby fracking operations run by EOG Resources, Fairway Resources LLC and three Fairway subsidiaries.

The complaint states that  “Rigorous scientific testing, including isotope testing, has conclusively demonstrated that the high-level methane contamination of the Murrays’ water well resulted from natural gas drilling and extraction activities. The high levels of methane in the Murrays’ well were not ‘naturally occurring.'”

Shale gas is composed of 90 percent methane. The colorless, odorless and tasteless gas is very explosive and has been in the center of the debate over natural gas drilling. A peer-reviewed study out of Duke University found that methane levels in private water wells averaged 17 times higher in wells that are within 1,000 feet of a natural gas drilling site.

Cody also suffered significant neurological damage in the fire, as well as paresthesias and extreme weakness in his hands and arms. In the lawsuit filed last week, the Murrays are seeking damages for negligence, trespass, nuisance, lost wages, physical impairment, pain and suffering, continuing medical care, disfigurement and loss of consortium. 

Read more at courthousenews.com

Karnes County Explosion Proves Costly

Encana Losses $197,000 Worth of Crude
Encan Corp Q1

Encan Corp Q1

Almost one month after a fiery oil rig explosion in Karnes county, Encana Corp released final figures to state regulators.

Encana Corp. reported that the accident released over 760,000 pounds of crude oil and possibly tens of thousands of pounds of gas and into the air. The company estimates that the crude was worth more than $197,000.

The county sheriff called the May 19th accident the ‘worst environmental disaster in more than 20 years’, leaving trees, fields, roads and houses covered in oil and displacing numerous families.

Related: Karnes County Accident Worst in 20 Years

The clean up has been a massive effort and has included subcontractors to control runoff, pump out nearby stock tanks, evaluate livestock, take soil samples, evaluate vegetation, clean homes and repair nearly half a mile of roadway on FM 792.

First quarter results for Encana show improved production and lower costs for its Eagle Ford operations. Highlights include:

  • Drilled its fastest three wells to date and reduced normalized drilling costs by 15%
  • Reduced drilling and completion costs by $1 million per well
  • Promising early results from new wells in an area known as the Graben
  • Base optimization efforts reduced decline rates by 50%
  • 27 net wells were drilled
  • Liquids production averaged 36,000 bbls/d

Read more at encana.com

Pipeline Explodes in DeWitt County

Energy Transfer Partners Work to Clean Up After Fire
DeWitt County Pipeline Explosion

DeWitt County Pipeline Explosion

An underground pipeline belonging to Energy Transfer Partners exploded late Sunday in DeWitt County near the town of Cuero.

The explosion sparked a massive fire and caused several area homes to be evacuated as a precaution. There were no injuries and all residents were able to return home safely.

Clean-up from the blast will involve crews replacing sections of the pipeline that were damaged. include repairs on a stretch of roadway that melted under the heat of the fire as well as

The San Antonio Business Journal reported that “Sheriff Zavesky said the fire died down around 11:30 pm Sunday, but a trench where the affected pipeline was buried could still be seen smoldering on Monday afternoon.”

Officials from Texas Railroad Commission, Energy Transfer Partners and county officials are investigating the accident.

This is the second explosion of its kind in the Eagle Ford since the beginning of the month. An accident at an Encana Corp well last month is still wreaking havoc on a small area of Karnes County.

Related: Karnes County Accident Worst in 20 Years

Karnes County Accident Worst in 20 Years

Families Still Displaced Weeks Later
Karnes County Well Explosion

Karnes County Well Explosion

An accident at an Encana Corp well last month is still wreaking havoc on a small area of Karnes County.

Related: Eagle Ford Well Explodes

In what the county sheriff is calling the worst environmental disaster in more than 20 years, the well blow-out displaced numerous families and left trees, fields, roads and houses covered in oil.

The clean up effort is proving costly and has included resurfacing more than half a mile of roadway of FM 792. Encana is also making a full environmental assessment of the area including bringing in veterinarians, soil testers and arborists.

The San Antonio Tribune reports that “More than two weeks after the accident, a line still separates green and lush vegetation nurtured by recent rains from brown trees and grass that were soaked by condensate and natural gas. Leaves on the trees and bushes are black and remain coated with a slick oily substance.”

Encana spokesman Doug Hock confirmed that there are five households that are still not able to return home and another couple of unoccupied homes that are not yet accessible.