Edmonton

Natural gas well blowout near Fox Creek being monitored

A natural gas blowout continues to spew natural gas and condensate in northwest Alberta.

No impact on public, waterways or wildlife yet reported, provincial regulator says

Doug Suttles, CEO of Encana Corp., speaks to reporters in Calgary, Alta., August 25. (CBC)

A natural gas blowout continues to spew natural gas and condensate in northwest Alberta.

The blowout happened at 2 p.m. Monday at an Encana site, 18 kilometres west of Fox Creek.

The Calgary-based company said it immediately enacted its emergency response plan, securing the site and ensuring all workers were safe.

"The (Alberta Energy Regulator) is on the ground and has assured me there is no immediate danger to human health at this time," said Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd in a news release. "The AER and the company are monitoring air quality and providing my office with regular updates."

The AER said the well is licensed for hydrogen sulphide, or sour gas, and portable air monitoring units and roadblocks have been set up at the site. 

"We're on site to assess the situation," said spokesman Peter Murchland. "We do have special equipment, including air monitoring units, in place to detect any odours that go off lease at the site."

It's still too early to tell what caused the blowout, Murchland said Tuesday.

There has been no impact on the public, waterways or wildlife reported at this time, the AER said in a news release.

Fox Creek is about 260 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

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