fire

COUSHATTA, La. - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality said there are no air quality concerns although multiple natural gas wells continue to burn on a single pad north of Coushatta In Red River Parish.

The site is off of U.S. Highway 71 about a mile north of state Highway 515.

Neighbors are upset the company responsible, GEP Haynesville, LLC, hasn't sent representatives by to speak to them.

One neighbor, Glen Williams, said he still feels his house rattling. He said it's not as bad as last Friday, but he's still concerned.

The fire creates a glow in the nighttime sky that can be seen 30 miles away. During the day, white smoke towers above the site.

Louisiana State Police Emergency Services are helping monitor the fire.

GEP Haynesville, LLC said in a statement the fire started during flow-back operations, but the exact cause is still under investigation.

Haynesville Shale operators often maximize natural gas development by drilling more than one well per pad. The wells funnel natural gas from thousands of feet underground.

It’s uncertain how many wells are on this site but most have at least four. Last week’s explosion ignited all of wells on the pad. 

DEQ spokesman Greg Langley said GEP Haynesville, LLC hired an environmental response firm. That group set up four monitors around the wells to test air quality.

Williams only lives about a mile from the site of the wells. He said the rattling gets louder at night.

"Around 7, 8 o’clock when things get quiet, it really gets loud, you know, it's hard to sleep, you can hear it now, and just imagine, you know, at night time, trying to go to sleep and it seems like it's getting louder you know. And, we're trying to find out how long this is going to be, and you know what's going on," said Williams.

Williams said he wants the wells capped and he'd like to know the cause.

A state police spokesman said right now it's unknown when the wells will be capped, but it won't be a short process.

An investigation is ongoing.

Louisiana State Police also shared the following statement from GEP Haynesville: “During the early morning hours of Friday, August 30, 2019, a natural gas well operated by GEP Haynesville, LLC, in Red River Parish, Louisiana, experienced a blowout during flowback operations. There were no injuries. The appropriate well control professionals are on site and are continuing to assess the situation. Multiple, parallel options are being considered to bring the situation to a final resolution. The site has been secured, and there is currently no threat to the public. The appropriate state authorities have been notified, are on site, and are monitoring the situation. The cause of the incident is under investigation at this time.”

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