April 27, 2012 / 4:35 PM / in 7 years

Chesapeake works to control stricken Wyoming well

NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s crew began operations on Friday to control a stricken well in Wyoming after a weather-related delay, the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said.

Chesapeake lost control of the natural gas well near Douglas, Wyoming, on Tuesday leading to a blowout that has been leaking natural gas and drilling mud.

Boots and Coots, a pressure control company owned by Houston-based Halliburton, began hooking up pressure lines to the well early Friday morning, the Commision said. The company will pump drilling mud to control the natural gas leaking from the well, in a process that resembles BP Plc’s “Top Kill” effort that failed to stem an underwater oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago.

Chesapeake had said on Thursday that wind speeds and direction were unfavorable for it to regain control of the well.

The Wyoming regulator expects natural gas to continue leaking while Chesapeake does the necessary work. The leak may diminish or stop as the well is filled up with drilling mud, the Commission added.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had said the blowout does not pose a threat to water supply in the region and leaking oil-based drilling mud was safely contained.

The cause of the incident was not disclosed.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake is the No. 2 U.S. natural gas driller. Chesapeake had another natural-gas well blowout in Pennsylvania a year ago.

Chesapeake shares fell 0.22 percent to $17.52 in midday trading on Friday.

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