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RPT-UPDATE 1-Pennsylvania nat gas well capped after blowout

 (Repeats to widen distribution; no change to headline or
text)
 * No one injured, no homes evacuated
 * Well was being drilled in the Marcellus Shale
 * Lawmaker renews call for tighter regulation on fracking
 * EOG Resources is "investigating everything" -spokeswoman
 (adds company response in paragraph 5)
 By Jon Hurdle
 PHILADELPHIA, June 4 (Reuters) - Workers capped a natural
gas well in central Pennsylvania on Friday after it ruptured
during drilling, spewing gas and drilling fluid 75 feet (23
meters) in the air, officials said.
 The well, operated by EOG Resources Inc EOG.N in a remote
area of Clearfield County, blew out at about 8 p.m. EDT
(midnight GMT) on Thursday when a drilling team "lost control"
of the well while preparing to extract gas, according to a
statement from the state Department of Environmental
Protection.
 No one was killed or injured, and there were no evacuations
because there are no homes within a mile (1.6 km) of the drill
site but nearby roads were closed, and emergency management
officials declared a no-fly zone around the site.
 The well was capped around noon on Friday.
 Elizabeth Ivers, a spokeswoman for EOG, declined to comment
on a possible cause for the blowout and said the company is
"investigating everything."
 The well was being drilled in the Marcellus Shale, a vast
deposit of natural gas that underlies about two-thirds of
Pennsylvania and parts of surrounding states and is being
exploited in an accelerating rush by energy companies that are
drilling thousands of wells.
 The incident was the first in the Marcellus field to
involve the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said Ruth
Miller, a spokeswoman.
 The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an energy industry group,
called the incident "very serious" and said it is working to
ensure that every stage of shale gas production is performed
"safely and responsibly."
 The incident caused the release of as much as 1.5 million
gallons (5.7 million liters) of fluid used to hydraulically
fracture the well, said Matthew Maciorkoski, a spokesman for
State Representative Bud George, who has called for tighter
regulation of gas drilling.
 Critics of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," say
domestic water supplies are contaminated by chemicals that are
forced into the ground along with sand and millions of gallons
of water to free gas from fissures in the shale a mile or more
underground.
 Energy companies contend their processes are safe and that
there has never been a proven case of groundwater contamination
from fracking. [ID:nN18229665]
 DEP Secretary John Hanger said the agency would investigate
the incident "aggressively" and take appropriate enforcement
action.
 "The event at the well site could have been a catastrophic
incident that endangered life and property," Hanger said in a
statement. "This was not a minor accident but a serious
incident that will be fully investigated."
 DEP officials learned of the blowout at about 1:30 a.m.
Friday, the statement said. When officials arrived at the well,
toxic drilling fluid was flowing toward a nearby stream, and
gas was shooting into the sky, creating a "significant fire
hazard."
EOG Resources, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas Co,
operates about 265 wells in Pennsylvania, 117 of which are in
the Marcellus Shale, according to DEP.
 (Editing by Lisa Shumaker)




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