A fire that ignited Tuesday at two Marcellus Shale natural gas wells in Dunkard, Pennsylvania could burn three or four more days, according to a spokeperson for owner Chevron.
The wells are in Greene County in the southwest corner of the state.
“Hopefully by the middle of next week the fires will be out and if our plans go as expected, the wells [will be] capped shortly thereafter,” Blake Loke, incident commander with Chevron, said Saturday.
An explosion at the site left one worker missing and presumed dead.
Twenty other workers were injured, none with life-threatening conditions.
Chevron doesn’t yet know the cause of the explosion.
“Once we get the wells under control, we will do a full investigation,” Loke said.
Two of the three horizontal fracking wells at the site caught fire. The wells were in the final phase of construction before being put into production, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette said.
“Chevron brought in well-fire specialist Wild Well Control Tuesday afternoon to try to contain the blaze. Altogether some 100 people, some from outside the country, are now working to control the situation, Mr. Loke said. He said it was the first explosion at any of Chevron’s Marcellus Shale wells in Pennsylvania,” the Post Gazette said.
Chevron hasn’t provided an estimate how much gas has burned so far.