February 28, 2012

Chevron Reports Oil Spill in Marcellus Shale

HOUSTON -(MarketWatch)- Chevron Corp. CVX +0.15% has reported to state regulators that a small oil condensate spill occurred late last year at a company's Marcellus Shale well site was greater than anticipated, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday.

On Dec. 20, Chevron reported to regulators that it has discovered a leak from a pipe joint weld buried four feet under the well pad in Robinson, Washington County. Initially, the broken pipe was estimated to have spilled two barrels of oil condensate, but Chevron reported to regulators by the end of December that the spill was greater than anticipated, said John Poister, community relations coordinator for the DEP. "As of today they believe as much of 80 barrels of condensate were lost between Nov. 8, when they begun their fracking operation, and Dec. 18, when they discovered the break in the pipe," Poister said.

Chevron didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Tuesday.

The company is working on determine the extent of the contamination of the soil at the site, Poister said, adding that the DEP has collected soil and water samples that are being tested for contamination.

"There has been some neighbors who are concerned but they have not noticed changes in their water," Poister. "There is no believe the spill has spread beyond Chevron's properties."

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