Equitrans Stops Natural Gas Leak at Pennsylvania Storage Facility

(Reuters) — U.S. energy company Equitrans Midstream Corp. said it stopped a natural gas leak at its Rager Mountain storage facility in Jackson Township in Cambria County in western Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon.

"Crews successfully flooded the well, which stopped the flow of natural gas," Equitrans spokesperson Natalie Cox told Reuters in an email Thursday evening.

She said the company would continue to monitor the well and "prepare the site for plugging activities."

Equitrans estimated the size of the leak, which started on Nov. 6, at about 100 million cubic feet per day. At that rate, the total amount of gas leaked could be around 1 billion cubic feet (Bcf).

For comparison, the leak at Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon gas storage facility in California, often cited as the biggest gas leak in U.S. history, released about 4.6 Bcf of gas, or methane, from October 2015 to February 2016.

"We are unable to provide an accurate account of the gas loss until an inventory verification study is completed," Cox said.

Equitrans said Rager Mountain can store 9 Bcf of gas. The leaking well, called the George L. Reade 1 storage well, was one of 10 operating storage wells at the facility.

The company said it was withdrawing gas from four storage wells at the site to reduce pressure in the field.

Equitrans said Thursday night that customer nomination levels were being met, and there was no estimate for when the Rager Mountain facility will return to full service.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the leaking well was about 1-1/2 miles (2.4 km) deep and was originally drilled in the 1960s to pull oil and gas out of the ground.

The site was converted to a storage facility after the oil and gas was exhausted.

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