Gas well fire is out, rig is a total loss |

Gas well fire is out, rig is a total loss

Phillip YatesPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, Colorado

RULISON A fire that consumed a drilling rig almost all Wednesday was brought under control late in the day.Donna Gray, a spokeswoman for Williams Production RMT, said the fire at the drilling rig south of the Colorado River and just east of Rulison was extinguished about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The fire erupted at the drilling site about 1:30 a.m.There were no injuries, and the fire was contained to the wellpad. Fire crews from the Rifle Fire Protection District, the Grand Valley Fire Protection District, along with officials from the Garfield County Sheriffs OfficeWilliams Production controls the gas field where the fire occurred, and contracts drilling of the area to Cyclone Drilling.Crews at the scene extinguished the fire by attaching a pipe at the wellpad that directed the natural gas away from the rig, Gray said. The fire department then used high-pressure water hoses to knock down the flames, she said.Williams is investigating the cause of the fire, Gray said. Crews were drilling at about 6,800 feet into a gas-bearing zone when the fire erupted.Gray said Williams has had several training sessions with the Grand Valley and Rifle fire protection districts about possible threats wildland fires could pose to drilling rigs. That training paid off Wednesday, Gray said.We really had tremendous cooperation with the two fire departments, said Gray, adding fire crews from both agencies stayed at the scene during the entire fire. They were just stellar.Gray said Williams is going to try to salvage the charred well. However, the drilling rig consumed by Wednesdays fire is a complete loss, she said.Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117pyates@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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