The Associated Press September 22, 2010, 5:25PM ET

Crews removing equipment from site of burning well

Well-control specialists were removing equipment Wednesday at the site of a gas well fire still burning in West Virginia's Northern Panhandle.

Chesapeake Appalachia LLC said the equipment being pulled out included the drilling rig's substructure and base. Water from a nearby impoundment was being used to both suppress the flames and keep the site cool, the company said.

The fire in a remote area near Cameron has been burning since an explosion Sunday.

The Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation to Chesapeake on Wednesday, ordering operations at the site to cease until any dangers to the environment or people are addressed.

The company was cited for failing to use every possible precaution to prevent the waste of oil and gas, and to prevent the pollution of state waters.

However, a review of state records shows there were no compliance problems with the Marshall County site before the accident, DEP spokesman Tom Aluise said.

The accident involved a drill rig, but the gas that's burning is from an existing well.

Chesapeake insists the fire poses no threat to residents or the environment.


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