47-079-00702

Well drilled in 1964
Producing formation(s): Oriskany
Geographic location: latitude 38.510262, longitude -81.759522

Visited first in 2008

This is the oldest well in the series of wells off the long well access road.

Off all the sites we visited for some reason this is the most depressing. It looks decrepit.

Unlike the previous wells, this site abuts the main access road. Several pipelines cross nearby, connecting with a 6 inch pipeline that follows the main road.

The well pad is bare of vegetation west of the wellhead. ATVs have damaged the cut slope to the south. At the wellhead, the surface level was lower than the rest of the site and timbers were embedded in the soil. The timbers should be removed and the surface brought to level or slightly higher to prevent ponding.

Scrap metal in the form of a well fitting and large, unused, steel tank should be hauled away.

The large plastic tank doesn't have the required secondary containment dike.

The main access road just north of the well is in poor maintenance. There are deep ruts and areas of poor drainage. This is typical of the entire length of the main access road.

Additionally, this well seems to have problems with emissions. A special vent pipe exists below the Christmas tree. A post on our blog was written about this well.

Deep ruts in the road holding water because of poor drainage. The road to the north consists of a very steep slope (seems to be 20% plus) that serves as a catchment area for this "pond".

This is the same area as the above photo, looking north, taken in drier weather. The road goes up a very steep rise. What looks like a road to the right in the background is a cleared 6 inch pipeline right-of-way.

The bottom of the steep rise to the north of the well.

The well pad west of the well was entirely bare of vegetation.

A cleared pipeline right-of-way is in the background, heading west. Another pipeline is on the ridge above.

ATVs running up the cut slope have created deep runnels. Their tracks go up to the other pipeline.

The ground at the wellhead is lower than the surrounding surface. The old timbers (foreground) should be removed and the surface brought to level to prevent ponding.

This shows the ponding at the wellhead.

Scrap metal that almost looks like it is part of the well pipe-work.

Old 100-barrel tank that should be hauled away.

Plastic tank without required secondary containment.

The special vent pipe is visible in this photo -- the blue-green pipe that angles to the right.

 

Visited again in 2010

The site is next to the access road that connects a number of well sites. The vegetated portion of the pad is that portion of the pad containing well equipment.

The entrance to the well site. The pad is mostly bare. The meter for the well is in the green box to the right.

The plastic storage tank now has secondary containment. The wellhead is just to the right.

This well has its API number on the wellhead.

This site, like a few others we have visited, was used by people to dump trash. It is more common to see operators' trash at sites.

 

Visited in 2012

The pad on our visits has always been bare of vegetation except around the well equipment. The condensate storage tank didn't have secondary containment in 2008, that was partially fixed before our 2010 visit. The dike still doesn't have a rainwater drain.

What makes this well special is the vent from the lowest casing head. This vents gas from the poorly cemented/cased well. The gases vent continuously from a pipe end standing above the wellhead.

The Long Road access road is in poor condition. Drawings submitted with a drill permit application show a pipeline right of way just to the north of 47-079-00702 as the constructed access road. The real access road is to the west and includes a steep grade down to where this well is located. Every time we've visited wells we've encountered badly drained "wallows"such as this one shown in the photo. The pipeline right of way wasn't accessible by our ATV in 2012.

We filmed this well as part of a video that was created for presentation at the 2012 West Virginia Sierra Club Marcellus Academy.

The condition of the Long Road well access road is so bad in places that there are alternate routes that form detours. This spot is where the access road and a detour come together just north of 47-079-00702. There's no drainage at this spot and the water-filled ruts are quite deep.

On the access road segment visible on the right, which is a pipeline right of way, the water-filled holes are large and deep enough to swallow an ATV.

The well has three casing heads. The bottom casing head has a pipe coming out from the side which serves as a vent because of bad casing/cementing of the well.

The pipe for the vent (a portion is painted green) rises up above the wellhead. Gases vent from this pipe continuously.

 

Visited in 2013

We've visited this well in 2008, 2010, 2012, and again in 2013. We made a video in 2012 showing what we found at this well site and another (47-079-01314). We returned to this site as part of our response to the Office of Oil and Gas' investigation report. Their report describes what the inspector found at sites we talked about in our 2012 Gas Well Study.

One of the issues we've had about this and other sites on what we call the Long Road in Putnam county is the condition of the well access road and spurs to individual wells. Only a short section of the road has gravel surfacing and there are no limits to access.

After a steep decent heading south on the Long Road there's the area we call the wallow. Water doesn't drain properly here and vehicles trying to pass through have created extremely deep ruts.

The ruts are deep enough in places to cause difficulties even for ATV travel.

79-00702 is just to the south of the wallow, next to the road.

This is the wellhead (in the foreground), large plastic tank in secondary containment, and separator as seen from the cut slope.

The tank's secondary containment does not have a rainwater drain.

The Office's investigation report states that the site is well vegetated. Actually most of the pad is bare of vegetation as seen here.

And here, further west of the view above.

In the lower central part of the photo, the dark area, is the remains of a bonfire.

The well continually vents and the emissions at this well are always strongly present. A bonfire near any gas well is dangerous. At this well it's even more dangerous.

 

Gas Well Site Visits

Examining Well Sites
How We Examined Well Sites
Environmental Assessment

Table with Links to Wells Visited

47-039-05714 Environmental Assessment
47-079-01492 Environmental Assessment
47-039-02026 Environmental Assessment

2013 Gas Well Workshop


Gas Well Study is the examination of natural gas wells in West Virginia.

Underground Injection Control Class 2 Wells
These wells are used either for the disposal of oil and gas liquid waste or for the enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas.

Gas Well Study Site Visits
Annual reports, environmental assessments, and individual well information.

YouTube Videos
Select videos from the Gas Well Study YouTube channel.

What Happened at Fernow
An investigation into what caused the vegetation death in the land application area after landspraying hydraulic fracture flowback waste.

The Spill at Buckeye Creek
An investigation into a spill from a Marcellus well site into Buckeye Creek in Doddridge county.