Marcellus/Utica – More Dangerous than Other Shale Plays?

The recent ATEX Express pipeline explosion/fire in Brooke County, WV has folks asking questions (see ATEX Ethane Pipeline Explodes, Burns in Brooke County, WV). It’s not the first accident in Brooke County. In 2013 Chesapeake Energy had a hydraulic line fail at an active drilling site that ended up torching five tractor-trailers and did $8 million in damage (see Update on Chesapeake Energy Well Fire in Brooke County, WV). Over the past 4 to 5 years, since there’s been active drilling in the Marcellus/Utica, there have been 21 serious accidents/incidents in the Ohio Valley alone (and a number of others outside the Ohio Valley, see our companion article today) related to either drilling or pipelines. By comparison, there have been a handful of accidents and incidents in the North Dakota Bakken–and only one pipeline incident to speak of. Is it a fair comparison to make–safety in the Bakken vs. the Marcellus/Utica?…

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