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ELKO: BLM issues statement about Pine Valley oil well incident


blm_logo-300x261-2474904-5522109BLM NEWS RELEASE

ELKO — An oil well undergoing maintenance to improve productivity was damaged over the weekend resulting in a leak at the top of the well.  It is believed the cause of the damage was a large, high-pressure bubble of gas that emanated from the well. The leak consists of a steam and oil mixture with a small amount of nitrogen.  The well is located approximately 30 miles south of Carlin, Nev. in the Pine Valley. The area is not near any structures or residences.


Well control specialists are on site conducting containment.  The leak has caused some soil erosion causing the drill rig to become unstable.  The priority at this time is the stabilization of the drill rig so personnel can safely work on shutting down the well. An earthen berm has been established around the 5-acre drill pad and the oil and water mixture has been contained within the 10-acre berm.  Two bull-dozers are on site creating containment pits as well as four vacuum trucks collecting the oil and water mixture for transport to a processing facility one-half mile away.


The area is primarily a greasewood flat.  There is sage-grouse habitat, but no known leks.  The area is not within a wild horse herd management area and there is no known habitat for threated or endangered species. There is also no known threat to any surface or ground water supplies.


Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff in the area on Friday noted that the well was shut down for the weekend;  there was no damage visible. On Sunday, Dec. 18, a well-maintenance employee noticed the damage and immediately contacted the well operator, Grant Canyon, LLC.  Additional notifications were made to Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the Nevada Division of Minerals and the BLM.  The agencies are working with the operator and well control personnel for a successful containment and remediation.

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