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Well work reduces mysterious gas geysers

KINGFISHER, Okla. (AP) -- Geysers of methane gas that puzzled geologists for weeks have been dramatically reduced since Chesapeake Energy Corp. plugged a natural gas well in Kingfisher County, according to a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

The well, thought to be somehow linked to methane released more than five miles away, was filled with several concrete plugs installed at various depths last weekend, OCC spokesman Matt Skinner said.

"There are still a few gas bubbles, but they're like you'd get from a can of soda as opposed to mud blowing up from the sides of the banks," Skinner said.

Methane gas was discovered escaping from Winter Camp Creek near Okarche and Kingfisher in mid December. Skinner said the commission is not aware of any injuries due to the escaping gas. Nearby homes have been tested for contamination.

Although the volume of gas released into the atmosphere is not known, Skinner said some estimates suggest more than 45 million cubic feet escaped.

OCC geologists and the Oklahoma Geological Survey are still investigating why methane was released so far away from the original drilling site. The primary theory involves an unforeseen subterranean system of faults and fissures.

Chesapeake is carefully developing a relief well nearby, Skinner said.
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