Forbes Energy to investigate cause of Marcellus Shale blowout

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Forbes Energy Services is investigating the cause of the blowout that occurred at its Marcellus Shale operations last week.

On June 3, 2010, an unexpected gas release occurred in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, while Forbes Energy Services was conducting post-hydraulic fracturing services with two workover rigs in the Marcellus Shale. There were no injuries due to the blowout, and the company has collected the 834 barrels of salt water and flow back fluids that were released before the well was shut-in.

The day after the incident, the company proactively idled its two workover rigs involved with the natural gas seep. Additionally, Forbes Energy Services contracted Bobby Jones and Associates, an independent third-party consulting firm, to help investigate the incident.

Five days later, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ordered that the company cease post-hydraulic fracturing services on its two workover rigs.

"While we took immediate action after last week's unfortunate incident, the cease order from DEP was expected under the circumstances. We are working and cooperating with DEP in our investigation and look forward to its resolution," said John Crisp, president and CEO of Forbes Energy. 

Additionally, the executive stressed that the idling of the two rigs has no material impact on the company's future results of operations.

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