Friday, April 19, 2013

Sometimes You Lead with the Obvious...

...and sometimes you don't.

You see a headline like this and what's your first thoughts?

Shell confirms FBI probe

Follow it with a lead paragraph of:
Shell Appalachia spokesperson Deborah Sawyer released the following statement today, April 19, about a state police and FBI investigation at two natural gas drilling pads in Tioga County:
and you're likely to conclude (especially in light of all the anti-fracking hysteria) that Shell has made a grievous error and all hell is going to rain down upon them and all the dirty rotten frackers!

And you'd be wrong. The statement from Shell Appalachia:
"On April 12, 2013, Shell personnel contacted the Pennsylvania State Police following the discovery of charred debris on an inactive Shell natural gas well pad site in Jackson Township, PA in Tioga County. Shell personnel also informed State Police of a second, possibly similar finding, on a different pad site in Rutland Township, PA in Tioga County that was found on March 21, 2013. This finding was not previously suspect and therefore not reported to law enforcement."
Yep. The remains of two fires set on the pads of drilling rigs were found. Who set them and why is the reason for the investigation. I don't think the well workers are careless enough to set fires on the drill rig pad for any reason (cold, lunch, coffee). They are aware of the dangers of open flames near a gas drilling site--or I hope they would be. Could it have been some idiot(s) protesting the fracking going on and hoping that a small fire could cause a larger conflagration? If the latter is the case, they failed--this time.
"These incidents did not result in any injuries or damage to any facility.

"The PA State Police and the FBI are now investigating these incidents. Given the active investigation, Shell is unable to comment further about these incidents. Shell is fully cooperating with law enforcement officials."
It might be difficult to determine who is responsible as the trail has grown cold, especially for the first fire. This is the entire article as it appears on The Wellsboro Gazette's web page on April 19 as "Breaking News". Hopefully they have more details in their weekly published paper.

A slightly different report from the Williamsport Sun Gazette:

Police: Explosive remains found at inactive gas well

Police say they're investigating reports remains of small explosive devices were found at two natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Now that makes it a whole 'nother kettle of fish!

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

Yeah, just a bit o' difference between remains of a fire & explosive debris.