A failure at a methane gas storage well in southwestern Pennsylvania pumped an estimated 1 billion cubic feet of gas into the atmosphere in 11 days. At 3,000 psi, the well — owned by Equitrans, which also holds a near-majority stake in the beleaguered Mountain Valley Pipeline — released about a quarter of the amount of methane gas released by the Aliso Canyon storage well (the biggest methane leak in history) in 118 days. Methane, the main component in so-called “natural gas” traps 80 times more heat in the atmosphere as CO2 over a 20 year period.
“You know how an airplane goes over you and it’s real low?” Heather Shepherd, who lives two miles from the well in (what was) Pennsylvania’s coal country, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of the sound made by the leak. The gas could be smelled miles away as well and multiple outlets reported residents experiencing headaches and burning in their throats. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette $, The Allegheny Front, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette $, WJAC, ABC23, The Tribune-Democrat, Reuters, Seeking Alpha)