Oil and gas drilling is dangerous, no doubt about it. Always has been…but it is becoming much less dangerous than it used to be 40, 60, or 80 years ago. For example, the AP reported recently that a well at Devon Energy Corp’s Canadian oil sands operations “had a blowout on Saturday that took nearly 35 hours to get under control, Alberta regulators said.”
The well, part of Devon’s Jackfish project in northern Alberta, blew a mixture of steam and oil over the project area, though regulators are as yet unsure how much oil was released and will audit production record to determine how much was spilled.
In the interim, the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, which oversees energy projects in the province, has shut down six wells at the 35,000-barrel-a-day oil project.
‘We are taking this very seriously,’ said Darin Barter, a spokesman for the ERCB. ‘If there is an issue on the site, we want to make sure it’s resolved.’