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XTO Official: Pressure may have contributed to Powhatan Point blast

The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

Access to Cats Run Road from Ohio 148 near Powhatan Point remains restricted Tuesday as contractors working for XTO Energy continue working to close a shale natural gas well that began leaking methane almost a week ago.
(Intelligencer photo by Casey Junkins)

POWHATAN POINT, Ohio — XTO Energy spokeswoman Karen Matusic said the high pressure associated with eastern Ohio Utica Shale wells may have contributed to the explosion at the Schnegg well pad near Captina Creek on Thursday.

Almost a week after the well blew, several residents remain displaced, while unknown quantities of the greenhouse gas leak into the air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that methane “absorbs much more energy than (carbon dioxide).”

Nevertheless, Matusic said officials are working as quickly as they can to normalize life for Powhatan Point and the nearby community of Steinersville. Many of those originally evacuated within the 1-mile radius of the well have been allowed to return home, while others are receiving compensation and hotel rooms.

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