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Fire on natural gas well pad in West Virginia quickly extinguished; none hurt

A piece of equipment on a natural gas well pad in northern West Virginia caught fire Wednesday, officials said. At the time of the fire, no one was on the pad, which has produced gas for several years, and there were no injuries.

The blaze was five or six feet high when firefighters arrived, said Tom Hart, director of Emergency Management for Marshall County. The fire was put out when workers for Pittsburgh-based EQT, which operates the well, shut the gas flow.

Local emergency crews were called to the Groves well pad, in Cameron, W. Va., 70 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, around 11 a.m., Hart said.

Hart said the well is about half a mile from the nearest house in the largely rural county, which borders Pennsylvania.

Linda Robertson, a spokesperson for EQT, said in an email that the fire occurred in the well pad’s gas production unit — “a contained unit with a separator tank that sits quite a bit away from the well head.”

The unit separates liquids from gas coming out of the well before the gas is transported for further processing, Robertson said.

“The pad was quickly secured and the well was shut in — the gas inlet and outlet were closed — as a precaution,” Robertson said.

Robertson said the cause is under investigation and the well will remain shut. The well was first put into production by Trans Energy in 2011, and EQT acquired the well when it purchased Trans Energy in 2016.

The fire was first reported by workers at the nearby Williams Companies’ Fort Beeler Cryogenic Gas Processing Plant, Hart said. The plant was evacuated, according to a West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection incident report.