Chesapeake Energy announced today the total suspension of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at its Pennsylvania unconventional gas drilling operations, citing the still out-of-control blowout at one of its Bradford County wells as the reason to cease the controversial practice.
According to the brief Associated Press piece about this development, Chesapeake has slowed down the flow rate of the chemical-laced water at the Canton-area disaster site, but the company has not been able to get the well completely under control.
As DeSmogBlog reported yesterday, this unconventional gas well blowout - which occured almost exactly a year after the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico - is an eery reminder of the lax oversight of the oil and gas industry’s increasingly dangerous drilling practices as it reaches for dwindling fossil fuel reserves beneath the Earth’s surface to feed our dirty energy addiction.
Chesapeake’s suspension of fracking operations in Pennsylvania is a wise and welcomed step, and it should raise the question about the safety of the fracking boom taking place nationwide and around the globe.
*UPDATE: Reuters has more details on the fracking suspension and blowout response, including Chesapeake’s preparations for a ‘top kill’ junk shot. Now where have we heard that strategy before?