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Control efforts begin on Alberta gas well blowout almost two weeks ago

CALGARY - Specialists moved in Monday to regain control of a gas well that was still on fire since it blew almost two weeks ago in northwestern Alberta.

CALGARY - Specialists moved in Monday to regain control of a gas well that was still on fire since it blew almost two weeks ago in northwestern Alberta.

The Energy Resources Conservation Board said it had approved a plan to put out the fire temporarily and install new equipment to allow any gas to be burned off through a flare stack.

The board said trace amounts of sour gas could be released during the procedure, but mobile air-quality units on site were not detecting any hydrogen sulphide.

Residents in the area were notified and roadblocks put up. A no-fly zone was also in effect.

The nearest inhabitant lives more than seven kilometres away. No evacuations were ordered.

The well, which is licensed to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ, CNQ.U), blew out Feb. 24 near Hythe - the same general area where there have been several bombings of energy industry sites over the last year.

RCMP have said the blowout was not suspicious.

Convicted oilpatch bomber Wiebo Ludwig, whose farm is near Hythe, has mounted protests in the past against energy development near his property.

He was arrested but released in January when RCMP officers searched his farm for any clues into the oilpatch blasts just across the provincial boundary in British Columbia.

Ludwig was convicted and served time in prison for his role in a series of energy-industry bombings in the late 1990s.

 
 
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