- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) - Production at an Antero Resources well pad in Doddridge County has been halted after a drill collided with a well.

The Department of Environmental Protection issued a cease operations order to Antero following the accident last week at the Primm Pad near West Union. The department’s Office of Oil and Gas also issued a notice of violation and a pollution violation.

The drill collided with the well as Antero was drilling another well. The collision caused methane to be released from the existing well, DEP representatives told media outlets.

Another Antero well in production in the area, along with one that was abandoned, likely were affected by the accident and could be allowing the methane to flow elsewheres, DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said.

A dozen private water wells in the area are being tested for methane, including three near the well pad that were disconnected as a precaution to prevent the gas from getting into the homes, Gillenwater said.

Antero is providing drinking water to the homes with private wells.

The extent of damage caused by the collision of the drill and the well has not been determined.

Antero reported the accident to the Office of Oil and Gas and is cooperating with the agency, said David Belcher, assistant chief of the Office of Oil and Gas.

Antero must contain any methane on the site, gain control of the well and demonstrate the ability to safely resume operations, Belcher said.

He said Antero and the DEP are monitoring the gas wells and the water wells.

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