West Virginia regulators on Thursday told Antero Resources they want more information about what the company believes caused an explosion at a Doddridge County natural gas well last month.
Thursday’s follow-up order demands that Antero provide all the information the company used in an initial report on the blast.
The action comes after Antero filed a two-page report on Wednesday that blamed the explosion on a buildup of gas from tanks used to store flow-back water from the process of preparing the well for natural gas production. The report also stated that weather conditions intensified the accumulation potential gas buildup.
Wednesday was the legal deadline under an order issued by DEP on July 10.
DEP inspectors had initially said that the flow-back tanks had exploded, perhaps because of a buildup of either natural gas or other vapors. DEP said that a nearby pump that had malfunctioned could have ignited the gas.
The July 7 explosion resulted in the deaths of Jason Mearns, 37, of Beverly last Sunday and Tommy Paxton, 45, of Walton on July 24. Both men were being treated at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The new order didn’t provide a deadline for Antero to turn in additional information. However, DEP’s original cease operations order remains in effect until the company provides the additional information requested by state officials.