Beaver Creek fire cause not known

Posted: Thursday, December 02, 2004

Marathon Oil Co. officials are trying to determine the cause of a fire in the Beaver Creek field Tuesday evening that destroyed two wastewater treatment tanks and damaged a gas wellhead and a small boom truck.

No injuries were reported.

Nikiski Fire Department responders were called to the fire, about 18 miles outside of town, near the end of Marathon Road, at about 6 p.m., according to Fire Chief Dan Gregory.

Eleven firefighters worked with one water tower fire truck and a tanker from the Nikiski department and one tanker each from the Kenai Fire Department and Central Emergency Services to put the fire out by 10 p.m., Gregory said.

He also said firefighters with one tanker maintained a fire watch until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday to make sure the fire did not reignite.

At the time of the fire, the two Marathon tanks that were destroyed held an estimated 380 barrels of produced (waste) water, according to Susan Richardson, a public affairs spokesperson in Houston.

Richardson said the majority of the liquid in the tanks was water recovered from the oil and gas well drilling operations in the field and contained a small amount of hydrocarbons.

Gregory said some of the flaming liquid flowed across the ground to a shut-in natural gas wellhead, which also was damaged.

The damage caused a natural gas leak from the well, and Richardson said Marathon "is working to stop the minor leak."

"We're assessing any possible impacts to the environment," she said.

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