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Permian Highway Pipeline Drilling Accident Prompts Project Halt

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Kinder Morgan has reportedly suspended its construction on a portion of the Permian Highway Pipeline it was putting through a part of the Texas Hill Country. The Houston pipeline operating company has sustained a drilling accident alleged to have issued a mixture of water and clay into wells nearby.

According to a report by the Houston Chronicle on April 3, 2020, the drilling incident occurred along the controversial pipeline route situated in Blanco County. Construction crews were said to have experienced the drilling fluid loss underground on Saturday, March 28, 2020. The water and non-toxic bentonite clay mixture allegedly had seeped into local drinking wells being used by landowners nearby.

Permian Highway Pipeline Drilling Accident Prompts Project Halt

Photo: envato elements

Company representatives told houstonchronicle.com, “At this time, drilling operations have been suspended while the team evaluates the cause of the loss and determines the best path forward. We are working with affected landowners to address their needs. We are also consulting with our Karst expert and the local water district manager to determine the best way to mitigate any current and future impacts.”

Texas Hill Country landowners have stated that they only learned of the well contamination when the murky water mixed with drilling fluid came through their taps on Sunday, March 29, 2020, and claim they weren’t notified by Kinder Morgan about the incident. The Sierra Club has reported that drinking wells in the area are currently being inspected by Blanco County officials in order to gauge the extent of the spill’s contamination and how many homes have been affected. A Sierra Club Senior Campaign Representative stated that the spill had validated the concerns of Texas Hill Country residents regarding environmental issues.

Permian Highway Pipeline Drilling Accident Prompts Project Halt

Photo: envato elements

The Permian Highway Pipeline project was originally estimated to be worth $2 billion. It’s design was intended to move natural gas at the rate of 2 billion cubic feet per day from the Permian Basin in West Texas. The 430-mile project has been at the heart of controversy since its announcement, with some Hill Country residents posing stiff opposition regarding safety apprehensions and environmental concerns.