Ahtna challenges $380,000 fine over safety at Glennallen gas well

Tuesday, 27 June 2017, 03:28:07 PM. The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has fined a Native corporation $380,000 for safety violations at a natural gas well drilled near Glennallen. The company is challenging it.
An Alaska environmental and safety enforcement agency has issued a $380,000 penalty against Alaska Native corporation Ahtna Inc. for safety violations at a gas well drilled near Glennallen, asserting the company "stonewalled" inspectors and "ignored" the agency's efforts to bring the well into compliance. But Tolsona Oil and Gas Exploration, owned by Ahtna, is challenging some of the assertions made by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Ahtna’s exploratory gas well, Tolsona No. 1, about 11½ miles west of Glennallen, in October. (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News) Tolsona issued a statement Friday acknowledging "unsuccessful" communication with the agency and its relatively limited experience as a first-time owner and operator of a well. But the company said it has taken "immediate action" to comply with the agency's May 24 order. It said the mile-deep well was challenging due to the area's complex geology. It said it is interested in further exploration and conducting additional stimulation work in the well bore. "The Tolsona project delivered an outstanding safety record, provided employment and development opportunities for Ahtna shareholders and Alaskans, and the targeted zone was reached," the statement said. Tolsona wants the agency to reconsider the fine. AOGCC chair Cathy Foerster said Thursday she could not comment on the case while it is still being heard. The agency's order asserted that Tolsona operated an "unmonitored, over-pressured" well that could...Read more
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