State fines Devon Energy $97,500 for well blowout in rural DeWitt County

Gases flow into the atmosphere on Nov. 5, 2019, from a gas well owned by Devon Energy in DeWitt County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently proposed fining $97,500 for emissions tied to the incident.

Nearly two years after a gas well blowout forced residents to evacuate their homes in rural DeWitt County, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has proposed fining the well owner $97,500 for air pollution.

Devon Energy, assumed ownership of the well off Cotton Patch Road near Farm-to-Market Road 952 from BPX Operating Company in late 2019, just a few days before the blowout occurred.

State fines Devon Energy $97,500 for well blowout in rural DeWitt County

A picture taken and annotated by Bill Ross, TCEQ Region 14 investigator, identifies vegetation downwind of a well blowout on Nov. 12, 2019, in rural DeWitt County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently proposed fining Devon Energy for air emissions tied to the incident.

State fines Devon Energy $97,500 for well blowout in rural DeWitt County

A picture taken Nov. 19, 2019, by Bill Ross, TCEQ Region 14 investigator, shows natural gas condensate on a fence along Cotton Patch Road in rural DeWitt County, where a well blowout occurred.

State fines Devon Energy $97,500 for well blowout in rural DeWitt County

A picture taken Nov. 19, 2019, by Bill Ross, TCEQ Region 14 investigator, shows vegetation impacted by a well blowout along Cotton Patch Road in rural DeWitt County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently proposed fining Devon Energy for air emissions tied to the incident.

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Kali Venable is an investigative and environmental reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at 361-580-6558 or at kvenable@vicad.com.

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Investigative & Environmental Reporter

I was born and raised in Houston, but spent many summers and weekends in the Crossroads while growing up. I studied journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and feel lucky to cover a region I love dearly.

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