(EnviroNews Utah) – We’ve been seeing a lot of this sort of thing lately and concerned citizens have been sending us clips almost on a weekly basis. What’s that you might ask? Huge burn-offs coming from atop oil and gas refining plants, and for some “strange” reason, it seems that over 90% of the time, they are witnessed and documented either at night or on the weekends. That seems a bit curious, but not really when you consider that the DEQ, DAQ, and other regulatory bodies close their doors at 5PM and are not typically open for business on the weekends. Coincidence? We’ll let you be the judge of that.
This massive flare was observed already in progress, atop a very small stack at the Kinder Morgan gas refining facility near Neola, Utah on Saturday March 9, at 12PM. The flare was said to be so large that it could be seen from miles away, and even from the other side of the valley. The cameraman who captured this flare said he estimated it’s height to be as great as 70 feet at times, and said you could hear the flame roaring from hundreds of yards away. It is unknown for how long it was burning before the taping began at around noon, but it was observed over the course of 4 hours and was said to have gradually decreased in size over the aforementioned timeframe, ending up at about half the size, but still quite large by the time they stopped observing it at approximately 4 PM in the afternoon.
This small gas facility used to be a stripping plant and was formerly owned by El Paso (now EP Production Company), but now, to our knowledge acts as a “gathering station” for Kinder Morgan where gas is compressed and re-pressurized before being moved along to the larger Kinder Morgan Altamont Gas Plant for further processing and transport.
When we asked a local oil patch worker what the deal was, it was explained to us how this plant, a routing facility to other larger refineries has gas from multiple operators throughout the Eastern Bluebell oilfield feeding into it through a complex web of gas piping infrastructure before it is moved along to other larger processing plants. When we showed the tape to another local gas patch worker, he seemed surprised and responded by saying: “hell, they might have been dumping the whole field to the stack!”. Whatever was going on, it was burning BIG!