JEFF AMY,Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Denbury Resources is paying a $662,500 fine to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, following a 2011 oil well blowout in Yazoo County.
The incident raises questions about whether companies pumping carbon dioxide underground to force up oil are doing enough to ensure old wells are safely capped. Denbury has had at least two other blowouts in Mississippi since 2007.
Environmental regulators say an abandoned well south of Yazoo City began venting carbon dioxide, oil and drilling mud on Aug. 9, 2011, continuing for 37 days. Someone had removed the metal casing from the well, forcing Denbury to drill a new well to control the release. The company removed 27,000 tons of drilling mud and contaminated soil and 32,000 barrels of liquids.
Denbury, based in Plano, Texas, declines to comment.