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Gas Well Blowout

A cloud of natural gas spews from an out-of-control gas well owned by Chesapeake Energy Corp. about 10 miles northeast of Douglas in this file photo from last year.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. contractors have finally halted the flow of gas from a well in eastern Wyoming, approximately 68 hours after the company lost control of its well, the state's top oil and gas regulator says.

Aided by favorable winds, contractors this morning began pumping drilling mud into the well, located about seven miles northeast of Douglas, to stop the flow of natural gas from the blowout, said Tom Doll, Wyoming's oil and gas supervisor.

By 2 p.m., "the well capacity should be filled with drilling mud," he said.

Chesapeake lost control of its Combs Ranch Unit 29-33-70-1H well into the Niobrara Shale formation about 4 p.m. Tuesday. None of the employees on site were injured by the blowout, the company said.

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While the company's air testing hasn't indicated any problems, Chesapeake officials asked nearby residents to evacuate. Fifty have now spent three nights in hotels in Douglas and Casper.

Chesapeake and its contractors hoped to regain control of the well on Thursday but were hampered by variable and shifting winds that kept venting natural gas in the area where crews needed to work.

Check back later for updates to this developing story.

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