Gas flare causes alarm, but it's all part of the process

SMYRNA – The Davis Farm in Smyrna was the scene of a roaring sound and bursts of flame that shot up several stories into the air yesterday morning as Norse Energy Inc. conducted a routine natural gas well flare.

The flickering flame from the end of a long narrow exhaust pipe could be seen far above a corn field and local observers heard an immense roaring sound that echoed. An unidentified caller to The Evening Sun said it was “quite dramatic, quite loud.”

But it’s a scene familiar to those working in the gas well drilling industry, and all part of the regular process that helps control gas pressure and burn off possible air contaminants.

According to Norse Energy spokesman Dennis Holbrook, a flare occurs when a crew strikes a gas reserve for the first time and can last between a few hours or days.

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