An oil drilling crew last week penetrated a high pressure gas pocket, causing the blowout. Since then, it's been impossible to tell how much gas has been lost, according to officials with Chi Energy Co. of Midland, Texas.
Chi Energy is attempting to salvage what gas it can by drilling from a new angle into the well, authorities said. Crews from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana are assisting the efforts.
It could take as long as 30 days to cap the well, said Liz Baggs, Carlsbad's emergency preparedness manager, but "it probably will be less."
Chi Energy's president, Bill Bergman, remains in Carlsbad meeting with town residents to talk about the incident and the inconveniences it caused, Baggs said. "They're here as long as it takes."
Accompanied by a claims adjuster, Chi's Bergman has pledged to pay for vouchers issued to evacuees, covering motel rooms, personal care items and medication.
About 1,200 residents forced to evacuate a section of Carlsbad returned to their homes Monday after authorities declared the area safe, said Baggs.
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