Has anyone ever heard of a well hitting "poisoned gas?" What is it and what to do you do with it?

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Poison Gas is Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). Otherwise known as a sour gas well. It is created as a by product of decaying matter. It is also known as "sewer gas" due to that property. There are many gas wells that produce Hydrogen Sulfide that are in production. And they have to be clearly marked as producing Hydrogen Sulfide. For further information, "Google" Hydrogen Sulfide and you can learn more. Or email me and I can further explain. I am a paramedic currently working as HSE Officer for a production company on an offshore production platform.
I had a friend who worked for the drilling operations and he said when going to the rig, if he started seeing dead livestock, it was time to turn around!
He said it doesn't take much of that to kill someone!
It is very dangerous stuff. The odor of hydrogen sulfide is similar to rotten eggs and can be detected at as low as 0.1ppm. Here are the effects on humans at the various levels. Be aware that at high concentrations, H2S can be fatal with just a few breaths. The biggest danger is that at 15-20 ppm H2S causes rapid paralysis of the olfactory nerves in nasal passages and the smell disappears suddenly causing people exposed to it to think "all is clear". They are soon overcome by the gas and become unconscious. So yes......this is some very bad, sneaky stuff. Be very glad that these wells aren't in a H2S region.

Just for information, the paper making industry is also another source of H2S. International Paper in Mansfield has to take precautions for their workers as well.

10 ppm
Beginning eye irritation

50-100 ppm
Slight conjunctivitis and respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour exposure

100 ppm
Coughing, eye irritation, loss of sense of smell after 2-15 minutes. Altered respiration, pain in the eyes and drowsiness after 15-30 minutes followed by throat irritation after 1 hour. Several hours exposure results in gradual increase in severity of these symptoms and death may occur within the next 48 hours.

200-300 ppm
Marked conjunctivitis and respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour of exposure

500-700 ppm
Loss of consciousness and possibly death in 30 minutes to 1 hour.

700-1000 ppm
Rapid unconsciousness, cessation of respiration and death.

1000-2000 ppm
Unconsciousness at once, with early cessation of respiration and death in a few minutes. Death may occur even if individual is removed to fresh air at once.

H2S is not the gaseous form of sulfuric acid. That would be sulfur trioxide (SO3), which can be formed by burning H2S to form sulfur dioxide (SO2), which under certain circumstances can be oxidized to SO3.

H2S actually forms a weak acid.
Thanks KB: Even when the Smartest Man in the Room in wrong, he's not wrong!

Vitriol. Wouldn't you know...
Thanks guys. It's amazing what an old dog can learn. This sounds like dangerous stuff. I wonder what the chances of a HS well hitting this "sour gas". And what real threat there is to well neighbors?
Shouldn't have problems with H2S in this area.

"Downed cows." LOL! I had forgotten about that.

FYI, another possible source of H2S in wells is bacterial contamination of oil-producing sands by H2S-producing microbes (particular from introduction of frac fluids). There is a line of products that combat this type of contamination.
Worked at a company in Shreveport and found an old cylinder laying on the floor under some equipment we moved. All the markings were gone. Cylinder was black with soot, unidentifiable by color, appeared mostly grey. One of the guys thought it was probably acetylene - did a "sniff" test. Took a breath and hit the floor. All in one motion. Found out later it was hydrogen sulfide. Funny at the time. Could have been a lot worse.
Hell yeah. Won't live long enough to learn from my own mistakes only. Have to learn from others bonehead plays. Was weird - no delay - just knocked him out. Displaced the oxygen I think. Something in the body really likes this stuff, thinks its super air. Bonds like oxygen but it isn't. Knocks you the f*** out first, then kills you. Really nasty stuff.


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