Company plugs blown Wyoming oil well leaking gas

By MEAD GRUVER | April 27, 2012 | 2:05 PM EDT

This image provided by the Glenrock Bird shows an out-of-control oil well spewing natural gas a few miles northeast of Douglas in east-central Wyoming on Wednesday April 25, 2012. A blowout occurred at the well Tuesday afternoon. More than 60 people living nearby evacuated from their homes while crews began work to plug the well with drilling mud and avoid an explosion. Nobody was hurt.(AP Photo/Glenrock Bird)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Workers at a blown oil well in eastern Wyoming have capped an eruption of potentially explosive natural gas by pumping mud into the well.

The plugging operation began about 9:30 Friday morning. By 11 a.m. the flow of gas had ceased, although mud continued to be pumped underground.

The newly drilled well owned by Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy blew out Tuesday afternoon. Potentially explosive methane gas roared from the ground at the site five miles northeast of the town of Douglas.

An evacuation advisory was issued to 67 people living within two-and-a-half miles. Fifty people heeded the advisory.

Workers staged equipment Wednesday to plug the well but shifting winds blew gas over the equipment Thursday. Westerly winds Friday enabled them to safely approach the well and begin plugging.