Many residents of Grand County were startled by a text message from the emergency warning system on April 7, stating that there was a gas leak in the county. 

Statements from Rose Petroleum and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office reported that the leak was “brought under control” on April 10, after days of road closures that trapped some campers within the White Wash Sand Dunes area, around 50 miles northwest of Moab and 25 miles southeast of Green River, during Jeep Safari weekend.

Officials say the leak occurred just before noon on April 7 at a wellhead near the area of White Wash, due to a failed safety valve on tubing and a “Blind Ram failure” on a blowout preventer. Blind rams are designed to close wells off whether or not pipe is present. 

Representatives from Rose Petroleum and Wild Well Control arranged for the containment of the scene, but roads in a one-mile radius of the wellhead site, including Ruby Ranch Road and the Floy exit off Interstate 70, were closed until the wellhead was repaired. 

“We know this was a great inconvenience to the individuals and families that were unable to use the road over the weekend,” a statement from Rose Petroleum reads. “We sincerely apologize to the community for any inconvenience caused by the road closure and the well control incident.”

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining is on site and the Division of Environmental Quality was notified of the incident and Rose Petroleum stated that remediation of the area around the wellhead will begin immediately.