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Wyoming Natural Gas Leak Could Be Plugged Soon

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WYOMING NATURAL GAS LEAK
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, Russ Dalgarn) | AP

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Chesapeake Energy Corp. oil well that's leaking natural gas in east-central Wyoming could be plugged soon.

Chesapeake Energy said the work could begin as early as Thursday morning.

A blowout at the well on Tuesday prompted 50 residents to evacuate their homes amid concern that the gas could explode. Sixty-seven residents were asked to leave, but 17 decided to stay in their homes.

Chesapeake Energy said air sampling results around the site remain normal. It says residents can return home if they'd like or they can continue to stay in hotel rooms at the company's expense.

The well is in the Niobrara formation, a deep oil deposit beneath Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska where drilling has increased over the past two years.

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