Monday, May 9, 2011

Fracking Well Contamination Earthquakes Tied Gas Production Scientifically

Tags: Fracking Duke University Gas Wells Earthquakes Arkansas Explosions Deaths Contamination Pennsylvania Colorado

Fracking Gas Wells Tied to 1000 Earthquakes in Arkansas, Huffington Post, Sarah Eddington, April 20, 2011, LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Two natural gas exploration companies have agreed to extend the shutdowns of two injection wells in Arkansas as researchers study whether the operations are linked to more than 1,000 unexplained earthquakes in the region, a state commission said Wednesday. …

Fracking Gas Duke Scientists Found Proof Associating Home Explosions Deaths and Contaminated Flammable Drinking Well Water to Fracking Gas Analysis, Pro-Publica, Abrahm Lustgarten, May 9, 2011,

For the first time, a scientific study has linked natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing with a pattern of drinking water contamination so severe that some faucets can be lit on fire.

The peer-reviewed study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, stands to shape the contentious debate over whether drilling is safe and begins to fill an information gap that has made it difficult for lawmakers and the public to understand the risks.

Drilling Regulatory Staffing in Your State

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  1. Search for how many wells have been drilled and how many gas regulators are in your state.


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  1. What is Hydraulic Fracturing?
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  1. Anatomy of a Gas Well


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  1. A Reporter’s Journey
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  1. The Faces of Dimock

The research was conducted by four scientists at Duke University. They found that levels of flammable methane gas in drinking water wells increased to dangerous levels when those water supplies were close to natural gas wells. They also found that the type of gas detected at high levels in the water was the same type of gas that energy companies were extracting from thousands of feet underground, strongly implying that the gas may be seeping underground through natural or manmade faults and fractures, or coming from cracks in the well structure itself.

“Our results show evidence for methane contamination of shallow drinking water systems in at least three areas of the region and suggest important environmental risks accompanying shale gas exploration worldwide,” the article states.

The group tested 68 drinking water wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale drilling areas in northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York State. Sixty of those wells were tested for dissolved gas. While most of the wells had some methane, the water samples taken closest to the gas wells had on average 17 times the levels detected in wells further from active drilling. The group defined an active drilling area as within one kilometer, or about six tenths of a mile, from a gas well. …

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