Subtitle: A Look into Your Future, Fort Worth. Brought to you by the Barnett Shale.
Residents in West Divide Creek, CO were told that it was perfectly safe to drill gas wells in the residential area. Then one resident, Lisa Braken, ended up with a gas seep bubbling up benzene, a carcinogen, and other compounds practically in her backyard. EnCana had failed to properly cement the well.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission fined EnCana and issued a drilling moratorium for a two-mile radius around the seep. The moratorium lasted 3 years but now EnCana says they have new drilling rigs and regulations requiring extra cement around well casings.
EnCana plans to drill 40 gas wells within a year and a half in the same area and, you know, it’s perfectly safe this time. REALLY. But residents aren’t so sure.
“We were told before the seep that they could safely drill wells,” Bracken said. “They failed us before, so there’s a lot of things I have questions about. I just think the intensity of this and the number of wells in that time frame, here in a rural residential area, just isn’t the safest thing to do.”
And, residents wonder why EnCana is starting something new when they still haven’t taken care of the seep.
Bracken now has a blog called Journey of the Forsaken. (Neat pictures of a beaver pond. If you strike a match it lights up from the gas.)
“The state OKs permit after permit, but we’ve had explosions and spills, and we have to deal with the affects of all this activity,” Bracken said. “It’s like we’ve been forsaken in this all-out drive to drill.”
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Once a well is drilled it stays drilled. Forever. Cement cracks and weakens with age. I recall this case in point. Several years ago,over a weekend, a restaurant in the Wilshire District of Los Angeles blew up. Blew up! The area is an old oil field called the Salt Lake Field. It still is being produced but most of the wells drilled into it were capped and abandoned in the 30s. Including the one that was under the restaurant.
Wow! That’s scary as hell!