Follow up post HERE
When I read the headline and article below, my logic meter buried up in the WTF column. This morning I spoke with a scientist/hydrologist who confirmed that my logic meter does not need recalibrating.
Examine the text below to see how industry, regulators and media obscure the truth:
Dimock gas wells pass DEP test
Dozens of water samples collected in Dimock Twp. show no indication of being tainted from gas well hydro-fracturing activity, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first), but I have to say that methane–already proven to be from the shale that was fractured–in drinking water is a pretty damn damning indication that the water was, indeed, tainted from gas well hydro-fracturing activity.
To repeat my post from yesterday:
OK. My logic meter is buried way deep in the WTF column.
- water fine.
- hydraulic fracture of shale to release gas.
- gas now in water
- gas in water is same as gas in shale
- hydraulic fracture not cause of gas in water
How the hell does anybody buy this bullshit?
- Wouldn’t the methane travel up through the fractures faster than the frack fluid? (NOTE: check 4th grade science text.)
- If so, wouldn’t it make sense that the methane would show up before, and possibly way before, the frack fluid?
- If so, isn’t it premature to absolve Cabot of responsibility? Especially considering that HB 7231 is pending and would remove the exemption of frack chemicals from monitoring by EPA under the SWDA? BINGO! SEE?
The scientist I spoke with this morning confirmed that the gas would travel through the fractures “much faster than the frack fluid” thus it is premature to absolve Cabot and hydraulic fracturing from blame in the water contamination. “No one knows how long it might take frack fluid to travel the same pathway the methane traveled, but it is very likely that it will travel that pathway.”
Since H.B. 7231 to remove the exemption of hydraulic fracturing from regulation by EPA under the Safe Drinking Water Act, is currently before Congress, it’s easy to see that the premature injection absolving blame was motivated by the industry’s desire to retain the exemption.
Natural Gas Found in Private Water Wells: How the oil and gas industry is exactly like the tobacco industry.
Update from a chemist friend who believes Cabot is guilty:
Methane dissolves in water to an extent that is dependent on temperature and pressure. There are scientific papers on this, for example, kea.princeton.edu/papers/h2o_hc98/paper.pdf When methane bubbles through water in the cracked shale formation, some of it dissolves. The pressure is much higher than atmospheric pressure and the temperature down-hole is also much higher than surface ambient. This means much higher solubility in water in the formation. As the liquid migrates through cracks and reaches the water well the water becomes saturated with methane. When the water reaches the spigot it is at a pressure of around 40 psig, and probably contains bubbles of methane gas as well. When the spigot is opened, the liquid coming out is suddenly reduced in pressure to 0 psig (14.7 psia) and all the gas dissolved in the water suddenly comes out of solution. This explains why we see pictures on YouTube of tap water being ignited.
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I was suspicious of this reversal of findings, too. I hope people will not read the exoneration article and then assume for evermore that there was no problem with the fracking in Dimock. Case closed. NOT!
Hydraulic fractures extend approximately 200 to 250 feet from the wellbore. The aquifer in this area is at least 5,000 feet above any hydraulic fracture. If Marcellus gas is contaminating the water wells, it is leaking from a poor cement job in the casing, not from the hydraulic fractures.
Yes, confusing. I live here in this county and some are taking it as an A-OK and some are skeptical. It is my understanding that some of the cement well casings had to be done over, so the remark about their failure is probably correct.
But my feeling is that the problems were caused as a side effect of drilling any way you look at it. We are the testing ground for this in this geology.
I think eventually more about this will come to light.