This is a tragic story about Louis Meeks and somebody needs to help this man.
Hydrofracked? One Man’s Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling
by Abrahm Lustgarten
ProPublica, Feb. 25, 2011
You should read the whole thing. It’s worth the time.
I just want to point out a couple of quotes:
1) He says he has seen methane gas seep underground for more than seven miles from its source. If the methane can seep, the theory goes, so can the fluids. “There is no such thing as impossible,” Coleman says. “Like everything else in life it comes down to the probability.”
2) Dale Henry, a retired petroleum engineer, said that as many as a third of the wells he worked on over his career “lose circulation.” That means that during hydraulic fracturing the pressure didn’t build up the way it should have, because fluids seeped out somewhere on the way down, like a garden hose losing pressure because of punctures. According to Henry, the question is more like, how often does it work properly?
It seems they have never gotten this cementing thing quite right.
Texas Railroad Commission investigated natural gas well surface casing in Wise County. They discovered “114 gas wells didn’t have enough surface casing to protect groundwater and that records about the surface casing had been falsified. LINK
If you can’t get it right, just falsify the records. So mafia-esque.
Another great part of this reporting is where Lustgarten explains that fracking is more than just the the moment of the frack.
The industry’s definition boiled down to lawyerly semantics. It meant that fracturing couldn’t be blamed unless the high pressure inside the well at the moment it was fractured directly caused the contamination. “Hydraulic fracturing related contamination would result if the hydraulic fracturing stimulation is the sole cause of the well integrity to fail,” explained Lee Fuller, the lobbyist for the Independent Petroleum Association of America. According to Fuller’s definition, fracturing would not be the cause if the fracturing fluids were spilled on the surface, or if the fracking waste was improperly disposed of, or even if the cement casing in a well split apart after the enormous pressure of fracking, as has happened in several of the most egregious incidents.
An EPA fracturing expert, Nathan Wiser, put it this way when considering the drilling industry’s limited definition of what constitutes hydraulic fracturing: “You can certainly characterize fracturing as an event that happens on a Tuesday,” he said. “It’s a singular event in that well’s life. But it can expose other weaknesses, and through the extra pressure that is exerted on the well at that time it sort of shakes loose that problem.”
I doubt Louis Meeks gives a frack if his water was contaminated at the exact moment of fracking or during one of the many steps of the fracking. All he knows is he has no water.