Several years ago I attended a Barnett Shale Symposium in Fort Worth. I asked the Devon Energy representative if there was any sour gas—deadly hydrogen sulfide or H2S–in the Barnett Shale. His hasty and emphatic reply was “No, there is no sour gas in the Barnett Shale.” It seems that was not true.
In a Star-Telegram article we learn that not only has gas been seeping into Barnett Shale water for a decade or more and that the Texas Supreme Court gave industry a pass on their pollution but that industry has known all along that the Barnett Shale does have deadly hydrogen sulfide gas.
Texas Supreme Court ruling discouraged suits against gas drillers
By MIKE LEE
The first time that Jim Bartlett realized something was wrong with his new place in Wise County was when he filled up an Igloo cooler with water from his newly drilled well.
“We were sitting in there watching TV, and the lid blew off,” he said.
Bartlett and his wife, Pat, had just bought 2 acres at the end of a dirt road outside Boyd. It turned out that the water in their newly drilled well was shot full of natural gas. It also contained hydrogen sulfide, a corrosive gas that is sometimes produced along with natural gas. When they put the water in a closed container, it tended to pop the lid off. The hydrogen sulfide built up enough that it darkened silver coins inside the house.
Some may find it shocking to see in print that gas has been leaking into our water for at least a decade but Boyd has always had water problems. People complain often that it smells like rotten eggs but they refuse to believe it could be drilling related.
Surely no one who has paid even a teeny bit of attention could be shocked by Carter Burdett’s DEEP and obvious conflict of issues. That seems to be a requirement for leadership on top of the shale with the only exclusion being leaders in DISH, Texas.
Industry started pumping money into the judicial races over a decade ago, so I’m not at all surprised about the Texas Supreme Court.
But I’m shocked and dismayed to learn that after all this time of believing we had dodged the H2s hollow-point bullet there is actually enough H2S gas in our water to blow the lid off a cooler.