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Posts Tagged ‘Marcellus Shale natural gas’

Kudos to Residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania

Posted by feww on November 22, 2009

Residents of Dimock in rural Pennsylvania sue Cabot Oil & Gas Corp

Residents of Dimock, a small rural Pennsylvania town, have sued Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, claiming the company’s natural-gas drilling has contaminated their wells with deadly chemicals, causing sickness and reducing their property values, Reuters reported.

“The lawsuit accuses the company of violating state environmental laws by allowing drilling chemicals to escape from gas wells, where they are used in a technique called hydraulic fracturing.”

A Cabot spokesman, Ken Komoroski, said the company was in full compliance with Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and “disappointed” by the lawsuit, which he said  they had not had time to study yet.

“We don’t see merit in these claims,” Cabot spokesman said. More …


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

Residents: ‘WE WANT JUSTICE’

“The suit is the culmination of complaints by residents of the northeastern Pennsylvania community where Cabot has drilled dozens of gas wells in its efforts to develop the Marcellus Shale, a massive gas formation that underlies about two-thirds of Pennsylvania and parts of surrounding states.” The report said.

“These releases, spills and discharges caused the plaintiffs and their property to be exposed to such hazardous gases, chemicals and industrial wastes,” said the complaint.

The residents have suffered neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological symptoms from exposure to contaminated water, the complaint said. The results of blood samples taken from residents are consistent with exposure to the chemical pollutants.

“Victoria Switzer, a plaintiff who lives about a mile from Carter’s home, said she had joined the lawsuit because she had failed to get satisfaction from the state Department of Environmental Protection or her elected representatives.” Reuters said.

“Lawyers were the last thing I wanted,” she said. “We are not greedy people, we just want some justice.” More …

Background:

EPA admits water contaminated near gas-drilling sites

FEWW wrote:

Now, for the first time ever, EPA scientists have revealed that drinking water wells  near natural gas [and oil] drilling operations contain chemical contaminants. They found dangerous chemicals in the water from 11 of 39 wells tested near the Wyoming town of Pavillion in March and May 2009.  Unfortunately, their report  falls shy of concluding what causes the contamination, though it admits the gas drilling is a potential source.

‘Diarrhea water’

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable.

Isn’t it remarkable that two distant communities, one in Dimock, Pennsylvania, and the other in Pavillion, Wyoming, some 2,668 km (1,658 miles) apart, share a common fate by way of their contaminated drinking water, where the only common denominator between them is gas-drilling activities.

Related Links:

 

Posted in doorstep drilling, EPA, fracking, gas drilling, natural gas | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

NY Quakes Probably Gas Drilling Related

Posted by feww on May 21, 2009

New York Earthquakes may be natural gas drilling activity related

having carefully researched and reviewed the SW New York seismic history, geological details of shale gas plays in the Appalachians and other related data, Moderators and blog contributors have concluded with 75% certainty the cluster of 3 earthquakes that struck Medusa, New York, earlier this week may have been caused by shale gas drilling activity.

The mainshock, a magnitude 3.0 tremor, struck on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53 UTC, about 170km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania, followed by two smaller aftershocks measuring 2.1 and 1.9 Mw respectively. See below for details.

PA-NY-Gas drill
NE PA Gas Exploration & Central NY Wells. Epicenter of the mainshock
is marked in red at [42.571°N, 74.112°W.] The recent earthquake cluster struck an area located about 31 km WSW of Albany NY, and 170 km northeast of Dimock, Pennsylvania. Map: Google. Image may be subject to copyright. For legend see original map.

Oil and gas res
Shale Gas Plays, Lower 48 States. Map date: March 16, 2009. EIA Data Sources: Published studies. [Click image to enlarge.]

See also: The 100 Volumetrically Largest U.S. Oil and Gas Fields [PDF 12MB]


CHK – Marcellus Shale Depth from Data and Cores –  10/16/2008 [source.] Image may be subject to copyright.

FEWW expects more seismic activity occurring in a 100-km radius area  centered at  42.07°N, 75.27ºW, about 55km North of Hancock (town), New York, an area located outside the region’s recent historic seismicity. Should this occur, the Moderators would be able to recalculate the certainty factor.

geologydotcom- marcellus-shale-depth-map
This map shows the approximate depth to the base of the Marcellus Shale. It was prepared using the map by Robert Milici and Christopher Swezey above and adding depth-to-Marcellus contours published by Wallace de Witt and others, 1993, United States Department of Energy Report: The Atlas of Major Appalachian Gas Plays.  Image and caption: Geology.com.
Image may be subject to copyright.

Earthquake details:

Event #1 – Magnitude: 3.0
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 00:53:29 UTC
Location: 42.571°N, 74.112°W
Depth: 9 km (5.6 miles)
Region: NEW YORK
Distances:

  • 15 km (10 miles) N (5°) from Medusa, NY
  • 16 km (10 miles) SSW (203°) from Altamont, NY
  • 17 km (11 miles) WSW (240°) from Voorheesville, NY
  • 29 km (18 miles) WSW (250°) from Albany, NY
  • 138 km (86 miles) WNW (292°) from Springfield, MA
  • 208 km (129 miles) N (356°) from New York, NY

Source:  Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023914
NY ld1023914  18 May 2009
Earthquake Location. Map Centered at 43°N, 74°W. Source: USGS? ANSS

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 4

NY ld1023914  18 May 2009 - 2

Event #2 – Magnitude 2.1
Date-Time:  Monday, May 18, 2009 at 07:21:57 UTC
Location: 42.567°N, 74.109°W
Depth: 6 km (3.7 miles)
Source: Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID:  ld1023916

Event #3 – Magnitude 1.9
Date-Time Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 14:52:32 UTC
Location 42.575°N, 74.113°W
Depth 14 km (8.7 miles)
Source Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network (LCSN)
Event ID ld1023935

Related Links:

See also:

Posted in earthquake forecast, Gas Drilling earthquake, Medusa quake, NY Earthquake, oil and gas drilling | Tagged: , , , | 19 Comments »

‘Diarrhea water’

Posted by feww on March 13, 2009

In Dimock, Pennsylvania, drilling for natural gas has clouded the drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. —Report


A glass of water taken from a residential well after the start of natural gas drilling in Dimock, Pennsylvania, March 7, 2009. Dimock is one of hundreds of sites in Pennsylvania where energy companies are now racing to tap the massive Marcellus Shale natural gas formation. But some residents say the drilling has clouded their drinking water, sickened people and animals and made their wells flammable. REUTERS/Tim Shaffer. Image may be subject to copyright.

The following is adapted from a report by Reuters

What people say about the Dimock drilling for Marcellus Shale natural gas

Pat Farnelli whose  children had persistent diarrhea and vomiting  said:  “I was getting excruciating stomach cramps after drinking the water … It felt like an appendicitis attack.”

Geologists :  Marcellus Shale natural gas could potentially provide total U.S. natural gas needs for at least a decade, possibly more.

Observers: What the problem then?

Experts: Oh, the gas cannot be extracted easily because it’s encapsulated  deep inside layers of rock; you need a cocktail of highly toxic chemicals mixed with sand and fluids to drill the rocks [see below for “fracking.”]

Dimock residents: The drilling has clouded our drinking water, sickened our kids and animals and made our wells flammable.”

Energy Industry spokesperson:  The groundwater is safeguarded meticulously. The chemicals used are heavily diluted and pose no health threat.

Residents: What chemicals are you using?

Energy companies: Sorry, that information is proprietary, we can’t disclose what chemicals we use because other companies might copy our work.

Residents: How can we test our drinking waters, if we don’t know what to look for?

Cabot Oil & Gas spokesman Kenneth Komoroski [Cabot has drilled about 30 wells since 2006, 20 of them just last year, Reuters reported]: It is impossible for the drilling to contaminate the groundwater,  how could it I ask you!

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell speaking to Reuters: The state is careful in granting drilling permits. “We are very scrupulous about whether it will have an effect on the groundwater.” It’s safe, it’s safe … I say!

Mark Carmon an official with the Department of Environmental Protection: [they say they tested well water in Dimock houses in February] “We have not seen anything that would be of concern.”

A dozen local interviewed by Reuters: We draw water from a well sunk into an aquifer; two gas wells are within a few hundred yards (meters) of our houses.

Damascus Citizens for Sustainability [a Pennsylvania group opposed to drilling] :  Toxic chemicals have leaked into groundwater at hundreds of natural gas drilling sites in Colorado and New Mexico. How could Pennsylvania be an exception?

Ron and Jean Carter: We were alarmed when the water supply to our trailer home suddenly started to taste and smell foul after Cabot had started drilling 180m away. To protect our grandchild living with us, we managed to scrape together $6,500 for a water purification system.

“It was kind of funny that the water was good in July but after they drilled, it wasn’t,” said Ron Carter.

Tim and Debbie Maye, a truck driver and post office worker: We have three teenage children, and have been drinking and cooking with only bottled water since our well water turned brown in November 2008, shortly after Cabot started drilling.

But we can’t afford bottled water for our animals. Our cats have been losing fur  projectile vomiting because of the contaminated water.  One of  our three horses is also  losing its hair. When I go out to give water to them, “I tell my husband, ‘I’m going out to poison the horses.'”

Methane in the Water

Another byproduct of the drilling in Dimock is methane which has been released into the water supply, which the state regulators and Cabot have  acknowledged.

Local homeowners: We can ignite our well water. Recently, a gas buildup blew the large concrete cap off a well.

Norma Fiorentino, 66, a resident: “The well was capped with six to eight inches of concrete. …  The explosion broke it into three big pieces and blew a huge hole in the ground.”

Hydraulic fracturing [“fracking”]

Environmental groups: Energy companies use a method called  Hydraulic fracturing [aka, hydrofracturing, or fracing pronounced “fracking”] to create fractures  from a borehole al the way down to rock formations by  injecting a toxic mix of chemicals together with water and sand deep into the rock to release the natural gas which is trapped there.

Komoroski, the Cabot spokesman: Of course the “fracking” chemicals are dangerous. But they are only dangerous  in concentrated form. Here [in Pennsylvania,] we use them heavily diluted in the injection fluid.  Further, we inject them into depths of 1,700 to 2,700m (5,000 to 8,000 ft)— well below the normal depth aquifers at 70 to 170m (100 to 500 ft)—and we pump them into the ground inside several layers of steel and concrete, preventing any discharge at levels that could contaminate the groundwater.

FEWW Moderators: Why did the water turn brown, people and animals that drank the water got violently ill, cats lost their fur and horses their hair just after you started fracking? And what say you about the exploding well caps? Please respond.

[This space is reserved for Komoroski‘s reply!]

Komoroski: The Marcellus Shale Committee, a statewide group of energy companies will publish a report on the chemicals that are being injected into the ground.

The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, a Colorado research group: of the 201 “fracking chemicals” we have found in the groundwater about 188 could potentially harm skin, eyes, and sensory organs;  100 could damage the brain and nervous system, and 59 may cause cancer.

Retired schoolteacher Victoria Switzer and her husband, Jimmy: We spent five years building our dream home [nestled on an idyllic wooded hillside,] now we have to share the rural setting with a gas well just a few hundred meters away. How could we fight the wealthy energy companies? Cabot, for one, posted annual revenues of about $1 billion in 2008.

Victoria Switzer: “They are big and we are small and they count on that.” 

Posted in Cabot Oil & Gas, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, doorstep drilling, Gov. Ed Rendell | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »