Microsoft Clip Art Image of Water Well
The oil and gas industry says water contamination caused by error is rare, but a recent Garfield County study may indicate otherwise.
The article “Digging at the mystery of methane in wells” written by the Denver Post columnist Abrahm Lustgarten mentions Jesse Ellsworth, who is one “of at least 29 residents in small farming communities northeast of Denver who have asked either the energy companies or the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to test for natural gas in their water wells.”
The commission has launched an investigation to determine how the gas got there: “Are some of Weld County's 13,957 gas wells leaking methane into drinking water? Or is methane seeping into the water naturally, as it has done from time to time over the years?”
Thus far, officials have determined that at least 9 of those contamination cases are not drilling-related; they are likely the result of a water well intersecting with gas underground. But the Ellsworths' well has strong evidence tying it to drilling. The article takes a look at this issue from both the industry perspective as well as the well owner's perspective.
For more info: "Digging at the mystery of methane in wells"