Research About Well Casing

November 27, 2014 – An interdisciplinary team of researchers found methane contamination in drinking water wells located in eight areas above the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and the Barnett Shale in Texas, with evidence of declining water quality in the Barnett Shale area. By analyzing noble gases and their isotopes (helium, neon, argon), the investigators were able to isolate the origin of the fugitive methane in drinking water. The results implicate leaks through cement well casings as well as via naturally occurring cracks and fissures in the surrounding rock. In a related editorial, one of the study’s authors, Robert Jackson, called on the EPA to re-open its aborted investigation into drinking water contamination in heavily fracked areas of Texas. Jackson also emphasized that methane migration through unseen cracks in the rock surrounding the wellbore “raises the interesting possibility that a drilling company could follow procedures – cementing and casing below the local aquifer — and still create a potential pathway for gas to migrate into drinking water.”

Click here for the article from the Texas Tribune titled “Reopen Barnett Shale water probe”.