Study: no relationship between methane in groundwater and proximity to natural gas wells

Posted: May 19, 2018 by oldbrew in fracking, research, Shale gas

Appalachia [click to enlarge]

Actual evidence contradicts colourful but unresearched scare stories once again.

A study of drinking water in Appalachian Ohio found no evidence of natural gas contamination from recent oil and gas drilling, reports

Geologists with the University of Cincinnati examined drinking water in Carroll, Stark and Harrison counties, a rural region in northeast Ohio where many residents rely on water from private underground wells.

The time-series study was the first of its kind in Ohio to examine methane in groundwater in relation to natural gas drilling.

The results were published in the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.

“Some people had elevated concentrations of methane in their groundwater, but the isotopic composition showed it wasn’t from natural gas” said Amy Townsend-Small, associate professor of geology in UC’s McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

“What we found is in most cases it was probably from underground coal in the area or biological methane produced in groundwater.”

UC researchers collected 180 groundwater samples in total at homes in the three counties. Some of the sites were sampled multiple times. In particular, researchers looked for evidence of methane, the primary compound in natural gas. They also studied changes in the acidity or pH of the water, and changes to its conductivity.

They found no increase in methane concentration or composition in groundwater over the four years of the study, despite the presence of new shale gas wells drilled in the study area. Likewise, they did not find higher methane levels in closer approximation to shale drilling.

Researchers did find wide variability in methane concentrations in the drinking water, ranging from 0.2 micrograms per liter to 25.3 milligrams per liter, which is strong enough to catch fire in enclosed spaces. But researchers found no relationship between the methane observed in drinking water and the new gas wells.

Continued here.

  1. Bitter@twisted says:

    You can guarantee this good news will not be broadcast by the Biased Bull$hit Cartel.

  2. oldbrew says:

    But researchers found no relationship between the methane observed in drinking water and the new gas wells.

    Except for the obvious fact that they were able to drill and find gas only because it was already there in the ground before they came along.

  3. ren says:

    Live Video: Kilauea Lava Flow Activity In Lower Puna Hawaii

  4. oldbrew says:

    Fracking planning laws should be relaxed say ministers

    Under the plans, preliminary drilling could be classed as permitted development – the same law that allows people to build a small conservatory.