Grad students at Duke University have issued a new “peer-reviewed” paper/study/report, this time addressing the question of whether or not fluids from thousands of feet down in the Marcellus Shale layer can actually migrate upward through thousands of feet of solid rock and contaminate groundwater aquifer supplies. The new study is titled, “Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus Formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania.” A full copy is embedded below for MDN subscribers.
You may recall more than a year ago the same Duke department issued a study looking at whether or not methane migrates from natural gas drilling to local groundwater supplies and concluded that where’s there’s drilling, there’s an increase in methane migration (see this MDN story).
So is this “the other shoe dropping” from Duke? The final nail in the coffin that proves anti-drillers have been right all along?
The rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy to try and ban fracking by New York municipalities has now not only claimed possible future shale drilling, it’s also claimed casualties in traditional natural gas drilling. Collateral damage. Most New Yorkers are completely ignorant that fracking has been going on in New York for decades—fracking of vertical, conventional gas and oil wells. But they don’t (or won’t) bother to study the issue and try to understand it. It’s much easier to attend rallies and get worked up than it is to actually THINK.
And so the “wise leaders” of Avon Township in Livingston County, NY (western part of the state), against plenty of warning, passed a drilling ban on June 28 that includes not only shale gas horizontal drilling, but also includes conventional gas wells, pipelines and storage facilities. So a local driller has shut down their 16 gas wells in the township along with a pipeline, turning off low-cost gas that was flowing to the township itself. Way to go town board! Cut that nose off to spite your face. Dunderheads.
At a Monday meeting, the Wolf Creek Local Board of Education in Waterford (Washington County), OH voted to lease the mineral rights under school district property for Utica Shale drilling to PDC Energy. The lease terms are $3,000 per acre signing bonus and 18% royalties. School district officials, however, do not want any active drilling on the property—only underneath the property.
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