This past August methane was found in three private water wells in Lenox Township, located about 10 miles east of Dimock, PA. Investigators from the PA Department of Environmental Protection determined that the gas migrated from a flawed well drilled by Cabot Oil and Gas Corp.
Local news reports that video taken inside one of Cabot’s wells shows that steel casing was improperly constructed. Also that methane was found between the cemented strings of casing in all three gas wells on the well pad – evidence, state regulators note, of flaws in construction.
How much methane are we talking about? Before drilling, the methane level in one well was 0.3 milligrams per liter (about 0.3 ppm). Post drilling those levels shot up to 49 ppm (measured on Aug. 16) and 57 ppm (measured on Aug. 18).
At this time Cabot has installed methane detection alarms in the homes, vented the affected water wells, and is delivering replacement drinking water to two of the homes. The methane level in the third well has decreased to a level not requiring an alternate water supply, explains DEP.
Cabot spokesman George Stark told the press that “Cabot is committed to safe and responsible operations and takes matters like this very seriously.”
Until a journalist followed up on this investigation, DEP had not posted the results of their investigation. That, DEP says, was an “oversight”. Read more here.