The EPA released a report today on Pavillion, a 1990’s conventional gas field, that while not yet independently reviewed says hydraulic fracturing caused water contamination. Questerre previously publicized the Frac Attack report that listed this field as a potential example of water contamination. We knew about this incident and made it available on our web site some time ago.
I don’t know whether the EPA is correct or not and some groups in America are vociferously protesting the EPA’s process as unfair. This might be right but I think it misses the point. What happened under the regulations in Wyoming over a decade ago, would not be allowed under the stricter regulations in Canada.
The EPA reports that at Pavillion, fracs were conducted as shallow as 372 m and surface casing was set as shallow as 110m and there were examples of cementing problems.
Whether it’s true or not, why not agree on the report’s three recommendations:
1. Baseline testing of water wells.
2. Disclosure of frac chemicals.
3. Improvement in well engineering and construction
Questerre has been advocating a discussion on those issues for some time. Perhaps this report will shift the debate from the idea you can frac through 1 or 2 kilometers of rock to issues where you really can contaminate ground water.
Or will the Gasland crowd extrapolate from a possible incident in a conventional well, to say it’s why you can light your tap on fire. The prospect of that is enough to make me want to light my hair on fire.