Energy policy — oil and gas: Production effects on groundwater

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From KDVR-TV via the Associated Press: ” A woman said she lives in constant fear and is terrified her home could blow up because of natural gas that has managed to seep into her water supply. Amee Ellsworth can turn on a faucet in her kitchen or bathroom, flick a lighter and watch flames shoot up from the sink. And Ellsworth said she’s afraid she or her neighbors are at imminent risk of an explosion. Dave Neslin from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said the gas is likely coming from a leaking well, but there are eight wells located within a half-mile of Ellsworth’s home. The wells are owned by two different energy companies.”

Update: More coverage from the Greeley Tribune including a link to Fox 31 video:

[Amee] Ellsworth and [Renee] McClure’s water wells tap into an aquifer that probably provides water for as many as a hundred homes, Ellsworth said. Ellsworth worries that natural gas will build up in her home and explode after a spark, she said. She showers in the dark to avoid switching on the light and inadvertently cause a spark. Dark showers are not the only negative effect. The contaminated water makes Ellsworth’s home nearly impossible to sell. Her homeowner’s insurance will likely be canceled, she said…

The state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is continuing its investigation. It is also working with the two companies responsible for natural gas wells in the area, Noble Energy and Anadarko. Spokespeople from Noble Energy and Anadarko declined to answer questions about the incident but said they were concerned for the families’ health and working to solve the problem. Today, Ellsworth will meet with representatives from both gas companies, according to Neslin. Ellsworth said Anadarko has made no contact with her. Noble Energy has offered to install a water treatment unit at Ellsworth’s home, she said. Ellsworth, however, worries that a water treatment unit is not a long-term answer. After consulting Boulder GNC Water Well, Ellsworth worries that the natural gas will continue to vent from the ground and accumulate in her home.

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