Energy policy — oil and gas: Production effects on groundwater

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Here’s an update on the homeowner near Fort Lupton whose well water is contaminated with natural gas, from Jordan Steffen writing for the Greeley Tribune. From the article:

Amee Ellsworth met with representatives from Noble Energy and Anadarko. The two companies own the eight natural gas wells near Ellsworth’s home; one well may be contaminating Ellsworth’s water supply with flammable gas. Representatives met with Ellsworth and her husband at their home, and collaborated to provide them with safe living conditions. Ellsworth said she was glad to see the two companies working together to create solutions for her home. She worries, however, that their proposals do not offer answers for both sides of the problem. “Overall the problem is we want safe and clean water. They’ve addressed the clean part, but not the safe” part, Ellsworth said. She said that a treatment unit will provide clean drinking water, but she still worries about the buildup of the dangerous gas.

John Christiansen, a representative for Anadarko, said the two companies are working together to find a way to help Ellsworth. The exact cause of the contamination has not been determined, Christiansen said. Anadarko is responsible for three of the eight wells that may be responsible for the leak. Christiansen said the wells were tested in October 2008, and no malfunction was found. Testing will continue and rigs to monitor the wells will be put in place next week, he said. Nobel Energy representative Stephen Flaherty said that Noble is working hard with Anadarko to make sure the family is safe. Noble also will place monitoring rigs on their wells, he said. Both companies will continue to look for long-term solutions, Flaherty said.

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