Energy policy — oil and gas: Possible Wyoming groundwater pollution from frac’ing operations catches the eye of Colorado regulators

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dennis Webb):

Dave Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, spoke about that Wyoming study last week at the Northwest Colorado Oil & Gas Forum in Rifle. The study found possible drilling-related contaminants, including a substance sometimes used to hydraulically fracture oil and gas wells. “This is something that we have been following, and we will be looking into. It’s more complicated than the press has suggested, and the connection to (fracturing) is not as clear as some of the press reports have suggested,” Neslin said…

The EPA found or tentatively identified contaminants in 11 of 39 water wells it studied in Pavillion, Wyo. These include methane in eight wells, and 2-butoxyethanol, or 2-BE, in three wells. Sometimes used in fracturing as a foaming agent, 2-BE also is used in household cleaning products and other applications…

Neslin said several new Colorado oil and gas rules are designed to address concerns about water supply protection. These include requirements to report results of pressure testing related to fracturing operations, to abide by minimum operational setbacks from public drinking water supplies, and to keep chemical inventories that must be made available under appropriate circumstances. Rules already were in place regarding well casing and cementing and the protection of groundwater, Neslin said. The chemical inventory requirement applies when more than 500 pounds of a chemical are used or stored on a well site. State oil and gas commissioner Tresi Houpt said Colorado may have to evaluate whether that threshold is low enough to be adequate for some chemicals.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

2 thoughts on “Energy policy — oil and gas: Possible Wyoming groundwater pollution from frac’ing operations catches the eye of Colorado regulators

  1. This is a very interesting article, we have some people just out of our town limits who could provide a little more detailed information about exactly what they have experienced regarding the contamination of their wells. I will forward your article to them. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.
    Gary Hamlin
    Mayor, Pavillion WY

    1. Gary,

      It would be interesting to hear from those actually effected. Down here in Colorado we keep hearing that there is not a single instance where water well contamination can be tied to oil and gas exploration and production. There are doubters.

      Thanks for commenting.

      John Orr

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