EnCana defends itself over seep; Bracken a no-show | PostIndependent.com

EnCana defends itself over seep; Bracken a no-show

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

PARACHUTE, Colorado – An expected showdown between Divide Creek resident Lisa Bracken and the oil and gas industry fizzled Monday when Bracken did not attend a Garfield County commissioners meeting.Meanwhile, the gas drilling company that has been a target of her criticism, appeared at the meeting with a rebuttal letter to be read into the record.Sher Long of EnCana Oil & Gas (USA) presented a written statement to the Garfield County commissioners rejecting Bracken’s assertion that drilling-related contamination of the local creek has never been corrected.Bracken has charged that a “seep” related to gas drilling in her neighborhood is still bubbling up in the creek, and has said not enough is being done to monitor the situation.EnCana at one point was fined $378,000 for improper cementing of a gas well in the Divide Creek drainage, causing a seep that contaminated the creek.Bracken alleges that methane has continued bubbling up from deep underground, from what are known as “thermogenic” sources that may be linked to gas drilling activities.But EnCana, in its statement to the commissioners on Monday, argued that a “soil gas survey” of the Bracken property was conducted last September, in keeping with Bracken’s demands.That survey, according to Doug Hock, director of EnCana’s community relations office, concluded that the methane bubbling up in the creek is of “biogenic” origin, meaning it came from a shallower source than “thermogenic” gas.Hock’s letter stated that scientists identified the gas as “characteristic of a fermentation source” comparable to marsh gas.And while “trace amounts … of thermogenic compounds were detected,” Hock’s letter maintains, the amounts were so minute that there was “no evidence to indicate that thermogenic hydrocarbons have impacted the area surveyed.”Bracken, in an e-mail advisory sent Monday morning, said the information she planned to present was redundant because she had already presented the information at previous meetings.In addition, she wrote, she had repeatedly sought assistance from the commissioners in her resistance to nearby gas drilling activities. She said her attorneys advised her to not attend the March 14 meeting.jcolson@postindependent.com

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