Gas in water well investigated
Water from a domestic well located on property owned by EnCana Oil and Gas was found last week to be contaminated with gas that may be linked to the company’s drilling, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.The contaminated well is located on 6500 Road, about 5 miles off of Dry Hollow Road south of Silt, said EnCana’s Sher Long.COGCC field representative Jamie Adkins issued a notice Friday stating that gas was detected in the well, Garfield County oil and gas auditor Doug Dennison said.EnCana staff contacted property owners last week living near the well to alert them of the discovery. Neighbors also learned that EnCana would bring in a completion rig to run further tests on the water to determine how the gas reached the domestic well.The COGCC has filed the proper paperwork for investigating and remediating the contaminated domestic water well, Dennison said. He said it’s not been determined if the contamination is linked to a nearby gas seep that occurred last spring. EnCana was fined $371,000 by the COGCC for that violation. EnCana officials in Rifle and Denver said they were unable to comment for this story.Adkins said two other gas wells located in the area south of Silt and operated by EnCana – the Schwartz and Brown wells – are showing elevated pressures, or what Dennison called a “bradenhead build-up,” which indicates a gas seep may occur. Adkins was “uncomfortable” with the readings, and is in the process of testing and analyzing his results, Dennison said. “It’s a preventative measure at this point,” said Dennison.Dennison said he knows news of contaminated water and elevated gas well pressures can cause concern, but warned against jumping to conclusions before all the data is in.”On all three instances, we really don’t have enough data to draw any conclusions,” Dennison said. “I hope people will allow time for that information to come in.”However, he did say potential gas seepage problems are not typical within the industry.”We find methane leaks, which are not unusual, but it’s fairly unusual” to receive this many reports of potential natural gas leaks occurring within a drilling zone, said Dennison.With the domestic water well contamination, Dennison said gas samples are being tested, and results from those tests should come in the mid- or latter part of this week. “We don’t know what it is,” Dennison said. “It could be a bad cement job.”A problem sealing off around a gas well with cement led to the gas seep last spring.Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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