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Chesapeake Says WV Water Wells Contain Methane Before Drilling

by Kenneth E. DuBose on August 9, 2011

West Virginia’s water wells often have dissolved methane present before natural gas drilling ever commences. A Chesapeake study tested wells before any drilling occurred and found the presence of methane in more than 1 in 10 wells. The study was done in hopes to deter criticism that natural gas drilling is contaminating fresh water sources.

“Chesapeake Energy–funded laboratory tests find dissolved methane in about 11 percent of northern panhandle drinking-water wells before drilling for gas in the Marcellus shale ever begins.

Two wells of 1,312 tested in Brooke, Ohio, Marshall and Wetzel counties turned up with potentially dangerous levels of methane.

Chesapeake released its data to the State Journal as follow-up to a May study that showed methane contamination of drinking-water wells in northeast Pennsylvania and nearby New York state. Methane concentrations in the study were higher nearer active shale gas wells, with some concentrations at dangerous levels, and the methane bore a chemical signature that resembles gas from the Marcellus depths.”

Read the full news release at

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