Monday, May 3, 2010

More on Exco Gas Leak

Yesterday and today, the Shreveport Times featured articles on the aftermath of the recent leak at an Exco well that caused the evacuation of 135 families from their homes in south Caddo Parish, LA and the residents' frustration in returning home.  The well that caused the damage is being cemented and abandoned, but the problems have not yet been fully resolved.

The situation is still unresolved and is nothing compared to the horrible oil spill that keeps growing by the day in the Gulf of Mexico, but it points out the dangers of living with mineral extraction operations nearby (not that people needed a reminder).  I found it interesting that the drilling team hit the gas pockets that caused the problems between 1,200 feet and 1,500 feet, not that far below the aquifer.  I also found it interesting that methane in the water is not an uncommon occurrence in the region.  The Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer has lignite coal beds running through a portion of the aquifer. 

I haven't seen as much of a reaction from the anti-fracking crowd as I expected.  Perhaps they are focused on the larger crisis in the Gulf.  It will be interesting to see if this recent incident leads to new safety and environmental rules from the LA DNR.  This is a very sensitive time, and an incident like this only worsens perceptions of gas drilling.

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