Marshall County Man Continues To Find Methane in His Water Well

Marshall County Man Continues To Find Methane in His Water Well by Casey Junkins, October 30, 2010, News Register
“My water well is now a gas well.” Magers previously said his water well became contaminated with methane – and that natural gas began bubbling in Fish Creek – shortly after Chesapeake Energy began its hydraulic fracturing process at a production site roughly 1,200 feet from Magers’ water tank. Chesapeake officials previously confirmed the presence of methane in Magers’ water well but denied their operations generated the gas. … Monday, however, Magers’ situation seemed to take a turn for the worse. Upon detecting vapors Monday, he called 911 to alert the Cameron Volunteer Fire Department of his predicament. “He definitely has a problem with methane gas,” Fire Chief Brian Marling said of Magers, though Marling noted he could not comment further on the matter. Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart also reported to the scene to find the substance emitting from Magers’ well. “The fire officials believed it was gas coming out of the well,” Hart said. In September, a Chesapeake well fire on Pleasants Ridge in Marshall County burned for several days. Now, in an effort to eliminate the gas from his property, Magers has set a controlled fire in his former water well that continues to burn. “I’ve got something of an eternal flame back there, even though I don’t want it,” he said, trying to make light of the situation. As the fire continues to burn, Magers is waiting for help from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas, Chesapeake and his attorney, Eric Gordon. “This did not happen until the Chesapeake well came in,” Gordon said of the natural gas contaminating Magers’ well. “It would be a very unique coincidence if there were no issues with the water well before the gas well was put in – then, as soon as the gas well is put in, he starts getting gas in his water well.” Gordon said he contacted Chesapeake officials to alert them of Magers’ problems, while emphasizing that oil and gas office representatives are aware of the situation. Magers said workers with a firm known as Science Applications International Corp. have come to his house to examine the soil around the water well. Representatives of this company did not return calls seeking comment Friday. … One way or the other, Gordon said he will work to resolve the problem for Magers, noting, “We are looking at any and all legal measures we can take because the gas is clearly getting worse.”

However, a report compiled and signed by EEI Geophysical Earth Science Consultants Adjuster John Hempel notes, “It is likely that the cause of the gas venting at this home originates … with the new oil and gas drilling around the home.” [Emphasis added]

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