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Data Shows Connection Between Fracking and Methane in Well

Photo of Daniel Horowitz

For the past two years, residents of Parker County have experienced eruptions of flames shooting from their water wells as a result of dangerous levels of methane gas traveling into their water supply. Barnett Shale gas producers have claimed zero connection to their gas and oil operations, but a pair of scientists are now disputing this. This new connection has been made based on test results released by state regulators providing a direct connection to the fracking and groundwater contamination.

Steve Lipsky, a Parker County resident, first noticed the contamination in 2010 and claims that it has gotten worse over the years. Lipsky filed a complaint last summer with the Texas oil and gas regulators at the Texas Railroad Commission. As a result, field technicians and agents conducted tests to measure the quantity of gas in the well and the source, and the Texas Railroad Commission issued the results this week.

The tests revealed that the level of methane concentration in Lipsky's water well has slightly increased and the make-up of the methane has not revealed the specific source of the gas. The state's tests showed that the amount of methane is right under the federal government's unacceptable limit, but the tests performed by the University of Texas at Arlington measured a higher count. In fact, it was the highest methane contamination level he has ever seen.

The scientists who found this connection say that the chemical signature of the methane gas found in Lipsyk's well is almost an identical match of the chemical signature of the methane gas in the Barnett Shale. Additionally, a soil scientist reviewed the data and concluded that the gas in Lipsky's water is a result of the fracking operations. This could mark the nation's first conclusive link between fracking and water contamination.

If you or someone you know have been injured by water contamination as a result of fracking, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend by calling 713-396-3964 or 1-800-594-4884.

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