"DEP Inspections Show More Shale Well Cement Problems"

Despite confident assurances from leaders in the go-go shale gas industry that pollution problems don't exist, records from Pennsylvania's environmental agency show that faulty casings and cement do indeed cause pollution of drinking water.

"At the recent Shale Gas Insight conference in Philadelphia, the CEO of one of the largest Marcellus Shale drilling companies in Pennsylvania was unequivocal in his message that methane contamination of drinking water supplies from faulty gas wells is at an end.

'Problem identified; problem solved,' Chesapeake Energy's Chairman Aubrey McClendon declared.

But violations data released last week by the state Department of Environmental Protection show problems persist with the cemented strings of steel casing meant to protect groundwater from gas and fluids in Marcellus wells.

In August, DEP inspectors found defective or inadequate casing or cement at eight Marcellus wells, including Hess Corp.'s Davidson well in Scott Twp., Wayne County - the first casing violation found in the county where only a handful of Marcellus wells have been drilled."

Laura Legere reports for the Scranton Times-Tribune September 18, 2011.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, 09/19/2011