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Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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Don't know if anyone else has seen this, but some news articles are out there today stating that DEP has confirmed methane bubbling up in the North Branch of the Susky and methane contamination in a number of water wells/homes where nearby gas drilling has taken place.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 10:06


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna
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DEP probes methane bubbles
BY ELIZABETH SKRAPITS (STAFF WRITER)
Published: September 8, 2010

Warren Ruda / The Citizens' Voice DEP Secretary John Hanger said methane gas bubbling up in the Susquehanna River in Bradford County is likely 'gas that has migrated through the ground as a result of drilling in the area.'

The state Department of Environmental Protection is investigating the source of methane gas that bubbled up in the North Branch Susquehanna River near Sugar Run and six private water wells in Wilmot Township, Bradford County, last week.
The sites are in the same general location as two other instances of methane contamination involving a beaver pond and a residential water well, and Chesapeake Energy is evaluating its natural gas wells in the area, according to DEP Secretary John Hanger.
"This is probably gas that has migrated through the ground as a result of drilling in the area," he said.
Reports of gas bubbling up from the North Branch Susquehanna River came in to DEP late Thursday, with additional reports Friday. Hanger said DEP investigators were at the site all day Friday and are "running some pretty complex tests to identify what kind of gas it is and its source."
Chesapeake tested 26 residential wells within a half-mile radius of the river and found six of them had elevated methane levels. On Friday, high levels of methane were also detected in a crawl space of a seasonal home, according to DEP.
Methane is highly flammable and can cause fires or explosions. Chesapeake is taking corrective action at the new sites, as well as at the sites of two earlier incidents in the area, Hanger confirmed.
On June 25, DEP received a complaint of bubbling in a beaver pond west of Wyalusing. Methane was discovered Aug. 6 in a residential water well along Paradise Road in Terry Township.
Although Chesapeake has drilled numerous natural gas wells in the area - including the six wells at the Welles pad about two miles northwest of the Susquehanna River that DEP believes are the source of the earlier contamination - they have not been hydraulically fractured so no gas has been produced, Hanger said. The methane is not from the Marcellus Shale, which typically lies 5,000 to 8,000 feet deep, he said.
"The gas that is migrating is almost certainly gas from a shallower level, that should have been contained but wasn't," Hanger said.
DEP believes the wells at the Welles site are also the most likely source of the new contamination, but that has not been conclusively proved. The agency and Chesapeake are investigating. DEP expects analysis of lab results to be complete within two weeks.
"After testing of a section of the Susquehanna River near Sugar Run in Bradford County showed the presence of methane, Chesapeake immediately began working in cooperation with the PA Department of Environmental Protection to screen residences within a half-mile radius. Based on our field screenings, there is no immediate threat to public safety or the environment," said Brian Grove, Chesapeake's senior director of corporate development, in an e-mail.
"While the source of the methane has not yet been determined, Chesapeake is working closely with the DEP to find it," he stated. "Work will continue throughout the week to further #OOPS#ess the situation, and additional information will be provided when facts are confirmed."
Hanger said Chesapeake has been fully cooperative, including changing drilling practices, using different kinds of cement and well casings and agreeing to look at all 61 of its wells in the area.
eskrapits@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2072

Link to source: http://citizensvoice.com/news/dep-probes-methane-bubbles-1.998409


Another article: http://www.timesleader.com/news/DEP_l ... ubbles_up_09-05-2010.html




Posted on: 2010/9/8 10:14


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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I'm glad I quit smoking! You could be out fishing for smallmouth, light up, and suddenly become one with the atmosphere.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 10:23


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
DEP probes methane bubbles



It looks to me like the author of that headline as a sense of humor.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 11:46
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Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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The methane doesn't necessarily come from drilling, it comes from a variety of sources, on this we'll have to wait and see.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 17:09
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Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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It's muskie farts! Seriously, a good friend of mine from L. D. Guide Service took a boat ride to the methane pocket. His words: "It's rather small, about the size of a pie plate with little bubbles coming up. It doesn't seem to affect the SMB. I caught a few around the area of the bubbles."

Also, Chaz is right. In other places of the NB Suskie we have methane bubbling up for years (prior to the gas drilling). In fact, for years there has been a methane pocket bubbling near Ulster, PA. Methane is naturally bubbling in a few other places like Salt Springs State Park near Montrose, PA.

But, again... Chaz is right. We have to wait and see. So far, we (Bradford Co. residents) haven't been too adversely effected by the drilling. Increased traffic and a bit of petty crime but all in all it hasn't been too terrible. Except for the increase in crappy Mexican food that all the local diners insist on serving to the "new local drillers".

Posted on: 2010/9/9 7:30
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Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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Pretty crime is reason enough to stop this mess. It just breeds more crime.

Posted on: 2010/9/9 17:37
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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a bit of petty crime but all in all it hasn't been too terrible. Except for the increase in crappy Mexican food that all the local diners insist on serving to the "new local drillers".

what happened to providing jobs for locals??
other than some business for local restaurants and motels, maybe some excavators, doesn't seem like much of the money is going to be staying in this state.
pa gov should pass some laws, especially when drilling on state land. you want our gas, you'll hire pa residents to do the work.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 7:05


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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I have a friend that's in the industry. He is a fly fisherman, and cares deeply about protecting streams in the process.

Anyway, his firm is based in PA, and from what I can tell, most of the work is done by PA residents.

Might not be the case everywhere. Who knows. But it's not like every company is shipping people in from somewhere else.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 9:53


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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Maybe so in your neck of the woods. Here in Bradford Co. about 95% of the gas driller workers are out-of-staters... and I don't mean NY and NJ guys. I mean LA, Ok, and Texas.

But maybe my County is outside the norm? The locals who do work for the gas companies are not paid the same rate. These folks do the heavy labor like slashing brush to open up lands for the new well pads, loading pallets of rock, and some ditch digging for $9.25 an hour. I'm sure there are a few who make a good wage. I can think of one example. Our county sheriff Steven Evans resigned his post at the county to be the new security chief for Cheasepeake Gas for a whopping 6-figures. Also, a few of the private security firms pay about $18 an hour to their guards at the gas driller housing projects. Not a bad job to sit in a booth and jam your thumb up yer butt for 12 hours a day.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 11:14
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Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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There is an insane amount of engineering that goes into these projects, and most of it is done with PA engineers.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 11:15


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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2010/5/3 14:18
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Most of the jobs in Potter/Tioga appear to be given to folks from CO, LA, TX. Apparently at least one illegal person from Mexico was working in Potter. He was arrested from reports I read.

As far as security paying 18/hr, I'd like to see that. I've not seen a job posting or talked to a person actually doing it for more than $10/hr.

Posted on: 2010/9/16 11:24


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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There is NO north branch of the Susk only east and west branches.

Posted on: 2010/9/24 6:15


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna
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Quote:

osprey wrote:
There is NO north branch of the Susk only east and west branches.


Tell that to the commish........lol

http://www.fishandboat.com/images/reports/2010bio/4x06_03nb.htm

The North branch runs for the headwaters in upstate NY where the West branch meets near Sunbury.

Posted on: 2010/9/24 6:52


Re: Methane in North Branch Susquehanna

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2010/6/30 14:13
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
I have a friend that's in the industry. He is a fly fisherman, and cares deeply about protecting streams in the process.

Anyway, his firm is based in PA, and from what I can tell, most of the work is done by PA residents.

Might not be the case everywhere. Who knows. But it's not like every company is shipping people in from somewhere else.


What sort of work does the firm do in relation to MS drilling? I ask because I think (from the stories and accounts I've heard about) many of the big drilling companies are from out of state and are bringing in their own existing employees that are experienced with this type of drilling and setup and not hiring scores of PA residents without that type of experience. There are definitely some jobs out there for Pa residents, hauling wastewater or local geological & engineering firms and things like that but I think much of the drilling work is likely being done by exisiting employees. Many of these companies here are based several states away, I think its very much likely that many of their workers are coming in from out of state.

Posted on: 2010/9/24 10:57
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