This is messed up: woman can light her tap water on fire (Video)

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Apparently Sherry Vargson lives near a drilling site in Granville Township, PA where fracking takes place, and she thinks that’s gotten enough methane into her water supply to make her water flammable. I don’t know anything about the science or politics involved here, but this totally shouldn’t happen, right?

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  • toto

    it is not due to fracking. It was already like this before.

    • you.

      My waters got methane in it… better go ahead and light it on fire..

    • mazzie

      Thank you! So glad there are some educated people out there.!!! Our waters here in PA -northeast- have done this for 200 years.

      • Joe

        Jesus christ I live here and i had no idea…not drinking the water anymore.. This place is Mexico to me now.

      • Underbaker

        Not to call you out here on anything, but the lady was calling off some actual numbers on how much methane was in the water before and after the Fracing while you are trying to tell me they had running water from underground in PA 200 years ago and knew there was methane in it. Where is your education coming from? Perhaps research put out by the same people doing the Fracing?

        • Steve

          Changes in tap water methane cannot be deemed to have changes due to fracking. Causality does not exists on the basis on nearby fracking and methane gas changes. If it were true that it did then people could claim their own gas was due to fracking and not the burritos thay ate last night. The claim that there is any relationship has been shown to be untrue with the exception of Al Gore level research.

          • Underbaker

            Let me make sure to say here that I am in no sense of the word an authority on Fracing and I didn't even sleep at La Quinta last night. but is looks to me that what you are saying that Fracing is not creating the Methane Gas in the water any more then it is creating the gas emitting from my ass. I can totally agree with that. But if you start Fracing my body and my penis starts to fart it is not the source of the gas that is giving me a problem here but how that gas is now escaping from where it was originally located.

            • Lotus

              FRACKING happens way below the water table buddy. It would cause a lot more issues than flammable water if it didn't

              • TU_Joe

                and then the gas is left all the way down there? or does it pass thru the "water table" on its way up?

    • Guest

      "fracking" doesnt have a k. It short for hydraulic fracturing. Sorry, pet peeve

      • Yup

        You prefer "fracing" or "fracting"? …No it's "fracking"

    • Bimzer55

      Fracking is incorrectly associated with Gas in the water… It is a natural migration pattern for gas to accumulate in H2O. Wish folks that promote dis-information would check facts first….

      • I don't know

        Ok, so it naturally happens, I don't think anyone is disputing that. But it seems like fracing is speeding up that process. The lady says they tested it before hand and it was at .1, now after fracing it's at 64. So what happened? Did the amount of methane (which just so happens to be a part of the fracing process) just magically go from a minute unnoticeable level to the ability to cause water to be flamible in a short amount of time? What are we missing?

        • I don't know

          I'm so glad all the experts on fracing are here explaining their argument. There is a single question that you all seem unable to answer. If fracing is harmless and doesn't at the very least exacerbate methane getting into the drinking water, then what caused it to go from the levels she mentions in the video of .1 to 64 after fracing started? Was it all just a big coinecedence? Is there something were missing?

          I'm not saying fracing is evil or that we shouldn't do it, its the best way to obtain natural gas at the moment. But, to sit here and argue there is no down side to it is ridiculous and to act like you all some how have a super informed opinion to back up that claim when you fail to acknowledge its down sides is pretentious. Down vote me and flame me or whatever makes you feel better but, you know what I'm saying is true.

    • Tom

      People need to do real research instead of watching Michael Moore-esq propaganda pieces which gives mindless talking points. Educate thineself.

    • JoJo

      the bottom line is frack or no frack, oil companies have no fucks to give when it comes to lives. take yo PHD's and shove them up your asses.

    • Matt
      • Smitty

        Our water in Western Iowa has SULFUR in it. Is smells worse than methane. But no Fracking going on here, no oil drilling, no coal mining. Which capitalist industry should I target for my woes? Damnit I want cleaner water and someone else should have to pay for it!

  • John

    Can she set fire to the rain too?

    • ufmj

      Well played, sir.

    • Applefish

      Nope, but Adele can.

    • Bob

      Why you no smoke in the shower anymore honey?

  • this guy says

    so if she is saying that its a bad thing then why is she smiling while she lights it on fire

    • Drakesies

      She's smiling because at heart she's a Pyro.

  • Craig

    The movie Gasland is all about fracking and the problems it causes. Definitely worth watching.

    • Pete

      And FrackNation (to be released soon) debunks Gasland.

      • JackDiesel

        It must be true if they made a movie about it. Use your heads people. Fracing takes place 5000+ feet below the earth's surface, the water suppy is at like 50 feet below. Most of the rock/shale between the two is impermeable (which means nothing can travel through it). The water supply is protected by a layer of concrete and steel from the wellbore. There ain't nothing getting into your water.

        Stop relying on movies backed by people with an agenda and get an education, maybe try and think for yourself for a change.

        • Chaz

          Actually recent studies have found that the "impermeable" rock is permeable on occasion. That doesn't mean fracking is to blame as sometime gas and water do migrate through the barrier naturally, but it does lend some credence to the possibility that fracking is at least partially to blame.

          • JackDiesel

            I'm not talking about small samples of rock that someone tested on in a lab. I'm talking about thousands of feet worth shale, often in multiple layers. So if fracking breaks up one layer the next layer will trap it. If there was any truth to what you were saying the natural gas would have escaped long ago.

            • HelloThere

              You are literally making this up as you go, aren't you? "the natural gas would have escaped long ago"? rotflmao!

              Leave it to the frat bro's on the Chive to be fracking apologists.

              • JackDiesel

                Frat Bro? I'm an engineer and unlike you I've been educated on this. I know the science.

                Let's use our brains for a second. The gas is trapped under the surface by layers of impermeable rock aka shale. If the rock was really permeable like Chaz said then that gas would no longer be trapped and would seep through the rock to the surface, hence "the natural gas would have escaped long ago." Pretty simple actually.

                Get an education and stop being so ignorant.

                • tapsnapornap

                  Yeah that's all true enough, but bad cement jobs can allow a path from the producing formation to groundwater. Frac or no frac, this can and does happen.

                  • DriilersGoDeeper

                    You do know that an oil company will run a Cement Bond Log (CBL) before they frac the well to make sure the the cement job was good right? And last time I checked (about 8 days ago) they are extremely accurate…

                    • tapsnapornap

                      Yes I do know that, and they are by no means foolproof. And what about 40 year old wells that are still producing? What if they're sour gas wells? I'm just playing devil's advocate here, the comment that the overlying formations are impermeable at some point is correct, and that the oil and or gas would not get trapped and would continue to migrate to surface if this were not true. I am merely pointing out a path for produced fluids to get to surface in the face of impermeable formations. Not everyone on this forum understands the ins and outs of drilling and producing a well, I do. I am skeptical that fracing is what is causing the increased methane in some places, rather than just drilling itself and bad/old cement jobs.

                    • DriilersGoDeeper

                      I've worked as both a WO rep, and a Drill Rep for close to ten years. I can tell you as a WO Rep, I've been to some really old fields in Texas (old enough where they left parts of the wooden derricks behind, and they used Nitroglycerin to frac it the first time around) so we'll say around 80 years old. And while I've seen wellheads fall off when you kick them, I still haven't seen any Methane, Ethane, Butane or Iso-Butane in the drinking water. Are there bad cement jobs, sure but cementing as come long way in the last 40 years, on the other hand the quality of the casing has dropped horribly.
                      Is it possible that at some point the overlying formations are impermeable, sure. But depending on the area of the US you are in the fracs are only extending to 250' +/- from the wellbore. That's why I'm extremely skeptical of anyone who says that drilling caused the problem.

                    • JackDiesel

                      I appreciate your informed comments unlike the joker a little ways up. However, you're talking about a catastrophic cement job if the gas is getting to the water reservoir all the way from the gas reservoir, meaning there is no cement between the two points. That'd be thousands of feet which is pretty much unheard of and at that point contaminating the water reservoir with gas is the least of your problems, you're looking at losing your entire gas reservoir (meaning you're no longer producing) or if the cement is bad all the way to the BOP an uncontrolable blowout.

                    • DriilersGoDeeper

                      Thanks Jack!
                      And most people don't realize but there are usually 3-5 strings of pipe between where they are fracing and their drinking water.
                      Plus most of the regulatory agencies require that you cover all the producing formations plus 700' (Texas) with cement, and it's just good practice to try to get cement past your last shoe. (i'm sure by now most people are lost).

                    • JackDiesel

                      Preaching to the choir. Honestly I didn't even know regulations were 700' because it's just standard practice to case in and cement your entire hole, from the surface to the TD.

                      Unfortunately it's an information war that the oil companies are losing thanks to the current political climate. So much of what the environmentalists are spouting are flat out lies but people eat it right up because they don't know any better. I mean heck, we live in the areas where we are drilling, why on earth would we want to destroy the environment where we live? And if you've ever met a driller you'd know that they are about as big of an outdoorsmen as you can get.

                    • tapsnapornap

                      People being lost here is part of the problem, most of the people in this debate have no fucking clue what they're even talking about!!! 5 Strings, really, where the hell are you running 5 casing strings?! What's the MD on those wells?

                    • ZacHart96

                      10 year mineral lab tech here in central okc, I really wish I had not missed this debate.

                    • tapsnapornap

                      That doesn't mean that there is no cement between the 2 points. It means that here is a channel that fluid can travel through, between the 2 points. This can happen over time if any gas happens to migrate in between the casing and cement, usually starting at the perfs. If it is sour then it can really eat away at the casing as well, eventually working it's way up. I am talking about extremely small channels here, not giant holes or gaps in cement. I'm sure both of you know that surface casing has to be a certain depth past water and is cemented to surface, but subsequent casing strings are not necessarily required to be cemented to surface, so yes there are large, uncemented portions of wells. If you know all about CBLs then you have heard of a cement squeeze, right?

                    • JackDiesel

                      I'm sure he as talking about liner's as well. It's pretty common to have a surface casing, then a intermediate casing, and then after that liners are typically used but everything is cemented into place. I know on one of our big wells we have 3 casings tied into the surface and an additional 3 liners to get to TD but that's a 19,000 ft well. Nothing is escaping out of that one.

                      I know what you meant but what I was saying is that even when there is a ratty cement job there will be at least one area where the cement is fully bonded all the way around the casing. When you're talking about thousands of feet it's going to happen a lot. Cement squeezes are mainly used down near the production zone to keep you from producing water from a nearby zone (and for any laymen reading it's not groundwater).

                    • tapsnapornap

                      I was thinking offshore or something super deep like that, to have 5 casing strings even if we're including liners. I've heard of cement squeezes due to H2S migration and corrosion concerns. God forbid someone actually reads these comments and doesn't see your groundwater disclaimer!

                    • DriilersGoDeeper

                      Thanks again Jack-
                      And yes at times you do go and back and perf / squeeze wells. But it' s more in the older wells now that you have options such as Ryte Wrap. In your newer wells like in Pa. It's highly doubtful.

                      And the whole point in this was that a women could light her tap water on fire- and claimed it was because of fracing. I still say it isn't possible, if it were 3/4 of W. Texas would be on fire.

          • Guest

            You have taken these studies out of context. Impermeable rock can be permeable under certain conditions, however it would still take thousands if not millions of years for fluids or gasses to flow through them. Fracturing started in the last 50 years, so unless a permeable rock its very fractured and the reservoir is very shallow its HIGHLY unlikely that hydraulic fracturing is what allowed methane into the water table.

        • Guest

          If methane gets into the water table it is much more likely that it is from wells that were decommissioned 20+ years ago and were improperly abandoned. No real scientific studies have proven hydraulic fracturing has affected the water table in any area.

      • Mayman

        I love how everybody slams the skeptical people, but supports the oil companies. If you knuckleheads had ANY inkling of how intertwined oil is with our government, you would smack yourselves in the face for being that ignorant. WAKE UP PEOPLE, the oil companies and government are LYING to you, and destroying the planet at your expense. Just keep thinking that the world is a soft and friendly place, and that no corporation every told a lie, just like they want you to…sheep.

    • Kevin

      Gasland is bullshit. Checkout Truthland.

      • Simon

        I want to go to Wally World, does that help?

        • Cameron

          I'm sorry, the park is closed. The moose out front should have told you.

    • Billy

      The movie Gasland is also full of lies

    • Dan

      For an art movie, yes. For truth about the process of hydraulic fracturing…not so much. The movie is FILLED with errors, omissions and downright fallacies:

    • Preston

      God I hate people that get their facts from fucking documentaries. It's hard for me to understand how someone can be so incredibly stupid as to think documentaries are a good place to get facts. You seem like the type to ask salesmen if you should buy their products. Do my future children a favor and don't reproduce.

      • Guest

        Actually, documentaries and books are an excellent way to get facts. Unfortunately, some of them contain misleading information. The point is not to stop looking for facts, only to be smart about what you're reading and watching. YOU sir, sound like someone who buries his head in the sand entirely. So where do you get YOUR information? The news? lololololol! Let's face it buddy, pretty much every source of information these days is spun one way or another, and none of us know the real truth. And that's exactly the way THEY want it.

    • EamuFish

      "The report, released here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW), doesn't give this form of natural gas extraction a clean bill of health. Rather, it suggests that problems aren't directly caused by fracking, a process in which water, sand, and chemicals are pumped into wells to break up deep layers of shale and release natural gas. Instead, the report concludes, contamination tends to happen closer to the surface when gas and drilling fluid escapes from poorly lined wells or storage ponds." –

    • Chris

      Chivers. I work in PA in the fracking industry. It's really fracking awesome. This woman has it right. Surface methane can bestow upon homeowners the magical ability to light their tap water on fire! Wow! Only people in PA have been able to do this since before Pennsylvania was colonized. If you read the accounts of William Penn blazing a trail across the state he writes of literal testicles, I mean balls of flame shooting out of the ground. Pennsylvania has always had a surface methane problem. Now people whose neighbors have gotten rich off signing leases and whose uneducated environmental concerns have led them to opt out of getting rich or dyin trying like fity, had to try and find something to complain about. Also, gasland? The director is a trust fund baby from NYC who burned down his fathers camp in north east PA to collect the insurance money. Oh and all the ash and chemicles that ran off from said fire went directly into the river…who's worse now?

  • William

    Franking awesome!

    • Pete

      Fracking fail.

      • Smitty

        Look at all the FREE energy she could capture from her water well! She just needs a better purifier and then she wouldn't have to buy gas or electricity to heat her house!

        Necessity is the mother of invention. She has a problem. The people in Gas Land have a problem. Someone should invent a separator, pump, and storage tank. Methane to heat your home, and fresh water to drink and bathe.

  • Andrew

    Methane gas in water has nothing to do with fracking. FYI.

    • Indeed

      According to who?

    • Robert b

      Do you even no what fracking is.

      • Phil

        As a petroleum engineer, I do. He's right. This is not a new occurrence. There are many places with methane pockets surrounding the water table. How about you read up on it before spreading false information in an attempt to troll people.

        • I don't know

          Ok, but what explains what she said in the video? She said they did a test prefracking and the levels were .1 and currently they are now 64. So what explains that? Not trying to be a smartass or a troll, it just seems like there's something all us non informed folks are missing.

          • ZacHart96

            She failed to cite who preformed the test and with what, validity of her statements and the tests results are questionable without the data. I test shale for a living and report to petroleum/geological engineers. Never believe someone who doesn't produce physical scientific evidence. 80% of rock we test from PA has high levels of methane usually from 0'-1400' BES.

  • DukeKeyjo

    drink two glasses of fraking water and give me a call.

    • Frack

      Fracking water is deposited in above ground ponds that are lined so that they cannot seep back into the earth. They let the water evaporate and then cover the salt remains with a ton of sand and repurpose the area. The footprint for fracking is like 100sq ft max.

      • rick

        Yea poorly lined pits, that do leak. Go to a site and look at these pits. I build better ones for ponds. Not to mention how wasteful it is. It uses a lot of water and that water in contaminated. Benzene amd surfactants shouldnt be put into the earth. Period.

  • Bill Whittle

    Not to pile on, but fracking has nothing do do with this. Towns like Sulphur Springs have had methane in the water since… forever: that's how they got their names. And as far as Gasland is concerned: I am friends with the people that made FrackNation, and when they asked the director of Gasland why he didn't mention the fact that people in certain parts of the country have been able to set fore to their water FOR CENTURIES, he replied, "Who sent you?!"

    But he didn't deny it.

    Fracking is safe, and natural gas burns VERY clean.

    • Who really knows?

      Says the guy who's friends with the people creating the opposing propaganda "documentary."

      • dochandy

        aaaaaaaaaaaand scene.

    • dochandy

      serious question that has nothing to do with the above video: let's say a company comes into a community to start drilling. the people in this community had, until this point, water that lacked the pizzazz of flammability. drilling starts and all of a sudden, FLAME ON! water ignites everywhere! candlelit baths take out 100s of elderly relaxation seekers and straight edge kids can finally do flaming shots like everyone else! explain using science?

    • Anon

      I am pretty sure Sulphur is not equal to Methane….so Sulphur Springs could not have gotten their name from Methane in the water or they would be called Methane Springs…

      • peter

        Aaaaaaah, wrong – the Sulphur from Sulphur Springs relates to the smell of Sulphur and Sulphur Dioxide that is commonly present in natural gas. Fracing had absolutely nothing to do with this. It is either naturally occurring , as numerous people have already attested to in these comments, or it is do to a bad job of cementing the ground casing on a nearby (actually very nearby) gas well. As with any activity, whether it is driving a truck or drilling a well, if you make a mistake (see bad cement job) there could be problems – but in no way is fracing inherently dangerous.

    • cec

      thats not entirely true

      • cec

        Sorry that is not entirely true fracking (or fraccing as some call it) does cause methane to leak into water supplies sometimes but methane also leaks into water supplies naturally over time. Fracking though is not 100 percent safe the dangers of blow outs (when the gas rapidly leave the ground and collects in the air) can actually be a very serious issue towns have had to been evacuated due to the fire hazard. Also the fracking fluid can also contaminate the water if the wastewater ponds leak (and they tend to) or if the water is not disposed of properly. When it comes down to it it is sort of a grey area

  • @cjdegrave

    It does have to do with fracking and I really do suggest watching Gasland. With working with Clean Water Action before and now working with Food and Water Watch, I learned all about what's going on with the new hydraulic fracturing. It's a pretty serious and scary issue that needs to be dealt with even if flammable water is cool :p

    • Really?

      You learned all about it from a one sided documentary? ** insert Willy Wonka face *** Please, tell me more!

      • Danny

        Did you read the comment? She said she's worked with two different action groups, and that's where she learned about the hydraulic fracturing methods

    • thedude325

      Yea, there are people who make money off of other peoples fear. They sell you lies, give you a solution to the made up problem, and then watch the money roll in. Many of these "documentaries" are spun to produce a made up issue in order to push an agenda. Not taking everything at face value can be extremely helpful to avoid people who are trying to take advantage of you.

      • smiles with you

        Honestly who do you trust when the experts don't agree??

        • thedude325

          The ones who put their money where their mouth is.

      • anonymous

        docuganda :)

    • SGT_Fati

      I have a car in my garage which runs completely on air I would like to sell you for 5000 dollars…

  • Av10


  • Wilson

    Who gives a frack?

  • Too early to tell

    I think it's a bit early and uncertain right now to be able to tell what effects fracking really has. However, it does seem suspicious that some of these companies will not allow independent tests on the process, and with the energy industry's past, I think it's a bit scary to let them run full steam ahead with this before we know what side effects it may have. I hope it can be done safely though, as natural gas is a great solution as a bridge until we can get something more sustainable going. Plus, the US has tons of it, so we could make some good money.

    • Rock Doc

      I am a geologist for an O&G company, and I can tell you that the reason companies don't make their processes public is that they are in a competitive environment with other companies. Many of the fracture stimulation designs, chemical, and propping agents are proprietary. It's not that they don't want the public to know, it's more that they don't want their competitors knowing how they are stimulating their wells.

    • EamuFish

      Posted link above to University study that was very careful not to get any outside funding on the project… Basically people put in wells and waste ponds that were shoddily made and the waste ponds (that generate METHANE from decomposing human waste) are leaking into the peoples wells.

  • bfgv

    Tig ol Bitties.

  • ChristOnACracker

    I don't know guys… This is a woman, in a kitchen, which makes me tend to believe she is an expert in said field.

  • QuaziWood

    Bitch could always just buy bottled water. Pretty pretty pretty easy solution

    • RealZoo

      Why is she a "bitch" and why does she need to purchase bottled water? Shouldn't she be able to enjoy tap water in her home for drinking, bathing and any other use w/o fear of contamination?

      • Muhammed

        Flammable or not, you should NEVER be drinking tap water. Install a filter for rinsing foods, making pasta, etc. Do NOT trust your city's "treatment" processes.

        • Simon

          When you say NEVER, you must mean NEVER where you are, yes?

          Where I am, it's just fine and dandy to do so, thank you. Supposedly better than bottled water in some ways.

          • oilfield trash

            you say that but why dont you get with the water company and find out what chemicals they use to treat your tap water. i wonder what kind of pipes they use to get this water to your house? maybe iron, cast iron, unless its a new water station and city/town then im sure that the pipes that r used can and did and will rust. so go head and drink your rust and chemicals

            • ALJULIUS

              When you say tap water you mean CITY SUPPLIED TAP WATER. Not everybody gets their water from the city. And I am almost certain that this lady gets her water from either a well or a spring on her property, most likely a well. That is how the methane is gathering. If you don't know what a well is look it up.

            • trl87

              Conspiracy theorist FTW. Oh wait, ALJULIUS called you on your bullshit. Also, a lot of water supplied to cities for distribution is already of drinking water quality. It is treated with chlorine to kill microbes but that is a good thing. Unless you are a writhing mass of grotesqueries like oilfield trash over there. BTW, oilfield trash, what is your preffered means of transportation?

        • Yup

          You sir, are a moron. For instance NYC tap water is tested for chemicals, bacterica, and contamination over 500,000 times per year. How often is bottled water tested? Dasani for instance (not that I am picking on them in particular) does not disclose if/when and how frequently their water is tested. Further more in 2005 DASANI brand of bottled water was found to have an illegally high level of cancer-causing chemical called bromated. You won't find that in tap water.

          • Charter896

            "The government tells me it's clean, therefore I know it's safe!" Uh, no sir, YOU are the fucking moron.

          • BackO'MyHand

            what has two thumbs and doesnt give a shit? This guy

    • Wannamaker

      Companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi and Nestle are buying up huge reserves of municipal water supplies and then selling it back to you in petroleum based bottles for huge profit. Fresh water supplies are dwindling, and toxicologists who study the composition of bottled water at room temperature are blown away by all the chemicals in these bottles.

      There may be natural leaching of methane and other VOC's in groundwater sources, but widespread fracking is a definite contributor to aquifer contamination.

      This is an important discussion, and water quality and supply is definitely the next big global issue.

  • Justin Keylard

    I work for a company who costs sand for fracking and the flammable tap water has nothing to do with fracking

    • Justin Keylard


    • Who really knows?

      Says the guy who is making money off the process.

      • Justin Keylard

        I make money either way. I'm
        Just an operator Im not in supervision or management. I just know the process and what goes into the sand.

        • cec

          everyone knows its not the actual fluid it is the actual breaking of the rock. If some of the methane is not collected then it will leak. The methane causes the water to become flammable. But methane has been known to naturally leak but a 2011 MIT research group found there is enough evidence fracking can cause methane to leak into a water supply

  • BackO'MyHand

    How's about you put down the matches, finish those dishes, and fix me a sandwich…

  • Vlad

    Fuck this shit I don't want it in My country, go Frack your self Chevron

    • oilfield trash

      well then give up everything u own then. everything u own that is made by man all goes back to the oilfield/fracking.

    • SGT_Fati

      Feel free to move out of America. We won't miss you

  • TheCewb

    Meanwhile in Africa…

  • Beldar

    It's not "too early to tell" about fracking. I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in west Texas, where they were already fracking — it's NOT a new process.

    Ground water has been contaminated by natural gas — why do you think they call it "natural" gas? — since before recorded history. There are gas deposits that naturally occur at shallow depths, and that Mother Nature naturally mixes into some groundwater.

    Fracking, by contrast, takes place thousands of feet below the surface, which also means thousands of feet below groundwater reservoirs.

    Fracking is this year's "cause of the moment" among the stupid, the gullible, and those who are against progress. A post like this one only shows your ignorance, although you're far from alone in it.

    • I hate progress

      And the gas just magically moves from thousands of feet below the surface to the surface without anything going through the water tables? I'm sold!

      • Shoofly

        Not magically… through the casings that are inserted into the well so they can more effectively capture the gas, as it doesn't leach back into the ground on the way up through the casing.

        • trl87

          Where are people getting this "most groundwater is at the surface" bullshit? Not true. At all. There are orders of magnitude more water in confined aquifers than in unconfined aquifers (and unconfined aquifers can still be very deep), let alone than at the surface. I am NOT saying we need to stop fracing (looks dumb but the "right" way to spell it) because I love petroleum and all that we get from it. However, some of the same rock units that hold water hold oil, they just happen to be separated laterally and vertically. But, to claim that most water is at the surface is misinformation. FRAC ON! Speaking of which, I need fuel…

    • Gullible me

      I think her point is that the amount of methane in the water supply seems to have substantially increased. That doesn't seem "natural." Also, I'm no scientist and I didn't grow up in West Texas, but I don't think "natural" means you want it in your water.

    • dochandy

      is beldar a scientist???

    • Zack

      the first frac wasn't until the 70s and was in Kansas. The first West Texas frac was in the 80s, just fyi.

      • poopmakeswaterbad

        I'm willing to bet the bad water in kansas is all the damn pig farms that are, unlike large slaughter farms, scattered everywhere and smell like shit for miles

      • cec

        1860s in new york and kentucky

    • jdubs21

      Beldar I'm glad wikipedia told you it first started in the 50s, but the truth is fracking wasn't really used until Halliburton perfected the technology in the late 90s. If you have ever worked with fracking fluid as I have you would know that it is some incredibly nasty shit, and it does cause contamination. A typical well uses about 3.0 million gallons of fluid, which 98% is comprised of water. That mix gets sent down the whole and then they only bring back around 50% of it The rest of the fluid is never recovered. The fluid they do recover gets trucked back out and into waste ponds, where they wait for it to evaporate.

      So where do you think the rest of the fracking fluid goes if it doesn't come back up. After the cracking process is complete, which opens up "veins" in the bedrock and the fluid seeps downwards. Now if you have a well nearby which many farmers do, it generally seeps into the aquifers.

      I work for an oil company in Canada, and we have much stricter laws, and environmental laws than the US. Dick Cheney and Halliburton got the water conservation laws changed so that they could go ahead with fracking. You don't have to believe me, just read about it yourself. Some of the rules when working with the fracking fluid on our job sites. If it gets on your skin, rinse immediately. No smoking whatsoever when fluid is on side. If any of it is dropped on the ground, immediately clean up and remove the contaminated dirt. In the US, they don't give a shit.

      So stop your ignorance and actually learn about it. I would welcome you to drink from any number of farmers wells in west Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, etc. Good luck with the rest of your hair not falling out.

      • peter

        Sorry dude, I was reading about fracing back in school in the 70's (it was old technology then) and watched lots of wells get traced in Oklahoma in the early 80s. Haliburton's website states that they did their first frac job in Kansas in 1947.

        To you point about "veins" in the bedrock allowing fluid and gas to seep into nearby aquifers – the Groundwater Foundation states that the average depth of a household well is 250ft, but frac jobs are done on wells 5,000 to 15,000 feet deep – so your vein would have to be 1 to 3 MILES LONG. Not going to happen.

  • What an open goal

    Don't take a romantic bath with candlelight.
    Flambé the potato's before you cook them.
    Have a flaming shot of water on me.

  • Beldar

    I ought to have mentioned, although others already have, that this "phenomenon" of being able to set fire (briefly) to what's coming out of one's water tap is something you can find in places all over the world that (1) depend on well-water from shallow wells and (2) are in areas with hydrocarbon deposits. You could see it in the 1700s, decades before anyone was doing ANY drilling for oil, when technology only permitted shallow drilling for water wells.

    • dochandy

      yeah, i remember the 1700s :/

    • ch9338

      Heretic! How dare you try to use your fact. It's in a movie produced by someone that has an agenda so it must all be true.

      • Cecil

        ch9338. What makes you think that the facts you sought out by finding media that agrees with your pre-existing take on the matter has any less of an agenda?

  • ASM

    Just because there has been methane in water and water may have been flammable in other places does not mean fraking doesn't increase the methane existing or cause it where it didn't exist.

    A few quick google searches will show emerging consensus that fraking does cause issues with groudwater, including methane…

    Don't believe the scientists? How about the industry itself?

    From the WSJ: "Industry officials agree that methane leakage into the water table during gas drilling can occur in theory, although in specific cases there may be a dispute about whether it did occur. "

    So the industry is now saying it can happen, but trying to deny it in specific instances where they would have to pay out.

    • Big Jon

      Well if it came up on google it must be true

      • jOE

        Ah… yes it "can" happen, as in its possible, not plausible, and if any of you dipshits actually did some research you would find that the EPA already has conducted tests and found the methane coming from these taps has a chemical fingerprint that distinguishes it from methane found in hydrocarbon reserves. The methane is being released from organic material breaking down near the surface… this happens everywhere… all the time.

    • Steve

      In the US alone over a million wells have been drilled and frac'ing has been going on for hundreds of thousands of them. The bold innacuracies in what you say are staggering. Frac'ing helps heat your house, cook your food, pave your roads, lessen the countries dependence on foreign oil. Or maybe having our country continue to pay over a million dollars a minute to import oil is fine with you.

      • Hahaha

        Douchebag Steve: "The bold inaccuracies are staggering"

        Doesn't point out inaccuracies.

      • John

        Actually Steve, we don't have to import oil anymore. We invaded Iraq for that, remember? By using 9/11 as a fear device, the government raced to Iraq to steal oil, and called it the 'War on Terror', remember that? Just because its being done doesn't mean it SHOULD. That's okay though buddy, just keep on believing what the government and oil companies are telling you.

        • whatthebleep

          Considering the US gets less than 5% of it's crude oil from Iraq, I'd have to seriously disagree with John here. Apparently, I missed that big story about the troops loading up huge barrels of stolen oil to ship to the US when they left Iraq last December. Huh, and I thought I paid pretty close attention to that…

    • alewiska

      yeah and a few quick google searches will show that it has NOTHING to do with it. Just because you find something on the internet machine doesn't make it correct. If I google Hitler is alive and is screwing Obama in the white house…..I'm pretty sure I'll find some articles, if not I'll put that shit on wiki. I've set peoples water on fire that have not had any fracking around them EVER. Jesus people, if you don't know anything about the subject shut up. I've been studying this for years and work in the industry just in case you want my credentials.

      • IronyIsIronic

        Your first statement, "yeah and a few quick google searches will show that it has NOTHING to do with it."

        Your second statement, "Just because you find something on the internet machine doesn't make it correct."

        It seems like you may be working with a little flawed logic but back to what's important… Hump Day…

        • SGT_Fati

          Actually he was supporting his argument against blindly google searching something by proving you can easily find links which support and debunk this issue…

          • Mayman

            Find links how? By using the internet? The same source he just discredited? Not everything on the internet is true, but at the same time a lot of things are. Interesting that he works in the industry and is defending his livelihood. Kind of like a Gas mogul telling you that everything is fine and to keep your head buried in the sand. Wake up people, there's nothing wrong with being skeptical and questioning the facts. And right now, people should be questioning a LOT Of things considering how businesses and government operate.

            • SGT_Fati

              Nice straw man argument. Which gas moguls are saying everything is fine exactly? Most of the ones I see are shouting how the government is destroying their ability to bring a needed service to the American people…

    • Beldar

      Jerking a sentence or two out of context is not very nice. I notice you didn't provide a link to the WSJ article you quoted from. Would that be because just about everything else in that article undercuts your position? The paragraph after your quote, for example, reads: "However, while gas-drilling operations can lead to methane leaks, the commencement of fracking comes later in the process and companies say it has nothing to do with methane leaks…. The industry agrees that methane leaks are a risk of drilling, and it says it can prevent them. It points to Pennsylvania's cooperative effort as an example of how companies make safety their top priority."

      The latest and most comprehensive evaluation of dangers from fracking comes from a multi-discipline, bipartisan, blue-ribbon subcommittee on shale gas production — a subcommittee appointed by Obama's Secretary of Energy, Nobel prize-winner in Physics, Steven Chu.

      In the subcommittee's initial report, as found on the official Department of Energy website, the subcommittee said its charge was to "assess the entire system, rather than just hydraulic fracturing," in order to "identify steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental and safety risks associated with shale gas development and, importantly, give the public concrete reason to believe that environmental impacts will be reduced and well managed on an ongoing basis, and that problems will be mitigated and rapidly corrected, if and when they occur."

      Toward that end, it made a series of recommendations, almost none of which were opposed by the industry or, really anyone. Most were designed to improve public information, to improve communication among regulators, and to measure air quality more carefully, With regard to protection of water resources in particular, the subcommittee (at page 2) made recommendations for better record-keeping, adoption of "best practices" standards, gathering better data, and modernizing rules and enforcement practices. It called for disclosure of the "trade secret" ingredients used by various companies in the additives they inject to promote fracking, in order to reassure the public that they don't contain (as conspiracy theorists have speculated) hypertoxic carcinogens like benzene or other substances that would be unreasonably dangerous or impractical to make safe.

      But the subcommittee pointedly did NOT call for the cessation or suspension of fracking. Nor did it recommend that the use of fracking be slowed down.

      The subcommittee's final report dated November 18, 2011 (at page 1), "focuses on implementation of the 20 recommendations presented in the [earlier] report," but did not substantively change or add to them.

      • ThisBeldarDudeIsNuts

        Beldar you do realize that this is a website with mind the gap Monday, humpday Wednesday, and burn you bra Thursday? It's not a congressional hearing and the future of fracking is not contingent on the arguments made here.

        Step back, relax, and realize that everyone else is right and you're wrong.

        • Beldar

          That's a fair point. I didn't find this post because I was looking for political arguments. :)

        • Peter

          So the man made an informing post that had truth in it, and you tried to tear him down by saying it wasn't the right place. You even posted your name as 'ThisBeldarDudeisNuts' just to deride what he had to say. You sound like someone who works in the government, using lame tactics to distract from the truth. You should get a job with the Federal Reserve, bet your thinking is right in line with theirs. True, it IS the Chive for crying out loud, but still, why would you try to derail fact? Hmmmm.

      • Beldar

        Didn't realize hyperlinks were disabled. My apologizes if ASM tried to include a link to the WSJ article and it got zapped. Anyway, what I tried to hyperlink was:

  • ASM

    A team of researchers has produced the first systematic evidence that methane has escaped into drinking water in areas where shale gas drilling is under way, finding explosive concentrations at distances far greater than were previously thought possible.

    The Duke University scientists sampled 60 private water wells from homes across northeastern Pennsylvania, where rich underground deposits of natural gas are being extracted from shale rock through a process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

    In a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the team reported that in active gas drilling areas, the concentration of methane increased with proximity to wells.

    And as far away as 3,200 feet (1 kilometer) of an active drilling site, they found water that contained enough methane that it could, in some cases, be lit on fire.

    The methane concentrations found in well water near active drilling sites were, on average, 17 times higher than the levels found in wells farther away.

    If you read about these studies, they show (1) the methane level changed after fraking and (2) the damage zone is much larger than anticipated by even the harshest critics.

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