EPA Drills Monitoring Well into a Gas Reservoir and is Surprised to Find Gas

I read the article, Tainted EPA Report on Fracking Blasted by Gas Co., and just had to confirm the details. Could the EPA have been this incompetent? Here is an excerpt from the Encana web site discussing the EPA report. I thought Encana’s discussion of the two deep monitoring wells the EPA drilled to be particularly funny.

Numerous discrepancies exist in the EPA’s approach, data and analysis. A few of these discrepancies are:

  • The EPA report ignores well-known historical realities with respect to the Pavillion field’s unique geology and hydrology. (See BACKGROUNDER below)
  • The EPA drilled two deep monitoring wells (depth range: 783 – 981 feet) into a natural gas reservoir and found components of natural gas, which is an entirely expected result. The results in the EPA deep wells are radically different than those in the domestic water wells (typically less than 300 feet deep), thereby showing no connection. Natural gas developers didn’t put the natural gas at the bottom of the EPA’s deep monitoring wells, nature did.
  • There is unacceptable inconsistency between EPA labs’ analysis for numerous organic compounds reported to have been found in the EPA deep monitoring wells. Data is not repeatable and the sample sets used to develop these preliminary opinions are inadequate.
  • Several of the man-made chemicals detected in the EPA deep wells have never been detected in any of the other wells sampled. They were, however, detected in many of the quality control (blank) samples – which are ultra purified water samples commonly used in testing to ensure no contamination from field sampling procedures. These two observations suggest a more likely connection to what it found is due to the problems associated with EPA methodology in the drilling and sampling of these two wells.
  • The EPA’s reported results of all four phases of its domestic water well tests do not exceed federal or state drinking water quality standards for any constituent related to oil and gas development.

Encana – 2011 News Releases – Why Encana refutes U.S. EPA Pavillion groundwater report