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In 2003 a Chinese gas well blowout killed 233 people

Abandoned Gas Wells in Australia

Full story of the Sidoarjo mud flow

Birth of a mud volcano: East Java, by Richard J. Davies, Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES), University of Durham, UK

 

Coal and Gas Watch

Halliburton Loophole

"Father of Fracking"
George Mitchell
concerns over environmental
impacts of fracking

History of Fracking
Only a new technology

USA Fracking Stories

A Texan tragedy

Gas injection may have triggered earthquakes in Texas

California Lags in Fracking Regulations

All In for California Water

Fracking in Michigan

Fracking in Michigan Potential Impact on Health, Environment, Economy

Hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale

Methane Gas from Marcellus Shale Drilling

Marcellus Shale Gas Economics

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Pennsylvania Fracking

Fracking in Virginia

Lesson From Wyoming Fracking

Water Pollution from Fracking

Hydraulic Fracturing Poses Substantial Water Pollution Risks

Methane in drinking water wells

Abandoned gas wells leak

Natural Gas Leaks Discovered in Boston

Methane Leaks Under Streets of Boston

Methane leaks make fracking dirty

Fracking effects real estate values

Fracking stimulates earthquakes

Protecting Gas Pipelines From Earthquakes

Gas Pipeline Earthquake - Simulations

America's crumbling pipelines

Averting Pipeline Failures

Dangers to Underground Pipelines

Gas Pipelines Could Serve as Wireless Links

Government Action needed on a National Energy Policy

EPA Releases Update on Ongoing Hydraulic Fracturing Study

Solar Booster Shot for Natural Gas Power Plants

Natural Gas Pricing Reform to Facilitate Carbon Tax Policy

Investing in fracking

What Oil Prices Have in Store?

Methane Out, Carbon Dioxide In

Health impacts of Marcellus shale gas drilling

Professor Ingraffea

Anti-Fracking Billboard

Natural Gas Drilling

Threats to Biodiversity

Pronghorn Migration
hindered by gas development

Microbes in a Fracking Site

Protozoa May Hold Key to World Water Safety

Shale Gas Production

Research into the Fracking Controversy

Convert Methane Into Useful Chemicals

Methane Natural Gas Into Diesel

'Natural Gas' at the molecular level

Arctic Methane risks

Arctic Methane Seeps

Great Gas Hydrate Escape

Undersea Methane Seep Ecosystem

Methane in the Atmosphere of Early Earth

Methane Natural Gas Linked to Climate Change

Cutting Methane Pollutants Would Slow Sea Level Rise

Coal Seam & Shale Gas


Welcome to Coal-Seam-Gas.com where we provide the opportunity for Citizen Journalists to publish their stories from around the globe.

There are hundreds of thousands of old abandoned gas wells in Australia
Some of them are leaking methane into the bush

Queensland coal seam gas leak plugged
May 23, 2011 - The Australia - A LEAKING coal seam gas well west of Brisbane has been plugged. The gas well, west of Dalby, began leaking yesterday while Arrow Energy, the company which operates the well, was preparing it for gas production.The well was uncapped to install a pump when water and gas burst to the surface.Greens spokeswoman Libby Connors said water and gas exploded up to 100 metres high.
Friends of the Earth spokesman Drew Hutton said it was the fourth leak on the property.

Code of Practice for Constructing and Abandoning
Coal Seam Gas Wells in Queensland

Version 1.0 November 2011
Queensland Code of Practice for Construction and Abandonment of Gas Wells is here (PDF file)

Code of practice for Qld gas wells
08 Dec 2011 - AFR - A new code of practice has been unveiled in Queensland to guarantee the environment is protected from coal seam gas (CSG) wells, and to improve worker safety.

The new rules will apply from the design and construction phase, through the working life of the wells, to their eventual abandonment and sealing.

As well as more detailed rules and guidelines for worker safety, Mines Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the code will cover all aspects of the construction and management of CSG wells drilled from January.

"It will ensure drilling activities are carried out in a consistent manner and that the life of a well is managed effectively from start to finish through appropriate design and construction techniques," Mr Hinchliffe said.

The minister said the code sets out what are acceptable standards required to ensure the long-term integrity of CSG wells, the containment of gas, and the protection of groundwater resources.

"The new code of practice sends a positive message to industry and gas communities in Queensland.

First job for the new Queensland government: fix coal seam gas
22 February 2012 - The Conversation - Wells can’t leak: not now, not ever. This is a tough issue for the government, since well integrity is geared toward ensuring that the wells don’t leak during CSG production (and we have seen how sometimes we can’t even get that right).

Abandoned CSG wells 'time bombs'
23 Aug, 2012 - Queensland Country Life - A SLOW-burning fire in an abandoned coal exploration well west of Dalby has raised serious concerns potentially thousands of similar abandoned test holes littering western Queensland could become "ticking time bombs" as coal seam gas production increases.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said work would begin immediately to extinguish the fire, which was discovered by two local men on Saturday night, following a meeting of Queensland government officers, Peabody Energy (which own the neighbouring Wilkie Creek coal mine) and Arrow Energy on Tuesday.
The fire site, which is located along a stock route, neighbours three Arrow Energy gas wells, located between 750m and 1km away on both Arrow and Western Downs property.
This leak follows the recent sighting of gas bubbling from a leak in the Condamine River, which is still being investigated by Origin Energy and the State government.

 

Planet Sludge: Millions of Abandoned, Leaking Natural Gas and Oil Wells to Foul Our Future
20 May 2013 - Eco Hearth - Each day hundreds of thousands of abandoned leaking oil wells and natural-gas wells spew toxic pollutants into the environment—and tens of millions more will soon join them—thanks to fatally flawed gas and oil-well capping and lax or nonexistent industry and government oversight. A three-month EcoHearth.com investigation has revealed this developing environmental calamity that almost no one is paying attention to and that gravely threatens ecosystems worldwide.
There are at minimum 2.5 million abandoned oil and gas wells—none permanently capped—littering the US, and an estimated 20-30 million globally. There is no known technology for securely sealing these tens of millions of abandoned wells. Many—likely hundreds of thousands—are already hemorrhaging oil, brine and greenhouse gases into the environment. Habitats are being fundamentally altered. Aquifers are being destroyed. Some of these abandoned wells are explosive, capable of building-leveling, toxin-spreading detonations. And thanks to primitive capping technologies, virtually all are leaking now—or will be

 

Published on May 6, 2013 At the end of an over grown track in Dharawal National Park I found this rotting infrastructure. Looks like a gas well. Who's responsible? Who's going to maintain it? The plate at the base of the pipe indicates it belongs to the West Cliff Colliery, which is part of BHP Billiton.

 

Qld Govt moves to avoid repeat of abandoned well fires
24 Jul 2013 - Beef central - The Queensland Government says it is developing guidelines in response to an August 2012 fire near Dalby fuelled by gas emissions from an abandoned coal exploration borehole. The new guidelines will be designed to regulate the safe management of gas emissions from abandoned exploration wells. Queensland minister for natural resources and mines Andrew Cripps said in a media release this morning that the guidelines would provide protocols for industry and government to follow when responding cooperatively to any future events.
“My Department is working in partnership with the mining and coal seam gas industries to deliver safe, best practice solutions for dealing with these sorts of legacy issues. “The agreement will outline the means to access and remediate bores, and will allow government to authorise operators to remediate bores that pose a risk to the community or to employees.” Mr Cripps said a working group comprising representatives from the Queensland Resources Council and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association was currently considering a draft agreement, which is due to be finalised by the end of August.
 

Dalby gas leaks at abandoned well trigger new rules
25th Jul 2013 - Sunshine Coast Daily - NEW rules would offer Queensland a better deal to handle gas leaking from abandoned gas wells, state Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said yesterday.
Mr Cripps said the government was creating the protocols after a discarded site began leaking near Dalby in south-west Queensland.
The emissions, discovered in August 2012, created concerns for those living nearby.
 

Abandoned exploration holes must be plugged: Landholder group
16 Oct 2013 - Beef Central - More than 130,000 holes drilled by companies exploring for coal and gas lie uncased and unsealed across the Bowen and Surat Basin regions of Queensland, according to landholder representative group the Basin Sustainability Alliance. Following on from concerns raised by long-term southern Queensland water driller Ian Hansen last week, the alliance has warned that abandoned mining exploration holes could spark a major environmental and health disaster as coal seam gas production ramps up throughout the region. BSA Chairman David Hamilton said there is no regulation requiring coal and mineral drillers to seal exploration holes, nor any regulation requiring drillers to log the location or details of these holes with government. “Many of these holes date back 50 to 60 years when portable drilling rigs became more readily available,” Mr Hamilton said. He said depressurisation of CSG wells would enable both gas and water to move through these unsealed pathways - to aquifers, to the surface and into the subsurface. “We are talking about the very real risk of opening up pathways which will allow concentrations of methane to vent into the atmosphere or cause water movement and aquifer interconnection – which could result in contaminated underground water supplies,” Mr Hamilton said. The BSA said it is urging the government and CSG industry to take immediate action to regulate the drilling of any future holes and halt the depressurisation of coal seams until all of these holes are identified and sealed. “Not only is this a health and safety and environment risk, but this is a financial risk to the CSG industry. Losing gas will meaning losing profits, which puts at risk the economic benefits to the people of Queensland. No-one wins if the gas is escaping where it shouldn’t.” Mr Hamilton said the lack of regulation around these holes had been a concern for many in the drilling industry for decades, but with the rapid development of coal seam gasfields, the problem was now at a critical stage. “We have seen first-hand how dangerous this can be. Last year we saw a burning hole at Daandine, which fortunately was discovered before it created a large scale bush fire, and we have watched plastic caps blowing off the tops of holes in Wandoan region. “These are just the ones we know about. Many of these abandoned exploration holes are not capped in and many are not even visible. They are hard to see with the human eye as they have been covered by soil and vegetation, are located in scrubland, grazing country and cultivation. As there are no records required, title searches often do not reveal such activity. “Families, farmers and gasfield operators may be unknowingly working and living in the vicinity of unsealed holes every day. “Landholders and CSG industry workers must have assurance that they are not being asked to sacrifice their health or safety in this process. Towns and agricultural industries that rely on groundwater should not be put at risk.” Legislation requires remediation: Qld Govt However the Queensland Government maintains that existing legislation requires resource companies to “properly remediate” disused petroleum, gas and coal exploration holes in line with established plugging and abandonment criteria, to ensure there is no interconnection between aquifers. “The Queensland Government is well aware of the legacy issues posed by coal exploration drilling in the Surat Basin that dates back to the early 1950’s,” natural resources and mining minister Andrew Cripps said in a statement in response to the concerns raised by BSA. “Community safety is our first priority and we are close to finalising a protocol to deal with potential safety issues raised by abandoned coal drill holes, such as those experienced near Kogan last year. “We appreciate the cooperation of the petroleum and gas and coal mining sector in reaching this agreement that will ensure such instances are rapidly and comprehensively dealt with, and community safety protected. “The drilling of both CSG wells and coal exploration holes has been strictly regulated since the January 1 2005 under both the Petroleum and Gas Act and the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act. “There are also provisions contained in the Environmental Protection Act relating to the proper remediation of coal exploration holes. “Under this legislation, companies are required to properly remediate disused P&G and coal exploration holes in line with established “plugging and abandonment” criteria, to ensure there is no interconnection between aquifers. “This is most often achieved by cementing off the relevant sections of the hole. “Both CSG and coal companies are required to provide reports on their hole completion activities to government.”


Abandoned exploration holes must be plugged: Landholder group
October 28, 2013 - Coal Seam Gas News - More than 130,000 holes drilled by companies exploring for coal and gas lie uncased and unsealed across the Bowen and Surat Basin regions of Queensland, according to landholder representative group the Basin Sustainability Alliance.
Following on from concerns raised by long-term southern Queensland water driller Ian Hansen last week, the alliance has warned that abandoned mining exploration holes could spark a major environmental and health disaster as coal seam gas production ramps up throughout the region.
BSA Chairman David Hamilton said there is no regulation requiring coal and mineral drillers to seal exploration holes, nor any regulation requiring drillers to log the location or details of these holes with government.
“Many of these holes date back 50 to 60 years when portable drilling rigs became more readily available,” Mr Hamilton said.


44% of wells leaking at Australian gas field

14 March 14 2012 - gasdrillinginbalcombe - By Will Cottrell

A study of a gas field in Queensland, Australia has found 44% of gas wells leaking (see p4 of this pdf). The report adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that gas drilling inevitably leads to water contamination as gas escapes from boreholes.

The study, conducted in the Tara, Queensland field examined 56 of the field’s wells. 26 were found to have leaks. See below for aerial footage of the Tara field -

Tara is a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) gas field (it’s called Coal Seam Gas in Australia). CBM uses techniques similar to hydraulic fracturing but in layers of coal, rather than shale rock which lie deeper underground. Australian CBM operator Dart Energy has just applied to drill a third well at its site near Airth, Scotland.

Australia is not the only country to suffer leaking wells. A Canadian study found more than 17600 oil and gas wells leaking nationwide. Watson and Bachu (Society of Petroleum Engineers SPE 106817 – 2009 ) surveyed 352,000 oil and gas wells and found 5% of wells had gas or oil outside the central borehole.

In 2003 Gas Service Company Slumberger found 60% of offshore gas wells leaking within 30 years of being drilled.

In 1992 the US EPA estimated that of 1.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells in the US, 200,000 were leaking, a 16.7% failure rate.

Little surprise that both Duke University and the US Environmental Protection Agency have correlated gas in water with proximity to fracking sites.

The industry and its apologists like to claim that careful regulation will ensure wells don’t leak. Yet with hundreds of thousands of wells currently leaking worldwide these claims are unlikely to inspire confidence.


Is There An Unplugged Gas Well Near Your Home?
October 26, 2012 - Searchable maps with information about thousands of unplugged, abandoned gas and oil wells in upstate New York are being made available by an environmental data collection company.

Walter Hang, president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting, says the details about 5,046 old wells in 38 counties had not been available to the public.


 

 

 

 

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