EcoWatch reports that the Pennsylvania DEP is investigating a suspected methane migration problem which caused a 30-foot-tall methane-driven geyser to erupt from the side of a local road, and contaminated a water well at a hunting cabin in Union Township.
The suspected source of the methane is a frack site operated by Shell on the Guindon farm in Union Township.
NPR reports that Tioga County Emergency Services Coordinator Denny Colegrove suspects that an unmapped, abandoned gas well more than 70 years old is part of the problem.
The geyser is now under control, and evacuation is being planned for residents within a 1-mile radius. Shell is flaring gas
from several wellsites in the vicinity in an attempt to lower pressure and reduce the methane leaks at the surface. (We’re not sure why this would work; it suggests all of these wells are in communication with each other, the gas reservoir, and the surface — a highly undesirable situation. Can anyone explain?)
If the cause is determined to be a fracking operation intersecting an unmapped, improperly abandoned well, then this is great concern for the future of fracking in a state that is littered with thousands of abandoned wells.