Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Barnett Shale does contain H2S.

How many times have we heard that the Barnett Shale does not contain H2S (Hydrogen Sulfide) or that the Barnett Shale does not have "wet gas"?

The Barnett Shale DOES contain
H2S. In fact, back in 1987, a lawsuit was brought against Mitchell Energy and the Texas Railroad Commission for ignoring reports of Hydrogen Sulfide leaks. Of course it took years to go to court. There was even a ruling awarding the property owners $4 million in actual damages and $200 million in exemplary damages. But the Texas Supreme Court threw out the verdict years later. Read a few paragraphs from the Star Telegram article.

The Bartletts sued Mitchell in 1987, but the suit went to trial in 1996. It centered on allegations that Mitchell — and the Texas Railroad Commission — had ignored reports of hydrogen sulfide leaks, improper surface casings and other problems with Mitchell’s wells.

The Railroad Commission, perhaps embarrassed by revelations about its conduct during the Bartlett trial, announced in 1996 that it was conducting a "sweep" of wells in Wise County. The sweep found that 114 gas wells didn’t have enough surface casing to protect groundwater and that records about the surface casing had been falsified.

Some may think this means "Oil and Gas can do what they want and not have to be accountable". But the real message here is that gas companies can't be trusted and the people of Texas can't rely on the Texas Railroad Commission to protect our health, safety, and quality of life.

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