Will Swepi Frack the Farmers Wife?
By Laurie Barr, Guest Blogger, Tuesday Aug. 07, 2012
Throughout the shale gas play in Pennsylvania (PA), NY and Ohio an unknown number of lost, orphan and abandoned oil and gas wells exist in great numbers.
Locations of the historic wells are marked on a USGS farmline map. To view the map, click here and go to page 22.
According to Daniel S. Fisher’s (Hydrogeologist) affidavit, E-filed on 07/07/2012, “There are between 1,100 and 1,500 abandoned oil and gas wells in the Bessemer Oil Pool, and 229 documented oil/gas wells in North Beaver Township (DeWolf, 1929).”
The risks associated with active drilling near abandoned wells are fairly well documented by the PADEP, detailed in a draft report dated 10/28/2009 titled “Stray Gas Migration associated with Oil and Gas Wells.”
After methane migration caused flooding in a building owned by the Ralston Hunting Club near Shell’s Cochran well pad in Union Township, Tioga County, StateImpact Pennsylvania, (published on July 30, 2012), wrote “Shell suspects an old, abandoned gas well on the club’s property is responsible for the migration problems, and is constructing a new well pad next to the 80-year-old hole in order to plug and seal the well.”
On Monday, The Farmer’s Wife, with representation through the University of Pittsburgh Environmental Law Clinic, will be facing off with SWEPI and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, appearing before the Environmental Hearing Board ,scheduled to begin on Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. Before Judge RICHARD P. MATHER, SR. at the Pittsburgh Office and Court Facility, Piatt Place, 301 Fifth Avenue, Suite 310, Pittsburgh, PA.
The stakes are high for the Farmer’s wife in her fight to protect her farm and the naturally raised products of The Henry family farm as she and the University of Pittsburgh Law Clinic blazes the trail. The trail toward getting the many health, safety and environmental risks that are known to be associated with lost, orphan and abandoned oil and gas wells in the vicinity of active drilling addressed.
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*SWEPI LP is doing business as Shell Western E&P Inc. operates oil fields. The company involves in exploration and production operations throughout the continental United States and Gulf of Mexico. The company was formerly known as Shell Western E&P Inc. and changed its name to SWEPI LP. The company is based in Houston, Texas. SWEPI LP operates as a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc.