Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

January 22, 2014

New tests find more methane in area water

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI | Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Texas’ oil and gas regulator has opened a new investigation into allegations that methane is contaminating North Texas water after residents complained that independent sampling by university researchers revealed high levels of the explosive gas in their residential wells, the state agency and scientists said.

Further analysis of testing done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and natural gas company Range Resources by another independent scientist, Geoffrey Thyne, indicates the contamination is spreading to more wells and the levels are increasing in some cases.

Thyne said his preliminary analysis strengthens his belief that the contamination originates at wells drilled by Fort Worth-based Range.

“The leak continues and it’s spreading,” Thyne told The Associated Press. “I can say, based on the current data, there are at least two other wells that show the same source ... which is the Range well.”

The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that oversees oil and gas drilling, opened its new investigation in August, spokeswoman Ramona Nye said in an email. Additional information will be released when the investigation is complete, possibly in February, she said.

Range Resources has no evidence the gas in the water and the gas it is producing is the same, company spokesman Matt Pitzarella said in an email. The gas in the water is naturally occurring, as sometimes happens. Range’s tests do not find dangerous levels of methane in the water, but the company encourages all homeowners to vent their wells.

However, Thyne and Duke University scientist Rob Jackson say they have seen dangerous levels of methane. The findings are likely different because the oil and gas industry typically uses a different sampling method, Thyne said.

Thyne’s study includes isotopic analysis. This fingerprint-type analysis allowed him to review the unique chemical makeup of the gas found in the water wells and compare it to the gas Range Resources is producing and methane in a rock formation called the Strawn, which is where Range says the gas contaminating the water originated.

Text Only
Front Page
  • Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

    Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

    April 16, 2014

  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 one kidfish.jpg Catching some fun at KidFish

    “Is there anything better than spending time with your kids and teaching them the joys of fishing?” James Shaker, a lifetime Weatherford resident, asked Saturday. “I don’t think so.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fund set up for family after losing home

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to a local family in need, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community. 

    April 15, 2014

  • County wins grant, approves road plan

    New funding to improve county roads and a new plan to rank them according to their need for repair moved forward hand-in-hand at Monday’s Parker County Commissioners’ Court meeting.

    April 15, 2014

  • IMG_6890.jpg WC’s new Allied Health Building nears completion

    Construction crews are in high swing as the completion date for Weatherford College’s new Don Allen Allied Health Building nears.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_6862.jpg Keeping alive the story of Mary Martin

    Mary Martin historian George Dansker gave a heartwarming lecture about the Weatherford-born Broadway actress many didn’t know during a fundraising dinner honoring her 100th birthday Thursday night.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks