YouTube Video

Two Problem Wells

This video was originally made to show at the 2012 West Virginia Sierra Club Marcellus Academy.

We've visited these wells before, in 2008 and 2010. In 2008 neither well had secondary containment for the condensate storage tank. Both pads were bare of vegetation and the more recent well, 47-079-01314, didn't have an API number on the wellhead. When we visited 47-079-01314 in 2010 we noticed a line of exposed pit liner south and east of the wellhead. Dikes had been constructed around the tanks at this well and at 47-079-00702, but this containment didn't have the required rainwater drain. And again, 47-079-01314 still didn't have an API number on the wellhead.

When we visited in 2012 we found an API number on 47-079-01314 but it was for another well (47-079-01283) that was never drilled. We took a soil test near exposed pit liner and found a chloride concentration of 536 ppm. There is still no rainwater drain for the secondary containment.

There's a spring a few feet from the wellhead and a seep north of the well. Location of a well this close to ground/surface water is ill advised but apparently permitted by the Office of Oil and Gas. Burial of pit waste in a locale such as this is also ill advised but not restricted under the general permit.

Both 47-079-01314's and 47-079-00702's pads were poorly vegetated. This may be partially due to vehicle traffic on these pads which are not secured from access to the public, but at 47-079-01314 the high chloride concentration indicates that contamination is prohibiting vegetative growth.

The older well, 47-079-00702, has a special vent pipe from the surface casing head. Because of bad casing/cementing gases continuously vent from a pipe end about 8 feet above the wellhead.

The operator didn't file required annual production reports for 47-079-01314 in 2005 (the year the well was completed), 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Not filing an annual production report means a well is abandoned and must be plugged according to state law.

The well access road which serves these two and a number of other wells, which we call the Long Road, shows lack of required maintenance.


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Gas Well Study is the examination of natural gas wells in West Virginia.

Underground Injection Control Class 2 Wells
These wells are used either for the disposal of oil and gas liquid waste or for the enhanced recovery of oil or natural gas.

Gas Well Study Site Visits
Annual reports, environmental assessments, and individual well information.

YouTube Videos
Select videos from the Gas Well Study YouTube channel.

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An investigation into what caused the vegetation death in the land application area after landspraying hydraulic fracture flowback waste.

The Spill at Buckeye Creek
An investigation into a spill from a Marcellus well site into Buckeye Creek in Doddridge county.