Once a leaky well, always a leaky well? That is the question. Here’s what we know: about 5% of unconventional gas wells leak right off the bat; upwards of 50-60% leak within 20ish years. In a Canadian study, the failure rate approaches 100%. This is why even the most optimistic dog will agree there’s little safe about living next to a well pad.
This in from one of my readers:This isn’t quite a precise answer to your question but does provide some context. “A Canadian research team investigated the mechanisms for [casing] failures, and determined that concrete shrinkage which leads to well casing fissures is essentially inevitable in a fifty-year time frame…The probability that a project scope of as few as ten gas wells will impact ground water within a century approaches 100%; ground water will be contaminated”
I’ll just leave it at that for the day. If anyone has any good news, I’m all ears! I can’t help but think there are some pro-industry folks who read my blog. Now is the time for you to write in and give me a little hope that scientific studies like this one are irrationally based.
Unfortunately, I’m afraid they’re quite sound. They all lead to the same practical application: Err on the side of caution.