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The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Will Oil & Gas Drilling Mean More House Explosions

Officials Promise Public More Information Is Coming

By James Jones

Officials at the closed meeting in Bradford Township, in which all agencies involved with the investigation of the explosion of at least two Bradford homes, promised they will be informing the public in a short time about their findings about the apparent gas migration from the oil fields in the area into homes where the gas can cause a home explosion.

The top photos here are of a home on Helen Lane that exploded early one morning recently. The homeowner was reported to be standing outside in his driveway when his house blew up.

Officials said they will be reaching out to residents with suggestion as to what can be done to minimize the chance of the gas entering a home and causing an explosion.

The bottom photo is a home that blew up and burned on Interstate Parkway. Natural Gas Distribution personnel carefully examined that scene and determined no gas came from the service lines to the area.

The entire area is being drilled for oil & gas on the hills surrounding these houses. DEP has authorized hundreds of drilling permits in McKean County, possibly thousands.

The areas in question, and basically the entire area, were peppered with oil wells from the time oil was discovered in the area in 1880 until production died off in the area in the 1980's. Most of these old wells were abandoned long before any regulation was thought of. DEP has continually paid contractors to plug old abandoned wells with state funds, but it would take centuries to find and plug them all.

It's always been known that a larger percentage of the oil in the Bradford area was not recovered in the previous drilling, and modern methods of recovery and near record oil prices have made recovering the remaining oil a worthwhile venture.

Unfortunately, it is surmised that the drilling and fracking activity has caused and will continue to cause gas migration, similar to the circumstances in Dimock, PA, where a water well blew up and you could light a fire with the tap water.

Looking at the photos of these two houses, it is noted that they are both modern construction. When you build a house today, perforated pipe is laid around the foundations and covered with washed gravel to collect the water from around the house and drain it, either into a storm sewer or a man made leach bed. These lines are connected to floor drains in the home, which seldom are fitted with traps in the line, or if the trap dries out from not being used, leaves a pathway for gas collected in the ground area to enter the home, very similar to the way a horizontal gas well operates to collect gas.

The underlying problem is the hundreds of old oil & gas wells that may have gone unplugged or improperly plugged, that are acting as a conduit to bring gas & oil to the surface, forced up by the current recovery methods.

At least two instances of oil being forced onto the top of the ground and running into the streams in the Bradford area have been responded to in the last year.

Your home may be built over top of one or more of these old wells. Most of the modern wells in the area are being drilled in the shallow gas & oil field. The drillers are just starting to drill Marcellus wells a mile deep. Hopefully these old wells won't bring the high pressure gas from the Marcellus wells into the shallower oil sands, making the migration problem worse than it is.

It will be interesting to see what officials come up with as a solution to the problem. In today's technology, they have warning devices that can let you know when to flee your home if the gas gets strong enough to blow your house up. Maybe a ventilation system for every house to blow the gasses outside like they use to dissipate radon gas.

At any rate, living in the Bradford area, or any area in which the old oil wells pepper the area, and new recovery is in progress, means your house could be in danger of blowing up.

DEP and EPA should think very carefully before allowing more drilling and fracking in areas where homes exist.

Dates and locations on the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=215591951765091009482.00049e761952cd1bff31c&ll=41.950873,-78.643742&spn=0.017235,0.03562&z=10

37 comments :

Anonymous said...

Who cares if your house blows up- there is money to be made!!

Who cares if the water is destroyed-there is money to be made!!

Who cares if you die of frack water cancer-there is money to be made!!

Who cares if the roads are destroyed-there is money to be made!!

Who cares if the land scape is destoyed-there is money to be made!!

Quaility of life is not important-there is money to be made!!

Money, money, money, (root to all evil)

Anonymous said...

Two houses have blown up from gas in Horseheads NY and NY does not allow gas drilling.

Anything else you want to blame natural gas for? Maybe the earthquake in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Jim - Can you provide dates as to when these explosions occured?
thank you!

Anonymous said...

this is another example of what the govenor and others should be looking into and aware of. earthquakes in (Kansas? not sure if I'm commenting on the right state) is looking into fracking as the cause.

Anonymous said...

It's foolish to believe in coincidences. Actually, now it appears to be deadly.
A warning system for a house explosion? You have got to be kidding.

Melissa said...

Great job Jim.

Anonymous said...

6:03 why don't you leave? 8:05 really ?

Anonymous said...

I love the way the oil drillers who casued this are such cowards they won't "man up" and admit their sloppy drilling caused this gas to migrate and blow up the houses.

Anonymous said...

10:35, REALLY? Are you a troll or what?

People should leave their area, and abandon their homes because a bunch of Texas thugs want to rape our state?

Get a life!

People who have been in their homes or on land for generations shouldn't have to leave because of a gas or oil rush!

Anonymous said...

Best I can tell there are 3 people within the county that are against all the gas drilling. Laurie Barr, Jim Jones and Melissa Troutman. They all keep publishing and pushing each others agenda enough that is sounds like hundreds of people feel the same way. If you look at each comment carefully you can tell who is saying what.

Anonymous said...

THE DRILLING IS SAFE! PLEASE GO BACK TO WORK! YOUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING IT'S JOB PROTECTING YOU! THERE IS NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THIS INDUSTRY!

If our government represented us and our best interests, years of testing and studies would be done before we deployed hundreds or thousands of these platforms across our state.

But our government doesn't represent us anymore does it?

Each representative represents himself, his career and whomever throws the most money at him.

Voters?
Well we all know if your going to vote you'll only vote for one of two candidates, so it's really just a matter of trying to buy them both...

If that fails they can usually sway your vote by spending millions on advertising telling you the other guy is ANTI BUSINESS or KILLS BABIES or SOFT ON CRIME or whatever ridiculous empty rhetoric nonsense you people like to vote on.

Anonymous said...

10:35

We don't leave because these colors don't run.

You may have the wool over your eyes but don't spend too much time pondering why others don't join you in your blissful ignorance.

Like an ostrich sticking his head in the sand.

Anonymous said...

They never said it was caused by drilling in the area. The writer of this article is assuming that. Gas migration can occur for many reasons including but not limited to drilling.

Anonymous said...

Wondering why there are no comments allowed for the 4 County Leasing Article? Janice doesn't want to hear the other side to her beliefs?

Anonymous said...

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

The 9 most feared words in the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused are you just mad at the companies from texas or all gas companies???? I'm pretty sure they are coming from all over not just texas?

Anonymous said...

These guys are coming from all over, but mainly from the South. They are the most polite, courteous people you will meet. Those that have a problem with them are the perfect definition of a "Potter County Redneck."

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the companies drilling shallow oil wells are locals

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:36 i`m not fond of this gas drilling going on around here... I`m not any of the people you mentioned above ! My neighbors are against it also... I just had to pay 400 bucks to get my water tested and that pisses me off.

Anonymous said...

The only reason some people are against drilling is simple: THEY DON'T OWN ANY LAND.

Anonymous said...

Dear 11:36:00, My name is not Laurie Barr either, and I think this process is inherently dangerous and has no business being done without stricter oversight and controls. Replace the DEP staff for increased inspections and for God's sake, get baseline water testing done for anyone and any municipality where drilling AND hydrofracking is occurring near a potable water source.

And @3:26:00, I own a small patch of land that had it's mineral rights severed long ago. If my neighbor signed a lease and the neighboring patch of land is developed for gas, my little patch of land is no longer worth the mortgage, it's value is instantly dropped by at least 1/2 as soon as a well goes in next to me.

@1:34:00pm, they do tend to be decent regular folks, That's not the issue, the issue, mentioned numerous times is...where are the local jobs that are so desperately needed in Potter County?

The words: "I'm from the government and I'm here to make sure the rights of surface land owners are not abused" would be welcome by the vast majority of Potter County.

PS, Ronnie Reagan made the original quote and he raised taxes 8 times, turned in the first trillion dollar deficit and started the deregulation of financial institutions that brought us the 23 trillion dollar world wide financial crash that devastated the entire planet's economy. If you haven't seen "Inside Job", I suggest you do so. Perhaps your assessment of St Ronnie would change when you see the economic devastation that financial deregulation has wrought.

Anonymous said...

3:26 That's not "some people" that is the vast majority of people whose health,air, water and environment is being put at risk while their property values plummet to benefit the "few greedy people"

Anonymous said...

3:26... I own land... I`m against drilling. My neighbors own land... They are against drilling... And here is the kicker, 3 out of 4 of ua are republicans. Imagine that ! Oh BTW We are natives.

Anonymous said...

Who can you believe??? Just look to Japan. Japan claims it ain't that bad ... while the US says it could be deadly. Both are countries responsible for it's people.

Anonymous said...

Very misleading and unfactual article. The closest Marcellus well in Bradford area is at Cyclone, and it hasn't been fracked yet. What is your agenda with all these false reported stories.

Anonymous said...

March 17, 2011 11:36:00
I am not against "all the gas drilling"
I am against not regulating the toxic chemicals in the fracturing fluid under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

I am against hydraulic fracturing
before the much needed
increased oversight and regulatory
framework is put in place.

I am against hydraulic fracturing near homes,private and public water sources.
These and many other environment,health and safety issues are in need of addressing.

After they are addressed, drill:)
Laurie Barr

Anonymous said...

To the commenter that said there aren't any jobs, there are plenty of jobs. Just not any that the citizens of Potter County can or want to handle. If you can pull 16 hour days and 75 hour work weeks there are plenty of positions. I doubt very much that there are many in the population of Potter County that could keep up with the work.

Also, I can verify another commenters comment. These wells ARE NOT MARCELLUS in the area of the explosions. They are at max 1200 feet deep. Poorly informed reporting here.

Anonymous said...

10:30 Did the article say Marcellus well?
I didn't read that in the article.

I think you may have assumed it was a Marcellus well because you,like many informed people view Marcellus Wells as hazardous.

Anonymous said...

11:36- then there must be only 3 sane, rational beings in the area.
There are a multitude of issues involving gas extraction. It doesn’t have to be, we can have jobs with renewables with clean air and water to boot. It’s demoralizing to know that there are so few people that do care about the future of their children’s health and our environment.
Note, there is not a moratorium on drilling in NY only on new permits.

Anonymous said...

12:38 The author compared with Dimock which is Marcellus only.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Jim Jones. Wonderful site you are running here spreading joy to the masses.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you one of the explosions in bradford took place on feb 28th around 730-800 AM.

Anonymous said...

So right 12:26 I don't think many people in McKean and Potter want to work let alone all those hours. To easy to get welfare and disability here. There are job posted all over Truck Lite Emperion McDonalds Costas Jubilee and on and on but nobody wants to work!!! Let alone if anyone is smart enough to get a CD license.Welfare should look into so many people on welfare and the women make sure they have a child under 5 so they don't have to work. I work 6 weeks after my three children were born and they turned out great all hold jobs. Too much free money.

Anonymous said...

Costa's Emperion, Trucklite, Jubilee do not pay a living wage.

Go back to Texas you arrogant twerp. We work our fingers to the bone here in Potter County for god damned table scraps.

F*&% YOU

Anonymous said...

7:27 does have a point ! I see people every day collecting disability and or welfare checks and making a ton of cash working!

Anonymous said...

March 17, 2011 7:49:00 AM
Dates and locations on the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=215591951765091009482.00049e761952cd1bff31c&ll=41.950873,-78.643742&spn=0.017235,0.03562&z=10

rguilds said...

All the people who are willing to work the long hours in the oil industry are already in the oil industry. I was born and raised in Potter County and now live in McKean County, we have a lot of hard working people in this area no doubt about that! I have been in the oil field for going on 11 years now and make a very good living for my family. Most of you complaining there are no jobs are the ones that have likely been told you will work 12 hour days at at minimum and may have to work out of town..... and the response I get almost everytime I talk to someone is "screw that man it's not worth it" well these jobs are not sitting in the AC in the summer and heat in the winter you actually have to work in all weather conditions. Yeah hard to believe isn't it!