The main component of natural gas is methane. Its characteristics are described by these links.
- - 1499 - [March 16, 2015] - Protecting Our Waters, Iris Marie Bloom - "ALL FRACKED UP: METHANE PLUME OVER NEW MEXICO"
- "Scientists were so surprised when they first saw the huge plume of methane over New Mexico, three years ago, that they couldn’t quite believe their data. But as the Washington Post reported yesterday, December 29th, 2014 in “Delaware-size gas plume over West illustrates the cost of leaking methane,” the cloud of methane has been confirmed to be caused by fracking. verified by NASA and by University of Michigan scientists this October:
The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post [Cuba, New Mexico] may be colorless and odorless, but it’s not invisible. It can be seen from space.
Satellites that sweep over energy-rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and miles of pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud,"
- - 1500 - [Decembe 30, 2014] - NASA Science | Science News, Dr. Tony Phillips | Credit: Science@NASA - "U.S. Methane 'Hot Spot' Bigger than Expected"
- "One small “hot spot” in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate -- according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan.
Methane is very efficient at trapping heat in the atmosphere and, like carbon dioxide, it contributes to global warming. The hot spot, near the Four Corners intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, covers only about 2,500 square miles (6,500 square kilometers), or half the size of Connecticut.
In each of the seven years studied from 2003-2009, the area released about 0.59 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is almost 3.5 times the estimate for the same area in the European Union’s widely used Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research.
...The study's lead author, Eric Kort of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, noted the study period predates the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, near the hot spot."
- - 1501 - [October 9, 2014] - The Washington Post, Joby Warrick - "Delaware-size gas plume over West illustrates the cost of leaking methane"
- "The methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near this desert trading post may be colorless and odorless, but it’s not invisible. It can be seen from space.
Satellites that sweep over energy-rich northern New Mexico can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and miles of pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent, Delaware-sized methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago. “We couldn’t be sure that the signal was real,” said NASA researcher Christian Frankenberg."
- - 1503 - [August 24, 2014] - Pennsylvania | Energy.Environment.Economy, NA - "Tap Water Torches: How Faulty Gas Drilling Can Lead To Methane Migration"
- "One of the most iconic symbols of the fracking debate is the video of a man setting his tap water on fire in the anti-drilling documentary Gasland.
Fracking, which refers to hydraulic fracturing, is a technique used to extract natural gas, and has become synonymous with all things gas drilling. It involves shooting water, sand and a mix of chemicals at high pressure deep into a wellbore to help split the shale rock and release the gas that lies tightly squeezed into the rock. Some worry fracking fluid will leak out of a well and contaminate aquifers. But the tap water blow torch seen in Gasland has nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing. Instead, it’s related to a problem called methane migration."
- - 1506 - [March 18, 2015] - Clean Technica, Glenn Meyers - "Fossil Fuels' Excess Methane Solution: CNG-In-A-Box"
- "Oil and natural gas fields are notorious for leaking or flaring off excess methane, thus creating a staggering amount of lost clean-burning fuel, while significantly contributing to global climate change.
...Solutions are being developed for this problem of lost gases. Breaking Energy reports that “new uses for ‘field gas’ are being implemented that are proving to be highly cost-effective, and highly sought after now that oil prices have fallen and drillers are under enormous pressure to reduce costs everywhere possible.”
To this end, some service providers have rolled out mobile gas compression technologies that allow field gas to be upgraded into compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel drill rigs and pressure pumps. In these applications the field gas CNG directly replaces diesel fuel, resulting in cleaner emissions across the board as well as cost savings."
- - 1715 - [NA] - MD-DNR, David W. Bolton and Minh Phung T. Pham - "Dissolved-methane Concentrations in Well Water in the Appalachian Plateau Physiographic Province of Maryland"
- "Methane in well water has been reported anecdotally over the years in the Appalachian Plateau of Maryland; however, no systematic study has been conducted regarding methane occurrence an d distribution. The potential development of natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale in western Maryland has raised concerns about whether these activities could result in methane contamination of the water-supply aquifers in the region. Well water is not routinely tested for methane in Maryland, since it does not have an established Primary or Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). Because of the concern over possible methane contamination of water wells resulting from Marcellus Shale gas-development activities, the Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) evaluated methane samples from 49 wells in 2012 and an additional 28 wells in 2013 in Garrett County and western Allegany County."
- - 1946 - [June 5, 2015] - USGS, USGA - "Dissolved Methane in New York Groundwater"
- "New York State is underlain by numerous bedrock formations of Cambrian to Devonian age that produce natural gas and to a lesser extent oil. The first commercial gas well in the United States was dug in the early 1820s in Fredonia, south of Buffalo, New York, and produced methane from Devonian-age black shale. Methane naturally discharges to the land surface at some locations in New York."