Naturally occurring methane found in groundwater in New York

Water samples were taken from 66 wells across five counties in south-central New York. Credit: Paul Heisig/USGS

From EARTH Magazine  --  Since hydraulic fracturing operations began in the Marcellus Shale region, debate has raged over whether drilling operations are causing high levels of methane in drinking-water wells. But few systematic scientific studies have been published to date, so it's unknown if high methane levels are natural or the result of contamination from nearby gas wells. Now, a new study is adding some much-needed baseline data for methane levels in groundwater in New York. The results suggest that at least in some cases methane occurs at naturally high levels in groundwater.

Read more about the findings and what they might mean for oil and gas exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale in the May issue of EARTH Magazine (link is external).

Image Credit: Paul Heisig/USGS