Encana refutes US EPA Pavillion groundwater report

By OGJ editors

Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. refuted the US Environmental Protection Agency’s preliminary conclusions in its draft report that ground water in the aquifer near Pavillion, Wyo., contains compounds EPA believes are “likely associated with gas production practices, including hydraulic fracturing.”

Encana said it was disappointed EPA released the draft report before subjecting it to qualified, third-party, scientific verification.

EPA said analysis of samples taken from deep monitoring wells indicates detection of synthetic chemical like glycols and alcohols consistent with fracing (OGJ Online, Dec. 9, 2011).

“This precipitous action runs counter to the cooperative approach that Encana and other state, federal, and local participants in the Pavillion Working Group took in working alongside the EPA in its investigation for more than 3 years,” Encana said in a Dec. 12 news release from its Denver office.

Eric Marsh, Encana’s executive vice-president, natural gas economy and senior vice-president, USA division, said safe, responsible gas development is vital.

“Hydraulic fracturing is an important, necessary, and safe part of natural gas development,” Marsh said. Encana’s news release said EPA’s approach, data, and analysis contains numerous discrepancies.

“The EPA’s reported results of all four phases of its domestic water well tests do not exceed federal or state drinking water quality standards for any constituent related to oil and gas development,” Encana said.

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