Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Study: Older Pa. gas storage wells threaten methane leaks

An academic study raised questions about the safety of underground storage of gas from wells like this in Dimock, Pa.
SCOTT DETROW / STATEIMPACT PA
An academic study raises questions about the safety of underground storage of gas from wells like this one in Dimock, Pa.

Jon Hurdle reports for StateImpact
:
 Pennsylvania has hundreds of underground natural gas storage sites that are vulnerable to methane leaks because they were built at least 60 years ago, and were probably never designed to store gas, according to a Harvard University study released on Tuesday.
The national study said Pennsylvania has 830 such sites that are in active use for gas storage, 370 of which are older wells that likely have design deficiencies such as only one casing.  One hundred twenty-three of them were built more than 100 years ago.
Older wells are increasingly vulnerable to leaks as has been happening in California’s Aliso Canyon. Beginning in late 2015 leaks there forced nearby residents to leave their homes, and resulted in the biggest accidental leak of greenhouse gases in U.S. history, according to the authors of the study. They said the older storage wells in Pennsylvania and other states are likely to have been built to similar standards as in California.
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