Texas\’ oil and gas regulator has opened a new investigation into allegations that methane is contaminating North Texas water after residents complained that independent sampling by university researchers revealed high levels of the explosive gas in their residential wells, the state agency and scientists said.
Further analysis by another independent scientist, Geoffrey Thyne, of testing done by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and natural gas company Range Resources indicates the contamination is spreading to more wells and the levels are increasing in some cases. Thyne said his preliminary analysis strengthens his belief that the contamination originates at wells drilled by Fort Worth-based Range.
\”The leak continues and it\’s spreading,\” Thyne told The Associated Press. \”I can say, based on the current data, there are at least two other wells that show the same source … which is the Range well.\”
The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that oversees oil and gas drilling, opened its new investigation in August, spokeswoman Ramona Nye said in an email. Additional information will be released when the investigation is complete, possibly in February, she said.