A Texas family who was severely burned when methane gas rushed up their water well and exploded in a fireball has reportedly gathered strong evidence that the blast was the direct result of nearby fracking operations.
The Murray family of Palo Pinto County, Texas, commissioned four top scientists to analyze their well water after the 2014 explosion that severely burned Cody Murray, his father, and his young daughter, who was 30 feet away at the time.
The fracking industry has steadily maintained there are no provable cases of underground water contamination resulting from hydraulic fracturing operations (commonly known as fracking) in the U.S. But that could likely change with the Murray family’s case.
According to WFAA Channel 8 Dallas, the scientists conducted chemical analyses on the Murray family’s water and found that an improperly constructed well on property belonging to their neighbors, Richard and Stella Singleton, allowed fracked gas to seep into the aquifer and migrate to the Murrays’ water supply.
Six months before the gas explosion at the Murrays’ home, Mr. and Mrs. Singleton fell ill from drinking the well water coming out of their taps. They contacted oil and gas regulators, who conducted tests on the water that revealed excessive amounts of methane in it as well as other chemicals that could pose “adverse health effect.” Researchers also called the water an “explosion hazard.”
The scientists hired by the Murray family say the fracked gas on the Singleton’s land is an exact match to the gas present in the Murrays’ water. But even more telling is the presence of certain chemicals in the water, including an additive called Chem Seal, a substance used by oil and gas companies in the drilling mud that seals the well shaft.
“The timing is undeniable, the location is undeniable, the chemistry of the gas is undeniable,” the Murrays’ lawyer told WFAA. “This is not naturally occurring gas. This is gas that came from 4- to 6-thousand feet below the ground.”
Source: WFAA Channel 8 Dallas