Dr. Tony Ingraffea, the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering at Cornell University, has been very busy lately. Please check out this video clip from Physicians, Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy. It is a step-by-step explanation of how hydraulic fracking works in Colorado as part of the “Dear Governor Hickenlooper” project.
Additionally, Dr. Ingraffea and his team published a groundbreaking study titled Assessment and risk analysis of casing and cement impairment in oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, 2000–2012 in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, Dr. Ingraffea presented an overview of the study to the US EPA and answered their questions on the study’s methodology, conclusions, and on the topic of well integrity more generally. You can view the full presentation that we prepared for the EPA here.
The study quantified the prevalence of cement and casing problems for oil and gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2012 as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. PSE stated, “This is only the first step in assessing whether loss of well integrity provides a pathway to water well contamination, as suggested by Osborn and colleagues from Duke University in 2012. We will need to dive deeper to assess the relationship between the loss of oil and gas well integrity and specific water contamination events in follow-up studies.”