Wells along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada. Please click the map for a larger, dynamic view.
The United States isn’t the only place where the gas drilling industry is adversely affecting the environment. I have recently uploaded a dataset from Quebec’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement, which includes over 600 wells, including 31 which have recently been inspected.
The CBC has correctly noted that 19 of these inspected wells–more than half–were shown to be have natural gas emissions, which is a violation in Quebec for wells that are supposed to be temporarily capped.
Even though the 31 inspected wells is a small sample size, there were other problems.
[Edit – Map removed; URL expired]
Problems identified with inspected wells along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec. Click the “i” and then click on one of the map icons for more information.
In fact, of the 31 wells, there were only three that didn’t have any reported problems at all (1). While this report doesn’t provide a lot of detail on these violations, repeated violations such as, “bolted joints in water” or , “no surface casing” makes it seem like either the drilling operators don’t care about the law, or they actually don’t have someone on site who knows what is permissible in the area that they are drilling in.
With almost every well having a violation and some having more than one, the violations per well in Quebec seem roughly in line with the 0.96 violations per Marcellus well in Pennsylvania.
Although many of the wells in this report are quite old, the natural gas industry is starting to accelerate their efforts there as Canada begins to explore the Utica shale.
- One of those wells erroneously appears to be in Maine, an error that probably occurred on my end when I converted from one coordinate system to another. I will try to address that problem shortly.