Through August 2011, 65 Marcellus wells were cited for casing and cementing violations, according to Laura Legere of the Scranton Times-Tribune in a story yesterday. See http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/dep-inspections-show-more-shale-well-cement-problems-1.1205108#axzz1YPDNCmnB.
Legere points out that casing and cementing problems can lead to gas migrating and contamination of water wells. She reports that there have been three dozen cases of gas migrating from gas wells to contaminate people's water wells in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Legere asserts that the number of casing and cementing violations through August 2011 were 1 greater than the number in 2010. The statistic would indicate that the industry as a whole has much more work to do to achieve excellence in this critical area. It also underlines the need for strong oversight of gas drilling and that must include insuring sufficient staffing.
Secretary Krancer is quoted in the article as saying, "One case of methane migration or well contamination is one case too many." The goal should indeed be to eliminate all methane migration cases. To do so, casing and cementing must be done excellently by all companies.