By David O. Williams | 09.19.11 | 1:49 pm
The hot topic of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) emissions associated with natural gas drilling on Colorado’s Western Slope is expected to get a full airing at the monthly meeting of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) today and tomorrow in Broomfield.
The presence of H2S in significant quantities in and around Noble Energy wells in the Piceance Basin in 2009 came as a surprise to many gas patch residents and at least one COGCC board member, Richard Alward, who recently told the Glenwood Post Independent, “I have concerns about my own health, and the health of people who live and work in the Piceance.”
A report delivered by the COGCC to Rifle residents earlier this month showed that of Noble’s 353 active wells in the Parachute, Grand Valley and Rulison fields, a total of 312 were found to have some level of H2S gas. Of those, 37 had levels greater than 10 parts per million (PPM), and four had levels greater than 100 PPM. Exposure at higher levels can lead to breathing difficulties and even death.