A stray gas is any gas that migrates from its usual geological location into an aquifer or the shallow unsaturated subsurface. Stray gas can come from several different sources:
- Leaking natural gas pipelines;
- Shallow deposits of natural gas in nature;
- Leaks from abandoned, new or existing gas wells; and
- Underground activities unrelated to shale gas production (e.g., coal mines, landfills, etc.).
When stray gas migrates into a drinking water well or into a building or a home, several potential risks can occur. A common stray gas is methane, which is naturally occurring and associated with shale gas drilling and natural gas pipeline leaks. Methane is not toxic on ingestion but poses an immediate fire and explosion hazard when mixed with air at concentrations of 5% to 15%. Its presence can also be an indicator of the effect of gas drilling in an area.
When investigating stray gas, it is important to evaluate and identify the actual source of the methane so the appropriate actions can be taken. Our staff at AGES Energy have all of the necessary experience and training required to quickly and cost-effectively evaluate situations where stray gas issues arise.