[...] state officials and their contractors have not struck paydirt and, as a result, face uncertainty about just how much gas is underground, authorities said. [...]
At high enough pressures, the fear is that the colorless and odorless gas could escape from an aquifer through solid earth, collect unseen and present an explosive risk, though those kinds of levels are not suspected, parish and state officials have said. [...]
“One of the problems doing this stuff real time — which this is real time — sometimes you reach a conclusion that subsequent data says, ‘No, you were wrong,’” [Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure geologist Gary Hecox] told the crowd of more than 100 people. He said that some days earlier, officials found they did not have high gas pressures in three Shaw vent wells and believed that was a good thing because that meant there was not a lot gas pressure underground.
“I am here tonight to tell you I was wrong on that because what we found subsequent to that, all the perforations in those wells are clogged up, so we were reading low pressure, but it didn’t mean anything because the perforations were clogged up,” Hecox said.
“So … that’s one of things that was not correct.” [...]
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