Marcellus Shale Accident Lawyers
Marcellus Shale is a rock formation that extends deep underground from Ohio and West Virginia into Pennsylvania and southern New York. The Marcellus Shale holds one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the United States—hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Geologists have known about this rich reserve of natural gas for years but until now it has not been economically feasible to tap this energy source.
Recent innovations in drilling technology, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, coupled with higher energy prices, have greatly increased interest among exploration companies in mining natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. However, the rapid expansion of the shale gas exploration industry in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Maryland has introduced the risks of serious accidents, explosions, worker injuries, property damage and environmental harm.
If you are a worker who has been seriously injured in a Marcellus Shale well drilling accident, it’s likely that negligence on the part of your employer or lack of workplace safeguards contributed to your injury or caused it. If you are a property owner whose property was damaged or contaminated by well drilling, you may have a claim against a drilling rig operator or gas exploration company for damages.
At Munley Law, our goal is to stand up for the legal rights of our clients and provide them with exceptional legal representation. We have a breadth of experience in representing victims of workplace injuries and explosions that gives us an advantage when we go to court. We also have a distinguished record of protecting the rights of individuals and businesses from harm. For a free consultation regarding your legal concerns, call us toll free at 877-421-9173 or use our online contact form.
Marcellus Shale Accidents
The growth of the oil and gas exploration industry has strained existing state regulatory safeguards and exposed property owners, businesses and workers to potential accidents, injuries and environmental damage. In Pennsylvania alone, 2,500 Marcellus Shale drilling permits were issued from 2007 to 2009, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection estimates another 5,000 permits will be issued in 2010.
Each project involves the construction of a well pad and the drilling of a well bore to depths of 6,000 feet or more. The majority of wells in the Marcellus Shale will be hydraulically fractured. The technique of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” involves pumping millions of gallons of chemically-treated water mixed with sand deep into the ground and under high pressure to break up the shale and release the entrapped natural gas. A single well can use from 1 million to 5 million gallons of water.
The technique of hydraulic fracturing raises significant environmental concerns related to the withdrawal of millions of gallons of freshwater from water supplies or aquifers. There are many incidents involving contamination of water and groundwater wells as well as improper disposal of large volumes of drilling fluids and wastewater. Spills of drilling fluid wastewater or leaking of wastewater stores in holding pits can pollute rivers, streams and aquifers, causing fish kills and contaminating local water supplies.
Industrial accidents related to Marcellus Shale gas exploration include explosions, well blowouts, fires, methane leaks, loss of well control and gas migration. Drill operators may encounter unexpected natural gas pressures in areas that haven’t been drilled previously, creating the potential for blowouts and injuries. Sparks from a drill bit can ignite trapped methane, a highly volatile gas, causing burns to workers. Natural gas can migrate underground from improperly constructed wells, building up to explosive pressure beneath houses and buildings.
If you were injured in a fire or explosion related to the drilling of a Marcellus Shale well in Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia or Maryland, it’s probable there may have been violations of workplace safety standards that caused or contributed to your injuries. You need to talk to a lawyer experienced in handling cases of gas exploration fires and explosions.
At Munley Law, our goal is to provide exceptional legal service to our clients, and stand up for their legal rights. The results show in the compensation we obtain for our clients. Individuals who have been seriously injured in workplace fires or explosions should contact our office to learn your legal rights and options.
We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through teamwork and the use of our considerable resources and experience. For a free consultation regarding your legal concerns, contact us today online or call us toll free at 877-421-9173.
At Munley Law, our goal is to provide exceptional legal services to our clients. We strive to achieve the highest standard of excellence for the protection of individual rights through team work and the use of our considerable resources and experience. For a free consultation regarding your legal concerns, contact us today for a free consultation or call us toll free at 877-421-9173.