Read time: 13 mins
On February 15, 2018, a fracked natural gas well owned by ExxonMobil’s XTO Energy and located in southeast Ohio experienced a well blowout, causing it to gush the potent greenhouse gas methane for nearly three weeks. The obscure accident ultimately resulted in one of the biggest methane leaks in U.S. history. The New York Times reported in December that new satellite data revealed that this single gas well leaked more methane in 20 days than an entire year’s worth of methane released by the oil and gas industries in countries like Norway and France.
The cause of this massive leak was a failure of the gas well’s casing, or internal lining. Well casing failures represent yet another significant but not widely discussed technical problem for an unprofitable fracking industry.