WPR News
1:31 pm
Mon April 12, 2004

Governor Concerned About Methane Water

Gillette, WY – Governor Freudenthal says the coal-bed methane industry needs to address water quality if it expects the boom in northeast Wyoming to continue. Freudenthal recently toured the Powder River Basin and says if something isn't done soon to improve water quality; there will be more stock ponds than cattle. Methane drilling is moving away from Gillette, where the water discharged from wells is relatively pure, and into an area where the water contains more salt. The director of the state Department of Environmental Quality shares the governor's concerns but says methane operators are making progress on water treatment. Rick Robitaille of Anadarko Petroleum says the issue isn't technology, but price. And he says those costs are tied to how much water a producer must handle during its drilling operations.