How does natural gas affect water?

1 Answer
Aug 25, 2016



Methane dissolves in water in low amount: 0.4 mL in 100 mL water. Therefore, if water is present in the environment, methane stays as gas with very low solution in water.

According to the PennStateExtension (2016) "The prevalence of methane in water wells in Pennsylvania is not well defined. A 2011 Penn State study of 233 water wells throughout the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania found detectable methane concentrations in 24% of the water wells before drilling began at adjacent gas well sites."

"However, most dissolved methane concentrations were very low with only 2% of water wells containing dissolved methane above 10 mg/L and less than 1% were above 28 mg/L. A 2012 report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) summarized dissolved methane results from 239 water wells throughout New York state and found detectable methane concentrations in 53% of the water wells prior to any drilling of unconventional gas wells. In this study, 9% exceeded 10 mg/L and 2% were above 28 mg/L."

Reference: PennStateExtension (2016). Title Methane Gas and Its Removal from Wells in Pennsylvania
Series Water Facts 24
Code XH0010. Web address: