NEW YORK (
said Monday it strongly disagrees with a report from Environmental Protection Agency last week that
Encana, an Alberta, Canada-based natural gas company with wells in Pavillion, Wyo., said the EPA findings in deep wells were very different from those found in domestic water wells, and contended that this shows the natural gas in the bottom of the EPA's deep monitoring wells was caused by nature.
In its draft report, the EPA noted that, "The explanation best fitting the data for the deep monitoring wells is that constituents associated with hydraulic fracturing have been released into the Wind River drinking water aquifer at depths above the current production zone."
Encana is asking for independent reviews of the EPA's findings by third parties.
"Conclusions drawn by the EPA are irresponsible given the limited number of sampling events on the EPA deep wells and the number of anomalies seen in the data," Encana said in a press release.
BMO analyst Randy Ollenberger said there needs to be more conclusive information from the EPA and that he was unsure what kind of impact the EPA report would have on Encana. Ollenberger has a buy rating on the stock with a $22 price target.
FirstEnergy analyst Michael Dunn also said it wasn't clear what this report means to Encana but he noted that it should be alarming for the industry because the agency is placing blame when its science is "incomplete at best" and the group has not made definitive findings yet.
Encana shares fell 4% to $18.39 on Monday afternoon.
was also critical of the EPA's findings on Monday. In an email sent to all Chesapeake Energy employees and obtained by
, Chesapeake Chief Operating Officer Steve Dixon said, "We believe that in their haste to find even one exception to the industry's sterling record of responsible hydraulic fracturing, the EPA has compromised its well testing and data gathering protocols."
Dixon added, "The way this release was handled seems to any objective observer to point to the EPA being more interested in their PR strategy and in establishing a connection between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination than in finding the truth."
Since Chesapeake is one of the most active drillers in the United States, Dixon encouraged all employees to continue to operate under the company's guidelines and to "uphold the highest standards of care and integrity."
Chesapeake shares dropped 4.4% to $23.57 in late trades.
Written by Alexandra Zendrian in New York.
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