UPDATE 1-Range Resources denies water contamination charges

Wed Dec 8, 2010 12:43pm GMT

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* Says its drilling did not lead to contamination

* Says to work with regulators, residents to fix cause

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Range Resources Corp (RRC.N) denied U.S. environmental regulator's findings that its natural gas drilling activities had contaminated the water aquifer in Parker county in Texas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday that natural gas drilling by the company has contributed to the contamination of at least two residential drinking water wells in the county and ordered it to step in immediately.

"Based on our findings to date, it's very clear that our activities have not had any impact on the water aquifer in southern Parker county or the subject water wells," Range Resources said in a statement.

The company said its investigations revealed that methane in the aquifer existed long before its drilling and likely is a naturally occurring migration from several shallow gas zones immediately below the water aquifer.

Fort Worth, Texas-based Range Resources, however, said it will work with regulators and residents to determine the cause and to assist with any remediation.

In a bid to ease environmental concerns, Range Resources had said in July it would disclose more data on the fluid it uses to drill for gas in Pennsylvania. [ID:nN14126820]

Range Resources shares closed at $45.11 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Krishna N Das in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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