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Marvin S
01-25-2012, 09:46 PM
Anyone know much about this? As I read articles about what they do I find it hard to believe that the enviro's have a leg to stand on. Anyone know at what depth this work is happening?

If you are drilling 1,500' underground & subjecting that to a 5K PSI pressure how would any contaminants get to the surface other than through the well head or a deep fissure? Or happen any time other than the drilling/mudding process?

Gerry Clinchy
01-25-2012, 10:51 PM
I think I read somewhere that it is significantly deeper than 1500 ft. Evidently it has been going on for quite a while already.

duk4me
01-25-2012, 11:15 PM
Anyone know much about this? As I read articles about what they do I find it hard to believe that the enviro's have a leg to stand on. Anyone know at what depth this work is happening?

If you are drilling 1,500' underground & subjecting that to a 5K PSI pressure how would any contaminants get to the surface other than through the well head or a deep fissure? Or happen any time other than the drilling/mudding process?

I am by no means an authority on this but I think the worries aren't on the surface but the concern is the underground water supplies.

That being said I have absolutely no clue if the concern is warrented or not. I'm sure there are several on here that know much more than me on the risk or lack thereof.

charly_t
01-25-2012, 11:34 PM
I am by no means an authority on this but I think the worries aren't on the surface but the concern is the underground water supplies.

That being said I have absolutely no clue if the concern is warrented or not. I'm sure there are several on here that know much more than me on the risk or lack thereof.

Ditto. Bad ( contaminated by whatever ) water pushed up in layers near the surface is bad news for crops etc. Hubby says that he thinks here in Oklahoma that salt water may not be too deep in some areas. We are losing trees close to our yard for no reason that we can see. Lots of oil drilling etc. in this area. Someone reported contamination of water wells in our area ( by
the oil drilling etc. ). The man who was investigating did not seem very interested in getting to the bottom of things. We did not know anything about the investigation till he stopped a friend and I on the road one day near our driveway. I did volunteer the info that we had a water well if he wanted to test it. He never came to our house.

Mike Tome
01-26-2012, 07:30 AM
Three issues:

1) Surface water flow. It takes hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to frack. Often the drilling company will use a local water supply, i.e. stream, for the process. Remember that nice trout or smallmouth bass stream you used to love to fish?

2) Underground contamination of aquifers. Depsite industry claims that underwater water supplies are not impacted, there are numerous documented claims of wells and water being impacted. Both wells going dry and water being contaminated.

3) Surface waste water disposal. As I said previously, the process takes hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. All the water does not end up underground... much of it spurts back up to the surface. This water has had chemicals placed in it which aid in the fracking process and also is contaminated with "stuff" that blows back to the surface. Drilling companies have illegally dumped this in streams, or have had "spills" which have contaminated areas. Pennsylvania had no regulations for the disposal of fracking waste water and has had huge issues with stream contamination.

That's what I know off the top of my head.... if you want links I can provide them...

Charles C.
01-26-2012, 08:44 AM
Fracking is generally done at 10,000'+ or deeper. Those seeking to push their environmental agenda take isolated incidents and act like it's a regular occurrence. There are much greater environmental threats than fracking, and it's foolish to take the 1 time out of 100 that problems arise and limit such a vital industry. Regulation? Sure. Prohibition? No.

DSO
01-26-2012, 09:40 AM
http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46381.html

This is a hotbed issue in my county (Sullivan). I'm located near the Catskill park and the NYC watershed. It appears that hydrofracking could be productive nearly anywhere in the Marcellus shale formation. A quick glance of the map shows that area to be about a 1/3 of the state. Big $$$ / big industry. There is rather large opposition to fracking but Gov Cuomo and the DEC are behind it with strict regulations. As stated earlier, there have been some incidents of contamination (I believe in Pa). Land owners / farmers no longer able to use their wells for drinking water. I saw one news clip where a farmer from Pa lit a match and was able to set a jar of his well water on fire. I'm also an owner in a hunting camp in Delaware county. We own about 700 acres and have been contacted by the natural gas industry about possible fracking on our land should it become legal. I can tell you that the gas companies are throwing around some large numbers to land owners that agree to go into contract with them. I'm not necessarily opposed to it but will admit, not very knowledgeable on the subject either. It appears to be a ways off at any rate.

Danny

menmon
01-26-2012, 10:33 AM
Fracking can be done responsibly, but it adds cost to the process. This is an example of where you need government to police it, because if not, these companies will lay their cost on you by contaminating your water and land.

One thing to think about is when the price of oil is as high as it is now, it is easy for these companies to be good boys and follow the rules. When oil prices fall, watch out!

Uncle Bill
01-26-2012, 12:07 PM
Go to Nodak and get the picture for yourself...why expect some environmental whackos to give you anything but a slanted picture of their agenda.

Fracking is done FAR below the water table, and todays geology experts can easily draw up a map to avoid that environmental fear.

As one living on a farm that was above the Madison aquafir, we had our 'house' well that supplied all our home needs with just a 10' deep sandpoint under our basement. Our 'irrigation' well for the yard and garden was also a sandpoint that was 33' deep. Our barnyard well that watered all the livestock was only 18' deep.

The only time we had to dig deeper for our wells was when the neighbor's quarter put in center pivots that were 75' deep, and lowered the water levels. I was told the entire water basin was only 350' deep. The wells my folks drilled deeper for their home/farmstead needs have not changed any since they drilled them in the early 60's. The present owners have had plenty of water for all their needs, even though several other center pivots have been added to farms in that area.

While there is no oil 'finds' in that SE part of Nodak, we have had plenty 'lookers'. You can't be sure when those folks say they have just drilled 'dry holes', but apparently what dinosauers that might have roamed the state, must have gotten buried in the western part of the state. But if they did decide to run down to the depth of where the frackers drill, and I had them interested in my farm, I would have zero concerns about their contaminating our water supply. I'd be welcoming the extra income.

UB

Mike Tome
01-26-2012, 08:06 PM
Just a couple of notes...

First, the geology below Nodak is quite different that that in Appalachia. I agree that the fraking process happens far below the surface, but the fact remains that numerous wells have been contaminated by this process. Additionally, sites near the water supplies for NYC in Catskills are being protected from fracking over concerns of both surface and subsurface water contamination. If its so safe, why these protections?

Second, the water used by center pivot irrigation in an entire county pales in comparison to that used in the fracking process. It has significantly impacted critical water flow in streams in some areas and there are concerns over impacts on drinking water aquifers.

Third, I again raise the issue over the concerns of what to do with waste water that results from fracking. I agree that it can be contained and dealt with, but some drilling companies do not have a very stellar record in following the existing regs.

Yes, it can be done in an environmentally friendly manner, however this costs more and regs are not always followed...or enforced.

But I guess if it doesn't happen in your backyard or in a location important to you it's OK.....

1tulip
01-28-2012, 08:54 PM
http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/46381.html

This is a hotbed issue in my county (Sullivan). I'm located near the Catskill park and the NYC watershed. It appears that hydrofracking could be productive nearly anywhere in the Marcellus shale formation. A quick glance of the map shows that area to be about a 1/3 of the state. Big $$$ / big industry. There is rather large opposition to fracking but Gov Cuomo and the DEC are behind it with strict regulations. As stated earlier, there have been some incidents of contamination (I believe in Pa). Land owners / farmers no longer able to use their wells for drinking water. I saw one news clip where a farmer from Pa lit a match and was able to set a jar of his well water on fire. I'm also an owner in a hunting camp in Delaware county. We own about 700 acres and have been contacted by the natural gas industry about possible fracking on our land should it become legal. I can tell you that the gas companies are throwing around some large numbers to land owners that agree to go into contract with them. I'm not necessarily opposed to it but will admit, not very knowledgeable on the subject either. It appears to be a ways off at any rate.

Danny

We lived on 90 acres in Erie County some time ago. The place was lousy with natural gas. The water table was remarkably high, one needn't dig more than 30 feet or so to hit water. It wasn't at all unusual to live in an old farm home (ours was built in the 1830's) and be able to light a flame from your kitchen tap. Really, there was so much natural gas it was a nuisance.

Jim Wetzler
02-01-2012, 11:03 AM
My parents live near Pittsburgh, a neighbor drilled a well 300 yards from their well, the thing still pumps up slugde and choclate milk colored water.
The DEP has no answers. They pulled the well up higher thinking that the surface water in the well would be good, but that's bad too.
They have a water buffalo for thheir water and not much hope to get it fixed.

menmon
02-01-2012, 11:13 AM
Go to Nodak and get the picture for yourself...why expect some environmental whackos to give you anything but a slanted picture of their agenda.

Fracking is done FAR below the water table, and todays geology experts can easily draw up a map to avoid that environmental fear.

As one living on a farm that was above the Madison aquafir, we had our 'house' well that supplied all our home needs with just a 10' deep sandpoint under our basement. Our 'irrigation' well for the yard and garden was also a sandpoint that was 33' deep. Our barnyard well that watered all the livestock was only 18' deep.

The only time we had to dig deeper for our wells was when the neighbor's quarter put in center pivots that were 75' deep, and lowered the water levels. I was told the entire water basin was only 350' deep. The wells my folks drilled deeper for their home/farmstead needs have not changed any since they drilled them in the early 60's. The present owners have had plenty of water for all their needs, even though several other center pivots have been added to farms in that area.

While there is no oil 'finds' in that SE part of Nodak, we have had plenty 'lookers'. You can't be sure when those folks say they have just drilled 'dry holes', but apparently what dinosauers that might have roamed the state, must have gotten buried in the western part of the state. But if they did decide to run down to the depth of where the frackers drill, and I had them interested in my farm, I would have zero concerns about their contaminating our water supply. I'd be welcoming the extra income.

UB

Let me ask you a question.....have you ever thrown you trash in a dumpster at a WalMart or some other place of business?

My guess is yes. The problem with this is you passed the cost of disposing of your trash onto someone else. Did not cross your mind that you were using their trash pickup that they pay someone for. How about when your car leaks oil on a driveway and the person cleans up your mess for you.

Got to go to lunch but think about this

Uncle Bill
02-01-2012, 03:02 PM
Let me ask you a question.....have you ever thrown you trash in a dumpster at a WalMart or some other place of business?

My guess is yes. The problem with this is you passed the cost of disposing of your trash onto someone else. Did not cross your mind that you were using their trash pickup that they pay someone for. How about when your car leaks oil on a driveway and the person cleans up your mess for you.

Got to go to lunch but think about this

As ignorants go, you are incredulous. About the only reason I'm answering such a stupid premise is to ask you...what do YOU need to go to lunch for? You certainly aren't starving.

As to the idiocy of your premise, if the trash pickup was used for picking up only MY garbage, I might be guilty of costing someone else to do what I should be paying for. But the fact is, that dumpster will be emptied for the trash placed in it by the owner...I'm just a piggy-back that didn't cost anyone any more than what was already being charged.

If that's as good an analogy as you can come up with, please take it somewhere a moron might find educational, or at least an informative illustration.

Furthermore, your name has been removed from the list of Oracles. It takes a modicum of smarts to be numbered among that group...even if it was just a lowly ranking...more for the association with IHOP as an obvious pancake eater, rather than the perceived ties to Buffet and Co.:rolleyes:

UB

menmon
02-01-2012, 03:14 PM
As ignorants go, you are incredulous. About the only reason I'm answering such a stupid premise is to ask you...what do YOU need to go to lunch for? You certainly aren't starving.

As to the idiocy of your premise, if the trash pickup was used for picking up only MY garbage, I might be guilty of costing someone else to do what I should be paying for. But the fact is, that dumpster will be emptied for the trash placed in it by the owner...I'm just a piggy-back that didn't cost anyone any more than what was already being charged.

If that's as good an analogy as you can come up with, please take it somewhere a moron might find educational, or at least an informative illustration.

Furthermore, your name has been removed from the list of Oracles. It takes a modicum of smarts to be numbered among that group...even if it was just a lowly ranking...more for the association with IHOP as an obvious pancake eater, rather than the perceived ties to Buffet and Co.:rolleyes:

UB

It may be and age thing, so forgive me if I'm being disrespectful of my elders, but I'm going to try to make my point again, so pay attention.

My point is that people will put their waste on you if they can, so it is very important that the penalty for poluting your water have some real bite.

And your position is they dump it every friday anyway, but if you and countless others that are piggybacking didn't put their trash in it they might not have to dump it every friday. Obviously, the cost of keeping you from putting it in the dumpster is greater than the extra dumpings.

I never could prove it but I'm sure the fracing of an oil well near by damaged the casing of one of my water wells, thus putting salt in the well.

Again responsible fracing is good, but somebody better keep them honest.

Marvin S
02-01-2012, 09:19 PM
My point is that people will put their waste on you if they can, so it is very important that the penalty for poluting your water have some real bite.

And your position is they dump it every friday anyway, but if you and countless others that are piggybacking didn't put their trash in it they might not have to dump it every friday. Obviously, the cost of keeping you from putting it in the dumpster is greater than the extra dumpings.

While I don't disagree that there needs to be solid enforcement as even the most credible companies will have their share of bad apples, I fail to see the comparison. Throwing a sack of goodies into a WalMart dumpster is not going to increase their cost. But irresponsible workmanship can have a far greater cost than just the initial cost. I would expect even you to be able to fathom that :-P.


I never could prove it but I'm sure the fracing of an oil well near by damaged the casing of one of my water wells, thus putting salt in the well.

Again responsible fracing is good, but somebody better keep them honest.

Quite easy to prove, just do a sample & have it tested.

The reason I posted this thread was to see what knowledge level existed. It's evident to me & I am sure others that you don't know very much about this subject. When something in a solid state is displaced & goes to it's loosest form it increases in volume by approximately 67%. While fracking will not cause this amount of displacement one can readily see there were any displacement their would be a local rise in elevation of up to 1000' were the full displacement realized. Unless there is a local rise in elevation however minutely, which is easily measured, it would be difficult for any contaminant to reach the surface, with the exception of a fissure :eek:.

caryalsobrook
02-01-2012, 10:02 PM
Let me ask you a question.....have you ever thrown you trash in a dumpster at a WalMart or some other place of business?

My guess is yes. The problem with this is you passed the cost of disposing of your trash onto someone else. Did not cross your mind that you were using their trash pickup that they pay someone for. How about when your car leaks oil on a driveway and the person cleans up your mess for you.

Got to go to lunch but think about this

NO. I can't give further explanation without casting aspersions on those who would use other people's property for also dumping trash on property they don't own, hunting on property they don't own and don't have permission to hunt on. Such acts are low class. I guess that get my point across.

Mike Tome
02-02-2012, 08:04 AM
While I don't disagree that there needs to be solid enforcement as even the most credible companies will have their share of bad apples, I fail to see the comparison. Throwing a sack of goodies into a WalMart dumpster is not going to increase their cost. But irresponsible workmanship can have a far greater cost than just the initial cost. I would expect even you to be able to fathom that :-P.



Quite easy to prove, just do a sample & have it tested.

The reason I posted this thread was to see what knowledge level existed. It's evident to me & I am sure others that you don't know very much about this subject. When something in a solid state is displaced & goes to it's loosest form it increases in volume by approximately 67%. While fracking will not cause this amount of displacement one can readily see there were any displacement their would be a local rise in elevation of up to 1000' were the full displacement realized. Unless there is a local rise in elevation however minutely, which is easily measured, it would be difficult for any contaminant to reach the surface, with the exception of a fissure :eek:.
Marvin, see this site for an overview of the fracking process and issues:

http://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/hydraulic_fracturing_101

As I've tried to explain in my earlier posts, the surface contamination occurs from the thousands to millions of gallons of water that flow back to the surface from the drill site. Not from fissures in the earth, but from the original drill site. See this quote from my referenced article.

"It has been reported that anywhere from 25 100% of the chemical-laced hydraulic fracturing fluids return to the surface from Marcellus Shale operations. (http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/Petroleum/projects/Environmental/Produced_Water/00975_MarcellusFlowback.html) This means that for some shale gas wells, millions of gallons of wastewater are generated, and require either treatment for re-use, or disposal. In 2009, the volume of fracturing flowback and brines produced in Pennsylvania was estimated to be 9 million gallons of wastewater per day (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/754458/high_tds_wastewater_strategy_041109_pdf), and this figure was expected to increase to 19 - 20 million gallons/day in 2011"

Note that this waste is that generated in Pennsylvania alone.

DSO
02-02-2012, 08:16 AM
We lived on 90 acres in Erie County some time ago. The place was lousy with natural gas. The water table was remarkably high, one needn't dig more than 30 feet or so to hit water. It wasn't at all unusual to live in an old farm home (ours was built in the 1830's) and be able to light a flame from your kitchen tap. Really, there was so much natural gas it was a nuisance.

WOW didn't know that. What did people do to have potable tap water? The stuff that Mike is posting is what really scares me. Our club was founded by my father and grandfather. There is no way we could ever replace it if it was somehow ruined. I guess the biggest hurdle for me about fracking is what do you do if your land somehow gets contaminated. Is there some form of remedy. Don't see how you un-spill the milk on this one.

Danny

menmon
02-02-2012, 10:01 AM
There is much more to the process than what happens underground. Pressure and sand doesn't seem like they could hurt much, but it is the fluid exchange that is pumped in and out of the wells that contaminates.

There was an earlier post of so much gas it came out of the tap water. My thought would be to get that gas very little fracking would be neccessary.

I did test the water and took it to a lawyer and he said that it would be a hard case to make and I did not have the money to pursue damages.

luvalab
02-02-2012, 02:14 PM
Earthquakes give me pause--more than just the ground shaking, but the idea of how much disruption it takes to make ground shake...

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ohio-earthquake-likely-caused-by-fracking

Not saying I'm against fracking.

But I'm DEFINITELY saying that unsuspected quaking, shaking, and shifting of the ground I stand on makes me think it would be worth a bit more investigation by more than a few third parties...

Marvin S
02-05-2012, 10:04 PM
Marvin, see this site for an overview of the fracking process and issues:

http://www.earthworksaction.org/issues/detail/hydraulic_fracturing_101

As I've tried to explain in my earlier posts, the surface contamination occurs from the thousands to millions of gallons of water that flow back to the surface from the drill site. Not from fissures in the earth, but from the original drill site. See this quote from my referenced article.

"It has been reported that anywhere from 25 100% of the chemical-laced hydraulic fracturing fluids return to the surface from Marcellus Shale operations. (http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/Petroleum/projects/Environmental/Produced_Water/00975_MarcellusFlowback.html) This means that for some shale gas wells, millions of gallons of wastewater are generated, and require either treatment for re-use, or disposal. In 2009, the volume of fracturing flowback and brines produced in Pennsylvania was estimated to be 9 million gallons of wastewater per day (http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/document/754458/high_tds_wastewater_strategy_041109_pdf), and this figure was expected to increase to 19 - 20 million gallons/day in 2011"

Note that this waste is that generated in Pennsylvania alone.

1 million gallons of water = 3 acre feet - If contaminants are allowed outside the zone they should be contained in heads should roll :). The Bureau of Mines had a station @ Rifle CO that worked on Shale oil for most of last century. It is hard to have a discussion when it is apparent to me that the regulators are not doing their job.


There is much more to the process than what happens underground. Pressure and sand doesn't seem like they could hurt much, but it is the fluid exchange that is pumped in and out of the wells that contaminates.

There was an earlier post of so much gas it came out of the tap water. My thought would be to get that gas very little fracking would be neccessary.

I did test the water and took it to a lawyer and he said that it would be a hard case to make and I did not have the money to pursue damages.

Please see above - if the regulators cannot get the folks drilling to contain their contaminants within the required area who can? Ever had a drop of CU H2O in your eye, it's a contaminant in that sense but very useful contained in the proper enviro.

twall
02-06-2012, 11:15 AM
As has been noted, fracking has been blamed for earthquakes in NE Ohio.

In my county we have one disposal well where waste liquid is being hauled from PA to be disposed in a well. Some surrounding counties have more wells. There is concern about increased heavy truck traffic on local county roads and bridges.

Besides the Marcellus shale it appears that drilling is going to start in the Utica shale. A local landowners association has been developed to negotiate drilling rights/contracts. My understanding is all landowners who land is being drilled under will be compensated. But, members of that landowners association will get the better compensation.

Also, with lateral drilling the well may not originate on your property.

There are a lot of concerns locally.

Tom

Marvin S
02-12-2012, 11:51 AM
The 2-20-2012 edition of National Review has an article "The Truth about Fracking" by Kevin Williamson, which I beleive to be quite good. Maybe some can post the link?

Some excerpts TerrAqua Resource Management, one of many private firms who have sprung up to do what Municipal WWTP are not capable of doing - treat the wastewater. Apparently PA is doing a good job regulating, WV is not. The monitors on finished wells run on Solar power due to their remote location. In TX Valero operates an oil refinery using a 5K wind farm for juice. A 170K barrel refinery operating on wind :). Has to be at top output to run whole refinery.

Peter G Lippert
02-12-2012, 08:59 PM
Being a working petroleum geologist, I feel that I can chime in.

Tome, you are correct in the respect that the geology in the Appalachians is very complex. In fact the metamorphic and igneous terranes in the area have been research extensively and like many topics in geology has yet to be completely solved. How this relates to fracing is simple. Since, the geology is complex it is the responsibility of the geophysics, mud loggers, and geologist to do their "homework" so contamination of the water table does not occur e.g. the Haynesville shale incident.

That being said it is possible to responsibly frac in many areas that have a very low risk of creating contamination. Simply put it is not good business to frac an area that is at a high risk because of the costs to clean it up and high risk of drilling a dry hole. Like most things in the industry, we must take all the necessary precautions as well as leave as little foot print as possible, and fix our mistakes when they occur. As the technology progresses so will the efficiency of this practice and thus decrease chances of accidents.

Lastly, what most people fail to realize is that most geologist get in to the subject because they are passionate about earth processes and phenomena. We have a great appreciation for the earth and keeping it around safely for generations to come.

Very few people get in to geology as a means to make the big bucks in the oil industry. Most that go into college with this idea do not last very long in the major. I have seen it first hand many times.

kjrice
02-14-2012, 09:42 AM
Fracking is generally done at 10,000'+ or deeper. Those seeking to push their environmental agenda take isolated incidents and act like it's a regular occurrence. There are much greater environmental threats than fracking, and it's foolish to take the 1 time out of 100 that problems arise and limit such a vital industry. Regulation? Sure. Prohibition? No.
Then why did it take Dick Cheney to quietly change the laws concerning the Gas industry to be exempt from the Clean Water and Air acts? AFter that, the gas industry came screaming to the NE to get at the Marcellus run.

A nice drive to get some cured ham or tasty beef sticks from Dotti-Lou's in Stevensville, PA has turned into an unappealing dangerous ride, due to the non-stop water trucks bustling and tearing up the roads.

I personally know people in NY whose wells have been ruined after signing a deal and letting the industry trespass on their lands. The sad thing is it is only a 20-30 year run and everyone will be left with the aftermath.

road kill
02-14-2012, 09:44 AM
Fracking is generally done at 10,000'+ or deeper. Those seeking to push their environmental agenda take isolated incidents and act like it's a regular occurrence. There are much greater environmental threats than fracking, and it's foolish to take the 1 time out of 100 that problems arise and limit such a vital industry. Regulation? Sure. Prohibition? No.

Sort of like drilling in the Gulf???

All done in service to ideology??


RK