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Thread: Fracking -

  1. #1
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    Default Fracking -

    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?
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    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    I think I read somewhere that it is significantly deeper than 1500 ft. Evidently it has been going on for quite a while already.
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    Senior Member duk4me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvin S View Post
    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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by duk4me View Post
    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.
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    Senior Member Mike Tome's Avatar
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    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...
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    Senior Member Charles C.'s Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

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    Last edited by DSO; 01-26-2012 at 09:47 AM.

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    Senior Member menmon's Avatar
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    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!

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    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.

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    Senior Member Mike Tome's Avatar
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    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.....
    Mike Tome
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