Hydrofracking - are we nuts? (OT)

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golsen

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 18, 2011 - 02:01pm PT
Frack!

I don't know enough about hydrofracturing to get oil out of the ground to determine whether it is alright or not. But injecting chemicals into the ground to aid it? That is nuts.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/science/earth/17gas.html

WASHINGTON Oil and gas companies injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in more than 13 states from 2005 to 2009, according to an investigation by Congressional Democrats.


Companies injected large amounts of other hazardous chemicals, including 11.4 million gallons of fluids containing at least one of the toxic or carcinogenic B.T.E.X. chemicals benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. The companies used the highest volume of fluids containing one or more carcinogens in Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Millions of dollars have been spent remediating older leaking underground storage tanks used at gasoline stations. the primary contaminants were BTEX.

[url="http://www.egr.msu.edu/tosc/akron/factsheets/fs_btexpdf.pdf"]

http://www.egr.msu.edu/tosc/akron/factsheets/fs_btexpdf.pdf[/url]

hb81

climber
Apr 18, 2011 - 04:30pm PT
Find the movie / documentary "Gasland" which covers this subject.
Yes, it is nuts. It's nuts beyond belief actually.

trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8

Nohea

Trad climber
Sunny Aiea,Hi
Apr 18, 2011 - 04:52pm PT
http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/

Yea that is nuts, the doc used to be on HBO. In it a guy turns on his water faucet and lights it, and the flame stays.

I showed my seniors some of the resources on the website.

Studly

Trad climber
WA
Apr 18, 2011 - 06:31pm PT
The George W. Bush legacy.
Auto-X Fil

Mountain climber
Apr 18, 2011 - 07:25pm PT
I live in PA, right in the center of a shale formation being fracked right now. There are two sides to every story.

Gasland is utter sensationalist bullsh#t. I can't even start a conversation with it because every single facet is twisted to be inflammatory.

People are in an uproar becuase they are injecting diesel fuel in places with the frack water. Where do you think the diesel came from?! The fact that the aquifer is 100 feet down and the gas is 5,000 feet down seems to go over the heads of many folks.

I've seen wells lit on fire around here for decades before the gas companies showed up. The natural gas is, well, natural. It's been in the water here for as long as people have been drilling water wells.

There are some companies doing a lousy job. Cabot Oil and Gas seems to have an environmental policy along the lines of "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission".

Forunately, they seem to be in the minority. Overall it seems to be a fairly low-impact means of feeding our fossil fuel habit. I think the debate on the sources of and issues with that habit belong elsewhere. But accepting that it's going to come from somewhere, even with all this occurring in my back yard, I'm not crying NIMBY.
weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Apr 18, 2011 - 09:47pm PT
Sh#t BASE104, that was LOOOOOOONG... but I read most of it. I don't do much of that kind of field work, but I sure love me the modeling side of it all.

Any idear what the formation they drill in the Red River Gorge is? After my last trip I've been meaning to look into that for the sake of curiosity. Not a lot of seepage from the sandstone... most likely due to the bomber iron oxide cement I suspect. I also suspect the cement is a result of shallow subsurface groundwater, but I would like to know for sure. Give me a push in the right direction... some formation names?

Certain crags, when the wind is just right, you get a pretty nauseating whif... and the "oil stained" walls are kind of cool.
Nohea

Trad climber
Sunny Aiea,Hi
Apr 18, 2011 - 09:57pm PT
Thanks Base, I had to copy/paste to read tomorrow but when I did show my seniors this, I said as I always do "this is one side of the story, what is the other?" SO Thanks, I got some reading to do!

Aloha,
will
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 18, 2011 - 10:33pm PT
Nice work, Base.
Delhi Dog

climber
Good Question...
Apr 19, 2011 - 04:31am PT
Base-thanks,
I always appreciate your perspective on things.

Actually I DID read all you wrote, and well... a lot went right by me but I did get the jist of it-thanks again, interesting stuff...

Cheers,
DD
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
How do you like my new weather gear?
Apr 19, 2011 - 04:41am PT
That's gold, Base, GOLD!

DMT
Hankster

Social climber
BASE!
Apr 19, 2011 - 06:45am PT
BASE FOR YOUR FACE!!!!!! Thank you very much.

BASE637
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
Apr 19, 2011 - 07:25am PT
OP - Yeah, its never a good idea.

No matter how the PR campaigns paint it, if you take a look at what they have done around the country already, you will come to the conclusion that fracking is not good for any human being, or animal.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
How do you like my new weather gear?
Apr 19, 2011 - 08:07am PT
You gotta admit... hydrofracking is cool nomenclature.

DMT
Studly

Trad climber
WA
Apr 19, 2011 - 08:10am PT
What happens what the casing/plugs corrode away? Maybe not within our lifetime, but doesn't that allow the deep water/chemicals to well up and mix with ground water?
locker

Social climber
Apr 19, 2011 - 08:19am PT


Pretty SURE that history PROVES that MANY things we THINK (or are TOLD) are safe...

Turn out to be NOT SO SAFE...

"the jury is STILL out" on this one, in MY book...
Bullwinkle

Boulder climber
Apr 19, 2011 - 09:32am PT
It's great to know that Big Oil is so concerned with our safety and health, just as Big Tabacco was certain that smoking doesn't cause Cancer. . .
locker

Social climber
Apr 19, 2011 - 09:36am PT


BINGO!!!...

weschrist

Gym climber
left sac
Apr 19, 2011 - 10:22am PT
but doesn't that allow the deep water/chemicals to well up and mix with ground water?

Like the difference between positive sexual exploration and torture... it all depends on pressure.


BTW, if any Geologist or Geophysicist tells you they know exactly what is going on hundreds of feet below the surface, feel free to call them a liar. Multiphase fluid flow (water, oil, gas) is some pretty wild stuff... non-linearities result from partial saturation with respect to each phase. Basically, the fluid flows at a different rate depending on the relative amount of each phase present. The way a reservoir behaves under fully water saturated conditions while hydrofracing is entirely different than how it behaves with an oil-gas mixture (non-linear and often unpredictable).

Each well is different and I suspect the biggest concern would be the distance and material between the groundwater resource and the petroleum resource. As far as the well structure goes, I'd say that have that pretty well taken care of. As far as the induced permeability structure and resulting fluid flow regime that results from the hydrofracing process, they have statistical guesses at best. The greater the distance between the petroleum and water, the better. The less permeable the material between the two, the better. If the material tends to form long, straight fractures (homogeneous unit, think Windgate sandstone) and the principle stress direction is vertical, you are more likely to bring that sh#t closer to the surface. How close... don't know... but if you penetrate the seal and it is under pressure it will keep flowing from high to low pressure (up).

Still, I suspect BASE104 is mostly correct... sh#t that is getting into the water is most likely not a result of the wells and probably not a result of the hydrofacing process either. Leaking underground fuel tanks (LUFTs) are a much bigger problem IMO.

Time to bust out Bear, 1990...
John Moosie

climber
Beautiful California
Apr 19, 2011 - 10:38am PT
Hi Base.. thanks for that explanation of drilling and fracking. That was cool. Can you help me understand something. The NY times article says they use chemicals in the process of fracking, including things like benzene, but you seem to say that they only use fresh water.

Maybe I misread this, but would you address the use of chemicals? It does appear to me that you are saying that ground water is being protected by all of these steps you explain, the cementing and such.. But could you expand on the use of chemicals? And what that article is saying.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Apr 19, 2011 - 10:52am PT
GasFrac - don't use BTEX/water mix...
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