Hydrofracking - are we nuts? (OT)


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Social climber
An Oil Field
May 21, 2014 - 04:48pm PT
Sort of like voting to delete Obamacare 50 times in 2 years.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
May 21, 2014 - 06:11pm PT
Hey Base get off your high horse. I used the Ventura area to illustrate the point and said so. But if you prefer,

Do carry on.

Also, I didn't make up the 96% fewer recoverable shale oil in the Monterrey formation.

So wax on wax off about fracking, the simple fact of the matter is there ain't much oil to be had with it in some 50% of the oil shale rocks of the US?

Fracked out man.


State of Mine
May 21, 2014 - 07:09pm PT
that is some transparency goin on there....highly technical as base said.

lets be really clear. there is nothing technical about listing the chemical constituents of the fracking fluid. there is nothing technical about what the hazards are and there is nothing technical about being forthcoming about what companies are injecting into your earth just so they can make a dime.


Social climber
So Cal
May 21, 2014 - 07:22pm PT
Fracking fluid is mostly mineral oil.

Ya know this stuff.

along with sand.

Rumor has it that Halliburton is in the final stages of getting one that's NSF 61 approved and will then force is monopoly via regulation on everyone else.

Trad climber
May 21, 2014 - 07:30pm PT
in california, the primary threat to groundwater statewide is simply agriculture as we currently practice it. we've already sterilized a huge chunk of the southern great valley and are hard at work on the rest.

the principal reason for opposing hydrofracking in california is simply this-- the state doesn't even regulate groundwater pumping. the state doesn't systematically monitor wells. we have a "voluntary" reporting system-- probably less than half of all wells even self-report.

hydrofracking isn't one of things i would prioritize for worry.


Mountain climber
honeoye falls,ny.greeneck alleghenys
May 21, 2014 - 07:31pm PT
I told you all earlier,money will win.They will frack New York.


edit : another win for the wallethuggers
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jul 14, 2014 - 07:38pm PT
Hey base did your fracking pals cause all those Oklahoma earthquakes recently?


Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Jul 14, 2014 - 08:50pm PT
The Monterey Revolution ain't gonna happen, largely for the reasons outlined below in the abstract by Tom MacKinnon, former Chief Stratigrapher for Chevron. Several modern style hydrofracks have been attempted in the Monterey diatomite and chert in the last 10 years at South Belridge Field (see photo) with very limited success. Not sure how much more the land surface could be impacted at Belridge.

Geology of the Monterey Formation of California
With Comments on Recent Oilfield Developments

Dr. Thomas C. MacKinnon

Diatomaceous rocks and their diagenetic equivalents, chert, porcelanite and siliceous mudstone are abundant in Miocene deposits of the Pacific region. Of these, the Monterey Formation is the best known and most extensive. Its origin is tied to a fortuitous combination of tectonic, climatic and oceanographic events. In Oligocene-Early Miocene times, a change from subduction to a transform margin resulted in extension of the borderland and formation of new marine basins isolated from terrigenous input. In Miocene times, global cooling and changes in ocean circulation resulted in increased upwelling and productivity, and rapid accumulation of relatively undiluted biogenic sediment. Near the end of the Miocene, plate motion shifted from transtension to transpression, resulting in mountain building and a sudden influx of terrigenous material; this signaled the end of Monterey-style deposition in most areas of California. Rapid burial and basin-margin uplift continued through the Pliocene to the present, creating an ideal setting for oil field formation. As burial proceeded, soft diatomaceous rocks were converted to brittle chert, porcelanite, and siliceous mudstone. With further burial, organic-rich Monterey rocks generated hydrocarbons. Rocks overlying or adjacent to the Monterey included porous sandstones that made ideal reservoirs. Oil migration was aided by fractures in brittle Monterey rock types. Approximately 29 Billion barrels of oil have been produced in California, with roughly 90% probably sourced from the Monterey. Most of this oil has been produced from clastic rocks, leaving enormous amounts of oil still trapped in the matrix of low permeability Monterey rock types. In 2011 a report by INTEK, funded by the federal government, claimed that the Monterey Formation contained 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil, making it the largest resource base in the US. Using the INTEK numbers at face value, economists at USC predicted that California could experience an enormous economic boom. Both reports have been criticized as being wildly optimistic and not factually based, but not before they created a firestorm of public controversy resulting in new regulations on fracking. The main problem with the INTEK report was incorrectly assuming the Monterey would behave like the new tight oil and gas plays (i.e. Bakken, Marcellus) elsewhere in the U.S.; but the Monterey has little in common
with these plays. While it is clear that tremendous amounts of oil do remain within Monterey “shales” and diatomite, no easy way has been found to extract it. For decades operators have been using every available technique for enhancing production. This includes water flooding, steam flooding (lateral and huff-and- puff), CO2 flooding, and acidization, utilizing both vertical and horizontal injector and producing wells, some of which are fracked. There is no Monterey “Revolution”, however, operators will continue to seek better ways to extract the tremendous volume of oil remaining for many years to come.


RE the environmental impacts of hydrofracking in other States (e.g., Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania & New York, Bakken Fm in N Dakota, etc), I'd say the jury is still out.

IMO, the greatest risks to the environment from hydrofracking are...

1) the existence of poorly completed wells that can serve as vertical conduits for drilling mud, frack fluid (flow back), produced fluids, methane, condensate, etc. and gas blow outs during drilling or production operations. These wells may or may not be known to the operators;

2) inadequate or poor cement jobs in the vertical portion of new hydrofrack wells that can serve as vertical conduits. Sometimes these poor cement jobs are identified with cement bond logs and sometimes not;

3) mishandling of drilling, frack and produced fluids during drilling, well installation and fracking (especially by the smaller operators). Discharge of these fluids, that can contain elevated levels of naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM)*, metals, and hazardous chemicals, to natural surface water or discharge to unlined surface impoundments that infiltrate into shallow groundwater;

* http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/122-a50/


4) methane leaks to the atmosphere during drilling or from production facilities. Also the increase in methane flaring.

IMO, as long as the oil industry can keep hydrofracking as the focus of public debate, rather than how our society can transition away from a hydrocarbon-based economy, then they are winning and our children & grandchildren are losing.

J David Hughes, a Canadian geoscientist


Mark Zoback, Stanford Univ Geophysicist and expert in Rock Mechanics

are relatively unbiased sources for information about the Monterey Fm potential and the environmental impacts of hydrofracking.

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Jul 15, 2014 - 08:43am PT
Noble gas mass spectrometry will likely shed some light on these issues...

Goldschmidt Conference 2014 Abstracts

**The source and migration of natural
gas in shallow aquifers: Insights
provided by the integration of noble
gas and hydrocarbon isotopes**


1School of Earth Sciences, The Ohio State University,
Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Dept. of Environmental Earth System Science, School of
Earth Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305
3Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of
Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
4Department of Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover,
NH 03755, USA
5Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of the
Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have enhanced
energy production but raised concerns over drinking-water
contamination and other potential health risks. Specifically, the
presence and environmental implications of elevated methane
and aliphatic hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, etc.) in drinkingwater
remain highly controversial and require a distinction
between naturally occurring and anthropogenic sources.
Previous efforts to resolve these questions have generally
focused on identification of the genetic fingerprint of natural
gas using the molecular (e.g., C2H6/CH4) and stable isotopic
(e.g., δ13C-CH4, δ2H-CH4, or Δ13C=(δ13C-CH4 - δ13C-C2H6))
compositions of hydrocarbon gases. In many cases, these
techniques can resolve thermogenic and biogenic contributions
of natural gas and further differentiate between multiple
thermogenic sources (e.g., Marcellus production gases vs.
intermediate Upper Devonian gas pockets). However, these
parameters are subject to alteration by microbial activity and
oxidation and may not always uniquely identify the source or
mechanism of fluid migration. Moreover, they do not
necessarily identify the transport mechanisms by which
material would migrate into shallow aquifers. In contrast to
hydrocarbon gases, noble gases provide a suite of elemental
and isotopic tracers that are unaffected by chemical reactions
or microbial activity. Here we develop an integrated noble gas
and hydrocarbon isotope analysis to evaluate if elevated levels
of natural gas in drinking-water aquifers near gas wells are
derived from natural or anthropogenic sources and to
determine the mechanism by which stray gas contamination

Somewhere out there
Aug 3, 2014 - 09:11am PT
Do you want to know if you are in an area effected by fracking?


Hey, bookmark the page... you cash come back later to see if your area has been selected for the winning prize.

Credit: Jingy

With so much of the US going the way of the crackers... how long before we are all drinking nothing but bottled water everywhere... not just texas and new york?

Is your neck of the woods on the winners map of the US?
Is your neck of the woods on the winners map of the US?
Credit: Jingy

And how long before everyones favorite state is turned into frack central

Credit: Jingy

Why didn't LA get everyone to believe it is a jewel not to be f*#ked?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 3, 2014 - 09:32am PT
LA Times had quite the article on the waste-disposal disaster that is North
Dakota a week or so ago. If yer interested it is easily accessed on their site.
Suffice it to say the N Dakota state agencies belong to the pass-the-buck
school of gubmint responsibility. The EPA doesn't come out looking much better.

Somewhere out there
Aug 3, 2014 - 09:38am PT
Suffice it to say the N Dakota state agencies belong to the pass-the-buck
school of gubmint responsibility.

 Don't you mean typical behavior of a certain political party bend?

Here's one of the skull/crossbones dots on the page above...
In July 2008, a hydrologist discovered that a water well in rural Sublette County, Wyoming contained foul smelling, oily brown water.

Lab tests revealed the well water contained benzene, a chemical believed to cause aplastic anemia and leukemia, in a concentration 1,500 times the level safe for people.

Subsequent tests showed contamination in 88 of the 220 wells examined in Sublette County, and the plume of contaminants stretched more than 28 miles.

When researchers returned to take additional samples, they couldn't even open the water wells; monitors indicated the wells were so full of flammable gas they were likely to explode.

Source: "Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?" Abrahm Lustgarten. ProPublica. November 13, 2008.

When might it happen to you?

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 18, 2014 - 11:14am PT
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) study finds no evidence of natural gas migration along fractures or faults upward through geologic strata from hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale. However, the study did conclude that monitoring indicated microseismicity 3,800 ft above the Marcellus Shale in overlying geologic strata. To date, tracer monitoring has not confirmed any migration of natural gas or fluids into the overlying strata.


The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has released a technical report on the results of a limited field study that monitored a hydraulic fracturing operation in Greene County, PA for upward fracture growth out of the target zone and upward gas and fluid migration. Results indicate that under the conditions of this study, for this specific location, fracture growth ceased more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers and there was no detectable upward migration of gas or fluids from the hydraulically-fractured Marcellus Shale.

Hydraulic fracturing is a method used to improve gas and oil production from low permeability formations (shale and tight sand reservoirs). During hydraulic fracturing, large volumes of sand and water, with small volumes of chemical additives, are injected into low-permeability subsur-face formations. The injection pressure of the fluid creates fractures that increase oil and gas flow, while the sand holds the fractures open.

The research study, led by NETL’s Office of Research and Development, used natural and man-made tracers to look for evidence that fluid and gas in this area from the hydraulically fractured Marcellus Shale had migrated at least 3,800 feet upward to a gas producing zone of Upper De-vonian/Lower Mississippian age shale, midway between the Marcellus Shale and the surface. Microseismic monitoring from geophone arrays placed in two vertical Marcellus Shale gas wells were used to determine the upper extent of induced fractures.

During hydraulic fracturing at the Greene County site, researchers detected microseismic signals using downhole geophones. All signals recorded were at least 2,000 feet beneath the Upper De-vonian/Lower Mississippian gas field, and more than 5,000 feet below drinking water aquifers. Gas samples from the Upper Devonian/Lower Mississippian gas field were collected 2 months prior to hydraulic fracturing, and up to 8 months afterwards, and no evidence of gas migration was detected. Monitoring of the Upper Devonian gas field up to 5 months following fracturing produced no evidence of fluid migration.

This research was funded through oil and gas royalties from drilling on Federal lands legislatively directed to the Department of Energy under provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Complementary Program. The work was conducted via collaboration between government, in-dustry, and academia, in order to provide an unbiased, science-based source of information with which future decisions about shale gas development may be guided.

This study finds evidence of stray natural gas in shallow aquifers from deeper sources and that the mechanism is likely poor cement job or casing failure in the vertical section of the well. Also, one example of a gas blow out.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 19, 2014 - 10:08am PT
OK. What do you guys want to know?

To be clear, I do own mineral and royalty interests in a few areas with shale gas horizontals on them. They are from wells earlier in my career. We were producing from shallower, conventional wells. All of a sudden my monthly check goes up, I go look at the area, and see that it has a new horizontal on it.

Other than that, all of my current work is conventional vertical drilling.

These are small interests. Farmers are getting rich off of the shale plays. Geologists get a small cut in some deals if they are lucky.


Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 19, 2014 - 02:47pm PT
Aubry McClendon of Chesapeake Energy made lots of money from hydrofracking for natural gas that has nothing to do with geology. E.g., turning over natural gas properties, creative debt financing, screwing over business partners, charging property owners exorbitant fees for moving natural gas in local pipelines, etc.



Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 19, 2014 - 04:38pm PT
He mainly screwed the stockholders. Hence he and the BOD were punted.

I interviewed with him once. He isn't very beloved among other companies.

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Sep 19, 2014 - 10:18pm PT

The real father of modern hydrofracking is George P Mitchell who developed techniques for extracting natural gas from the Barnett Shale by improving the proppant suspension properties of frack fluids and fracking horizontal wells in multiple stages.

Daniel Yergin, the oil-industry analyst and historian, says Mitchell’s fracking technique is so far “the most important, and the biggest, energy innovation of this century.” It is also the most environmentally controversial.

McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
Sep 19, 2014 - 11:39pm PT
Credit: McHale's Navy

Social climber
An Oil Field
Sep 20, 2014 - 08:04am PT
Yeah. Everybody knows the story of Mitcell Energy, which is now owned by Devon Energy.

Oklahoma City is the home of the most active horizontal companies. I read about them, go to technical meetings given by them. He'll, I had an old girlfriend who was Aubrey's first receptionist. I consulted for the biggest one for a year, a few years ago.

It is a technical process, and none of the popular media ever gets it right.

I was amazed that people latched on to fracking and made it a "problem."

Trad climber
Sep 20, 2014 - 08:19am PT
Obama's on board with it. The EPA was told to stand down. A slimy trail of money?

At least OK now can enjoy the excitement of earthquakes, in addition to the increasing violence of the atmosphere.

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