Hydrofracking - are we nuts? (OT)


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Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
May 21, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
Don't think of underlying strata as a layer cake that is grossly inaccurate for almost all of California and certainly anywhere there are mountains.

Its not like this:

No its more like this though this is of the Ojai (Ventura ) area.

The point is 'capping Monterey' is like herding cats. That's why the shale estimates have been so dramatically reduced. The methods used elsewhere to lay devastation to the shale landscape won't work here.... YAY!



Social climber
May 21, 2014 - 01:29pm PT
Just a comment. Anybody with a water well as a drinking water (or any use for that matter) source can sample their water and have it tested to establish some sort of baseline for the well. Best to repeat the test a few times at different times of the year. Say, for instance before and after recharge events (ie substantial rainfall in many cases).

Somewhere out there
May 21, 2014 - 01:53pm PT
I was talking to a co-worker the other day when she told me she signed up for a program that cut her gas bill significantly.
I asked "How do they do that? Are they using a different kind of gas? Maybe more abundant? Or is your utility just wanting to grease the slippery slope for their profits..?...

Then I thought are they doing what drug dealers figured out long ago.... first taste is practically free... because they know you'll be back for more... and by then it's too late.. the environmental damage is done

nothing to worry about at all..

Unless you like drinking water...

When will humans begin to get serious about their energy needs and their ENVIRONMENTAL NECESSITY!!!

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
May 21, 2014 - 01:57pm PT
What was her answer, Jingy?


Somewhere out there
May 21, 2014 - 02:12pm PT
I guess the way I asked the questions got the right thoughts rolling around in the head because she said she "hadn't thought about it that way?" (My first thought after hearing this was "And you never will, why should you?" But in the end her second thoughts will change nothing. It will not get her to actually stop and think about the "deal" in a long term scope.

My mentioning it here will result in nothing either.... let's all just keep thinking while we make it impossible for humans to exist on the only planet that we know harbors life.....

All for money.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
May 21, 2014 - 02:12pm PT
Ok. :)


Social climber
An Oil Field
May 21, 2014 - 03:24pm PT

Most of the shale activity is located in areas that weren't tectonically busted up as much as your cross section shows.

I would go into this again, but nobody understands the technical stuff. I've tried over and over. I suggest some reading. Go buy a basic Petroleum Geology book and glean from it what you can. You can learn a lot from a basic book.

Fracking is a red herring. There are tens of thousands of these wells now and there are very few accidents. In Oklahoma and Texas, most of the activity is in the horizontal plays right now. The rigs are all busy drilling horizontals.

Groundwater contamination is not a big problem. I haven't seen a single instance yet. Nothing like you will hear by watching fake Youtube videos or reading environmental blogs.

I do know of 3 cases of gas getting in the groundwater down in the deep Anardako Basin, but they were vertical wells that were super high pressure. The shale gas wells produce at a low flowing pressure.

This has me in a weird spot. I am a connoisseur of wilderness. I am adamantly opposed to drilling in the Arctic Refuge and have spoken out against it in the media quite a few times.

This is different. Most of it happens on land that is not in any way wild, in areas with a long history of oil and gas production. The problems that it brings are aesthetic in nature. It involves a lot of trucking of water and sand around until the area is developed. That is where the environmental risk lies.

I've seen the pro-development side lie through their teeth on things like ANWR. I've seen the environmental side lie through their teeth on fracking. It has worked. It isn't based on facts, but operators can't ignore public opinion. In Oklahoma, people are used to it. Still, there is a fairly vocal anti-fracking group. They do a really good job of screwing up reporting on it in an honest way.

May 21, 2014 - 03:32pm PT
I'm with you Base, compared to the destruction coal causes, fracking is much less. But I agree with Hightraverse too, need some transparency. Serious transparency. On that note we have this complete bullshit:

Article titled:
"North Carolina Bill Would Make Revealing Fracking Secrets a Felony
By Zoë Schlanger
Filed: 5/20/14 at 5:29 PM"

Social climber
An Oil Field
May 21, 2014 - 03:38pm PT
OK. Everyone was all freaked out about the chemicals used in fracks. I'm pretty sure that all of this info has now been released.

It is pretty technical. Halliburton is the largest oilfield services company, and they have their own methods. There are other companies who do the fracks as well, though. Schlumberger, etc.

Yeah, Dick Cheney is probably the most evil American of my lifetime, but Halliburton is the best, as well as the most expensive.

It really is intellectual property, but I'm glad that they finally disclosed that.

This is just one of those things that has so much disinformation. I read false stuff regularly, even by supposed "science" writers.

edit: I just saw the above post about North Carolina. North Carolina isn't very prospective for oil and gas. I'm not aware of a single producing well. So the law is one of those stupid "masturbation" laws.

Somewhere out there
May 21, 2014 - 04:46pm PT
.....circle jerkin...?

....on parade....

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?
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