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Fracking - the pursuit of natural gas in stratified layers of sedimentary rock

George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

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George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Again, it is the disposal of waste water at great depth that is questioned.

 

Arkansas Quake Is Its Most Powerful in 35 Years By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON

An earthquake Sunday was the latest in a group that has raised questions about links to natural gas drilling.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Quebec has been saved for the moment.

The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) said the shale-gas industry "should stop hydraulic fracturing until more is known about its environmental risks,"  The Canadian Press reports that Quebec's Environment Minister Pierre Arcand announced the government would respect the findings, and exploratin in future would be conducted only after public consultations.

Some exploratory wells in Quebec were found to be leakiing gas. Arkansas last week ordered drilling companies to stop injecting waste water into wells after hundreds of earthquakes were reported, and on Tuesday, the U.S. EPA asked Pennsylvania regulators to "increase monitoring of wastewater discharges."


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

For a few months we have been putting together a coalition to fight fracking in Nova Scotia. We had already got our ducks lined up and getting serioulsy going when this Quebec moratorium came up.

Great timing for us.

Many page fact sheet on fracking, with links and refs, from Ecology Action Centre.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

What, however, is the end prospect in a world bound to demand the energy hidden down there, some time or another?  Will we have to prove that fracking for the effing stuff will be deleterious to all life on the planet - worse than its warming?  The events in Japan are bound to renew interest in "clean" fossil fuels. I'm sure the markets will reflect that Monday morning.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Its an open question George: even leaving aside water issues [and why you would do that], it is not clear that there is a net GHG benefit to burning gas from shale beds instead of coal.

Which by the way is the same thing with forestry biomass replacing coal- which is less of a question and more clearly that if anything it is worse than burning coal. But that doesnt stop all sorts of folks claiming it is green, and winning some measure of acquiescence with that.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Natural gas burns cleaner, less particulate and acidity.  They are burning it by the millions of cu. ft. each day out Fort McMordor way. There is absolutely no logical connection between these two sets of facts except cost of production and the bottom line presented to investors.

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Huh?

Its not just a question of burning the fuel itself: just the final part of the whole cycle of GHG effects of using a fuel.

For example: you cannot look at GHG effects of forestry biomass versus coal without looking at GHGs in harveted versus no-harvested forest stands. [The variables get very complex, but the principle is what we are looking at here.]

To use the example of electric vehicles: there is no emission at all in the vehicle. But what is relevant is the GHGs produced in the whole cycle, including most of all producing the electricity, versus the emissions of the internal combustion  vehicle.

Similarly with shale gas: it takes much more fossil fuel burning to get the shale gas. So the GHG's of that have to be added into the ledger. Then there is GHGs from natural gas leakage and the much more serious methane leakage.


scott
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Joined: May 20 2001

Frackng is pretty dangerous for the workers as well:

Gas well explosion leaves man in critical condition

Quote:
RCMP reported 12 injuries and said patients were transported to Edson hospital by ground ambulance. Three were sent to a burn unit in Edmonton.

...

The men were preparing to fracture the well with propane, said Energy Resources Conservation Board spokesman Bob Curran. Fracturing involves sending high pressure liquids down a well bore to causes fissures in dense rock, allowing trapped natural gas to escape into the well and be pumped to the surface. Curran said it is common to use propane in fracking operations.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

"it is not clear that there is a net GHG benefit to burning gas from shale beds instead of coal."

 

huh? as you would put it. (Others might be tampted to say bullshit.)

But in saying this (which prompted your huh) I was only saying that the cleanest burning fuel, leaving less particulate in its combustion than other fuels, is being pissed away in the production of bitumen...the NG used to produce one barrel of the shit would heat my house for most of the winter.

Try and get your head around this as a statement about what I think of the ethics of the bastards doing the frigging fracking, not your precious speculations:

 

"Natural gas burns cleaner, less particulate and acidity.  They are burning it by the millions of cu. ft. each day out Fort McMordor way. There is absolutely no logical connection between these two sets of facts except cost of production and the bottom line presented to investors."


Policywonk
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Joined: Feb 6 2005

KenS wrote:

Similarly with shale gas: it takes much more fossil fuel burning to get the shale gas. So the GHG's of that have to be added into the ledger. Then there is GHGs from natural gas leakage and the much more serious methane leakage.

Natural Gas is essentially methane, with up to 20% heavier hydrocarbons such as ethane, pentane, and butane, plus very small concentrations of other molecules.


scott
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Joined: May 20 2001

Fracking blowback spooks energy industry

Quote:
The oil and gas industry is reeling from attacks on what it considers one of its most important technologies -- fracking.

Protests across New York State, have temporarily banned the practice. Unfavorable coverage in the media and a scathing documentary film that was nominated this year for an Oscar also seem to have scared the industry.

"We've done a terrible job at getting our message out to the public," one gas company executive said during a roundtable discussion on the practice at IHS CERA's annual energy conference. "Now we're locked out of New York."


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Flagged as offensive George.

I checked the "peronal attack" box because you have to check one of them. Then said:

Quote:

more like heedlessly and needlessly abusive language.

I'm sure we all let tons go by from George.

I dont really know if this time is any worse than therest, but I'll draw the line here.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

That industry spokesperson is funny.

Of course you "dont get your message out" when what has been wrking and what you continue to depend is denial and obfuscation. Counting on the equivalent of poor voter turnout.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
Noah_Scape
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Joined: Oct 24 2007

June 2 2011 - More Earthquakes related to Fracking in Arkansas and Britian > http://tinyurl.com/6ek4m2a

Natural gas is a "better" fossil fuel, but still a fossil fuel and extraction, refining, and transportation of it to customers or power plants all add to the CO2 emissions.

Now, with the big easy natural gas pools being depleted, they are goin' frackin' for it, and contamination of ground water is a serious problem that the industry has so far only denied.

It seems they could frack with less toxic "pressure fluids", and it is probably just cheaper to use the toxic fluids... Hemp Oil would probably work just as well.

 

also, in USA - Attorney General sues to stop fracking in the Delaware Basin.

> http://gothamist.com/2011/06/01/ny_attorney_general_sues_federal_go.php

 

Videos of "Fracking Hell" > http://tvnewslies.org/tvnl/index.php/members/video-gallery/viewvideo/243...

So, if fracking is stopped and the Tar Sands take 1/2 of Canada's natural gas to produce bitumen, there simply won't be enough natural gas to provide home heating and power plant electrical production. The Tar Sands is the greatest threat to natural gas supplies - IT MUST BE STOPPED!!!

 

but DAMN it is hard to type with this awful formatting on the edge of the box!!


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

The oil companies are fighting back aqgainst their negative image. Tthe Canadian Oil and Gas  Industry magazine Ocean Resources is given free to all passengers on Air Labrador flights, and here is an article in the latest issue:
 
Fracking Debate Heats Up
 
excerpt:
 
But as the movement to ban fracking gains more momentum, industry experts are saying that the practice has been unfairly labeled, and it is now taking the blame for environmental problems that may have occurred for other reasons.

excerpt:
 
Guy spends much of his time these days responding to misinformation about fracking and the gas industry in general. Lately CAPP has begun running a series of highly produced television commercials promoting the benefits of a well-managed onshore petroleum industry in Canada, as well as hosting a series of public forums and open houses in petroleum areas around the country. Guy says most of the opposition to fracking is founded on misinformation, and he reiterates Huskins' argument that the activity takes place at a depth that is far removed from ground water. "Typically fracturing activity is taking place 2,000 to 3,000 meters below the surface," he says. "The deepest potable water anywhere is found at around 400 meters. In fact 300 meters is an extremely deep water well. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that fracks taking place at the 2,000 meter depth are having any effect on water wells." He points to the fact that more than a million fracks have taken place on the North American continent since the practice began in 1949, with 167,000 of them taking place in Alberta. "The fact is, even with all that activity there is not a single known incidence of a well contamination as a result of a frack," he says.

excerpt:
 
Larry Huskins remains quietly optimistic that his industry will prevail in the battle for public hearts and minds. Like Forent, CAPP and other players, Corridor Resources has been hosting open houses and stakeholder meetings in areas around New Brunswick's McCully Gas Field. He says that while the oil and gas industry has made some mistakes in the past, the scientific evidence is strongly there to support hydraulic fracturing as a safe and environmentally benign process. "At the end of the day the public will become educated enough about the real truths to make their own decisions," he says.


Boom Boom
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Boom Boom
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As Texas Withers, Gas Industry Guzzles

Drought restrictions are forcing homeowners to quit watering their gardens, even as thirsty fracking operations help themselves to the agua.

excerpt:

As Texas faces its worst single-year drought ever, many drinking wells have failed, entire towns could go dry, and millions of residential water users face mandatory cutbacks. A study released at a meeting of Texas water districts yesterday predicted that the drought will persist through next summer. But so far, the state's booming and increasingly thirsty natural gas industry faces no limits to how much water it can pump.

"In a drought like this, every drop is important," says Don Young, a local anti-fracking activist who showed me where Chesapeake's water pipes had been hoisted over a jogging trail. "And if we're asked to conserve, then I think the drilling industry should be doing the same thing."


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
Earthquakes could be linked to B.C. gas drilling

excerpt:

 

The coincidence of earthquakes and gas exploration warrants further investigation, said University of Calgary seismologist David Eaton.

 

"This would fall within the descriptor of a seismic swarm," Eaton told CBC News. "I think, you know, any links to hydrocarbon extraction of fluid injection would be really interesting."


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007
Quote:
The Niagara Falls Water Board is exploring the possibility of treating excess fluid from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — a method of extracting natural gas from shale — in the Adirondacks. The chemical-laden liquid would be transported to an existing waste water plant along the shores of Lake Ontario, home to an expansive ecosystem and the source of drinking water for more than 9 million people.
Quote:
One online video from a home in western New York, where companies drill along the Marcellus shale, shows a man lighting running tap water on fire. The Council of Canadians issued a letter to the board on Thursday, suggesting waste water facilities are rarely able to fully decontaminate fracking fluid. Currently, there are no treatment plants in the state equipped to handle the waste water, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1061585--new-york-s-toxic-waste-thre...

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

From The Council of Canadians:


Harper government admits it has power to stop fracking in Canada



Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister, was quoted in a recent CBC report confirming the federal government does have power under the Environmental Protection Act to stop fracking projects should they threaten to pollute and contaminate local waterways.

"Fracking," also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a controversial drilling process used to extract natural gas from shale, coal beds and "tight sands" with vertical and horizontal drilling. Sand, water and chemicals are blasted at high pressure to fracture rock where natural gas is trapped. This method of natural gas extraction uses vast amounts of water and dangerous chemicals, which can leach into nearby water sources.

The Council of Canadians is involved in fracking fights across Canada in an effort to protect our water, air and land. Over the past few weeks we joined others along the TransCanada highway in Cape Breton to protest Petroworth Inc's fracking plans next to Lake Ainslie, the largest freshwater source in Nova Scotia. In Fredericton, New Brunswick we marched with a crowd of 600 people calling for a provincial ban. And in Niagara Falls, New York, we spoke against a proposal for the local wastewater facility to take in water contaminated with fracking fluids. The contaminated water would be trucked along the shores of Lake Ontario, putting the Great Lakes - a drinking source for millions - at risk.

To read more about the Council's campaign against fracking go to www.canadians.org/fracking.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

 

Canadian Press piece, so you may see this carried locally.

[Ironically, not in Nova Scotia yet.]

I'd be interested in reports if anyone hears it carried on radio.

Controversy over shale gas fracking galvanizes communities in the Maritimes

 


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

Members of the New Brunswick legislature voted on Tuesday to support the Progressive Conservative government's position on shale gas exploration.

The non-binding resolution took on symbolic importance after Tory MLA Kirk MacDonald tabled a petition with almost 16,000 names on it opposed to shale gas exploration and then said he didn't know how he'd vote on his own government's resolution.

The resolution endorses the "responsible" development of a shale gas industry with "world-class" regulations.

Premier David Alward promised a free vote on the shale gas motion last week. That commitment would have allowed Tory MLAs to vote against the shale gas motion without being penalized by the party.

In the end, all the Progressive Conservative members, including MacDonald, voted for the resolution, while all Liberal MLAs voted against it.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2011/12/07/nb-shale-ga...

KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Quote:

...Summers is concerned about the hydraulic fracturing used in the resource extraction process and worries about the potential impacts on drinking water supplies.

I've done a few interviews at this point. And try as I might, I cannot get them to pay attention to air quality issues.

The accurate thing for the reporter to say would be "I asked Summers if he said he was concerned about water contamination, and he said yes." I actually said, Neither I or my neighbours is likely to get contamination from this ONE well.... the issue is what happens when there are hundreds of wells, tanks and pipeleines around us." At least that much got into the article.

But I made an explicit pitch about the less reported air quality issues- and the photographer helped me.

When the reporter sent me the link to the article he said the usual, "water quality is the issue that is out there in circulation," etc.

The community protests are much more developed in New Brunswick and pretty well reported. Totally spontaneous stuff. Google it and you'll come up with hundreds of hits.

The usual industry PR untruths and misleading half truths in the article.

 


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Oh boy! Industry goes after us!

"Hydraulic fracturing: I'll see your ‘expert' and raise you two"

I can hardly wait to mix it with this stooge. We've had a brief encounter before, but she had the podium.

She does not seem to have the PR instinct of when it is best to leave alone.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Amusing side note on those pictures of me. 

When we got out there, the photographer positioned me next to the wellhead. "Keep talking" he says.

But I've been talking steady for an hour. So I'm kind of bagged, and standing there vainly trying to think of some riff to keep me going for a while.

So the photographer starts in on a subject he had got cut off from earlier: the evils of the oil and gas industry and of capitalism in general. That did the trick- away we both went.

So that's not me holding forth on the wells and fracking.


KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

Another industry bright light called up NB NDP Leader Dominic Cardy and threatened a number of times to sue him over public comments about his companies ourageous performance in New Brunswick.

That has recieved a fair bit of play here.

Politician: Oil firm tried to shut me up


Gaian
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Joined: Aug 5 2011
The U.S.Environmental Protectin Agency has finally found contaminants from fracking in drinking water in a gas field drilled by Calgary's Encana Corp. That's the one in which Tar Patch guru and now billionaire columnist Gwynn Morgan developed pracking procedurea some years ago. But, of course, the industry has excuses: "In shale plays, industry typically fractures rock from the horizontal leg of deep wells located at depths of one to three kilometres. In Wyomiong, where Encana began, "the fracturing happens from vertical wells - an important difference (says the industry) - that are shallower, ranging from a kolometre to 372 metres velow the surface." Some water wells go to 244 metres. The EPA is back to mumbling about the difference so it looks like the industry wins another round. But at market closing yesterday, Encana was down .95 cents to $19.53. Wonder what would happen if the EPA was not attached at the navel to all political parties and actually investigated all the Pennsylvania, Tennessee, etc. complaints in those deep, horizontal shale plays? And the media!. This is from a story out of Calgary demobnstrating real investigative reporting. :)

KenS
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Joined: Aug 6 2001

E.P.A. Links Tainted Water in Wyoming to Hydraulic Fracturing for Natural Gas

EPA blames fracking for pollution

 

I dont think it is accurate to say that the EPA 'is mumbling about the diifference'.

The EPA must have had to worm their way into this one case through some technicality. Because shale gas fracking is explicitly exempted from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act [thank you Dick Cheney], and every single state 'regulator' in producing states have banded together to fight off EPA attempts to compell the collecting of data- let alone regulation.

In Canada, the federal government does not even have that much in the way of oversight possibility. The government nonetheless has taken the initiative to investigate hydraulic fracturing, and sounds open about their investigation. But then, they were making supportive noises about the provinces wanting to look at tuning up CPP- which turned out to be a blatantly obvious diversionary tactic.


Polunatic2
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Joined: Mar 12 2006

Not sure how to imbed this video, but a friend of mine in New Brunswick shared it on her FB wall yesterday. Who knew? 

Animation of Hydraulic Fracturing explained by children.WMV


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