A Fracking Disaster in the Making: Report
The earth-shattering exploitation of deep deposits of shale rock for natural gas production has broken global records in northeast British Columbia and now threatens critical water supplies across the country, warns a new Munk School of Global Affairs report by award-winning B.C. journalist Ben Parfitt.
Earlier this year at Two Island Lake north of Fort Nelson, two corporations, Encana and Apache, blasted an estimated 5.6 million barrels worth of water along with 111 million pounds of sand and unknown chemicals to fracture apart dense formations of shale over a 100 day period, or what Parfitt calls "the world's largest natural gas extraction effort of its kind."
"Hydraulic fracturing," a brute force technology used in 90 per cent of all unconventional oil and gas well drilling, has allowed companies to exploit vast shale deposits across the continent over the last decade.
...the fracturing of deep rock formations with water, sand and chemicals appears to be a chaotic, non-linear process that can open fractures to freshwater formations as well as other oil and gas wells.
Widespread contamination in U.S.
Fracking chemicals or what industry calls its "secret sauce" can be highly toxic and involve hundreds of chemicals, including silicas, petroleum byproducts, potassium-based chemicals and alcohols. In the Marcellus Shale, a huge deposit stretching from New York to Tennessee, industry leaves as much as 3 million gallons of contaminated water in the ground for every well drilled.
Various U.S. regulators have demanded full disclosure on these chemicals.
What the Frack is going on?
There is a new trend in natural gas and oil well drilling. Its called Multi-Stage Fracking (MSF) and its all the rage. Why? Because it allows for the collection of natural gas from sources that in the past could not be tapped or needed to be tapped with many wells and can now be tapped with just one long horizontal well.
While I'm impressed with the technology and its rapid development, everything I have seen shows the hazards of this reclamation technique seem poorly understood (probably intentionally) and potentially very dangerous.
So what's the problem? Well part of the problem is the fracking fluids used to make the fractures in the rock formations. They're proprietary and the drilling companies are under little to no obligation to disclose what they're pumping into the ground.
The 2005 Energy Policy Act exempted hydraulic fracturing from regulation under the Safe Water Drinking Act.
Eyes of natural gas industry on Pa
The gas riches of the vast Marcellus Shale — which underlies Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and part of Ohio — have attracted a rush of drillers and related operations to the region in the last two years. Tens of thousands of acres of Pennsylvania land have been leased and thousands of wells have been drilled.
Some geologists estimate the Marcellus contains 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, of which 50 trillion cubic feet might be recoverable by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" — enough to supply the entire East Coast for 50 years. Those vast gas riches are attractive because they're so close to major markets in the Northeast.
"The Marcellus is so big, so new and happening so fast," said conference presenter Bobby Huffman, project director for Houston-based Spectra Energy Transmission, a major natural gas infrastructure company. "I would say the rest of the industry is watching it because the potential for the ultimate amount of gas production is so big in Pennsylvania."
The fracking process is currently exempt from regulation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; EPA is considering how to structure a study requested by Congress, where bills are pending that would reverse the exemption and give the EPA regulatory oversight.
Blasted free by millions of gallons of fresh water and chemical soup sent miles below ground, some of Earth’s baddest geological actors — radioactive elements capable of scarring soil and scourging human health — are slowly rising to the surface along with the Barnett Shale’s natural gas.
Mark Ruffalo on terror advisory list
Actor Mark Ruffalo has been placed on a terror advisory list by U.S. officials after organizing screenings for a new documentary about natural gas drilling.
The "Zodiac" actor arranged showings for "GasLand" earlier this year and voiced his concerns about the practice in relation to the national water supplies.
But his efforts to raise awareness and demand a stop to natural gas drilling reportedly attracted the attention of officials from Pennsylvania's Office of Homeland Security - and he recently discovered it had landed him on a terror alert watchlist.
Originally posted by starless and bible black
Can you dig it?
Pa. fracking blowout spews fluid onto state forest lands
Talisman Energy has resumed its Marcellus drilling operations in Pennsylvania, a week after one of the company's gas wells experienced a blowout that caused an uncontrolled discharge of sand and fracking fluids onto state forest lands in Tioga County.
As a result of the incident, Talisman shut down all of its hydraulic fracturing operations in North America while it conducted an internal investigation into the cause of the Jan. 17 blowout. Those operations have since resumed, with Talisman's Pennsylvania drilling program being the last to be brought back online.