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Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/14/2013 6:40 PM

For North America, Australia and now Britain, fracking, CSG and shale oil etc are seen as game changers in the whole energy mix. The USA could be a net energy exporter. That should surely worry the likes of the Middle East, parts of South America and even Russia who are the current major exporters of oil and gas.

I am not sure if this has already been discussed in this foruum, but the environmental and PR story with these energy sources continues not to be good. How do we as engineers change this?

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#1

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 6:43 PM

Change what? The global warming scam?

Present the truth based on real data.

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#2

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 6:44 PM

Make a hunting season on media people.

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#3

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 7:08 PM

The engineering to tap these energy sources, (safely), is already in place.

Engineers change the negative by being citizens that are willing to share their knowledge and experience with the layman.

Explain to them that people that harvest the planet's bountiful energy supplies, aren't interested in destroying it.

Explain to them that poisoning all of the drinking water is not on the menu.

Explain to them that natural gas can produce energy 24/7, and doesn't stop when the wind stops blowing or the sun goes down.

Explain to them that government has a role to play, and it's making sure that everything is being done properly, and not turning a blind eye to campaign contributors, and personal pals.

Explain to them that electricity isn't produced in the walls of their homes.

Explain to them how badly things will suck, when the lights go out, and nobody has a job.

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#4

Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/14/2013 7:13 PM

As you can see, you won't get any truthful, unbiased discussion here.

Half truths, glib responses and propaganda dominate this forum when discussing fracking. Nobody mentioned global warming, but it's a good diversion from the truth.

Never mind that for every well drilled, millions of gallons of water laced with unknown chemicals are pumped into the ground. Whatever comes back out, is pumped into more garbage wells drilled for the sole purpose of disposing of this waste water contaminated with poisons.

Petroleum companies have enough money to purchase all the votes they need in Congress to hide the composition of the poisons and to derail any meaningful oversight/controls/regulations on the industry.

Money/avarice rules. Whatever it takes to get elected during the next election cycle is all that counts to the prostitutes in Congress. And that's money. Doing it right cuts into the profits.

I'll be waiting for the tire burner and the anarchist to respond.

Don't count on much.

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#5

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 7:40 PM

GO NUCLEAR....!

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#6

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 8:19 PM

OK Guys, I can see that the 'usual stances' have been adopted! I and others could have written the responses. So how do we engineer a (thorium?) nuclear package?How do we scrub the CSG recovery water (or other fluid) so it does not pollute?

Collectively, (sorry for that essence), how do we make it a better place?
Why should things like the somewhat secretive Pacific Trade Partnership (PTP) that is being discussed as I write this, impose financial restrictions on say a better way to do heart surgery?

Bottom line, what is an honest list of the CSG issues and let's consider each line item, one by one.

I grew up under 2 sulphor stacks attached to a gold ore roasting plant. Today, if it was not for carbon-in-pulp, many of the gold mines would not exist. Engineers applying technology can deal with issues once defined. So get off your hobby horses, open your eyes, and just do it. I dare you!

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#7
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Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/14/2013 8:35 PM

It simply takes a committment to do no harm.

Unfortunately that runs afoul of the profit motive.

There was a time when a 10% return on investment was considered a good deal. People had homes, kids had summer jobs and then joined the workforce.

Now, it's squeeze every penny out of the process, regardless of the unknown consequences of the action.

Do no harm!

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#8

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/15/2013 1:11 AM

In South Africa the Intention was to declare fracking and similar (underground gasification of coal) as a controlled activity under our water law. An activity can only be declared when the authorities are convinced that the activity is possibly detrimental to any water resource (like aquifer).

The beauty of this is that the activity is prohibited unless it can be proven that the technology exist to prevent degradation. If declared the law may require the applicant give security in respect of any potential obligation arising from the approved activity.

Our authorities now seems reluctant to declare and apparently want to rely on incompetent environmental specialists to protect the (in SA) priceless water resources.

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#9

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/15/2013 3:59 AM

The thread seems designed to just throw up the usual responses (yet again)
The answer is very simple.
Apply sufficient resources to do the job properly.
However the profit led ethos prohibits this.
It would cost more and take longer to ensure the engineering is sound than it does to employ a PR man, or to pay off/scare off with lawyers those who are damaged/inconvenienced or object to the proces.

As always it's down to greed.
If only we could develop an ethos where a 'reasonable' profit is good but not at the expense of joe public/the environment etc.
Oh and don't start me on the politics.
To put it another way...
The thread is simply naive...
Del

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 5:36 AM

Never mind that for every well drilled, millions of gallons of water laced with unknown chemicals are pumped into the ground. Whatever comes back out, is pumped into more garbage wells drilled for the sole purpose of disposing of this waste water contaminated with poisons.

This is one of the myths that won't go away, despite the fact that the fracking fluid is becoming safe to the point of being completely nontoxic.

http://www.prlog.org/11743014-eco-friendly-fracking-fluid-set-for-debut.html

http://www.news24.com/Green/News/Nontoxic-fracking-fluid-developed-20130203

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#11
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 6:42 AM

"Guymon, Oklahoma - A newly developed fluid for use in oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations is now ready for testing in field operations, Family Joule Holdings, Inc. (FJH) announced today. Based largely on waste tallow from beef processing, the fluid is the world's first 100% non-toxic, water table friendly, "Ultimate Bio-Degradable" fracking fluid, according to FJH, the parent company of BioJoule Fluids & Specialty Chemicals LLC."One of the biggest obstacles to hydraulic fracturing is the perceived toxicity of chemicals used to conduct fracking operations, especially in the Marcellus Shale areas of Pennsylvania. We think we have solved that problem, at least" says chief technology officer and company founder Wes Marr. A principle component of the FJH fluid is edible, but typically wasted tallow from American-raised beef. Other components are likewise non-toxic and safe for humans, animals and the environment"
They aren't myths until the good stuff is in use everywhere.
The bold italicised words are to indicate that propaganda works both ways.
The use of 'perceived' is particularly invidious. Of course they are perceived as toxic, because all the indications are that they are toxic and the companies won't say exactly what they are.
And if the old stuff wasn't toxic... why are they crowing about how the new stuff is non toxic???!!!
Do they expect us to roll over so they can tickle our bellies while poisoning the water table. Oh the poor dears, they are so hard done by...bastards
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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 6:54 AM

It's complete BS for them to say "perceived". Anybody can do a search and find the commonly used chemicals, and they're highly toxic. But it continues to get better.

One thing I'm grappling with, is that the big players want to get into heavy fracking across the US...and export the LNG. I'm having difficulty with that concept.

If they frack everything as quickly as possible, and export the product, they make billions, and 10-20 years up the road, we're tapped out.

I'd prefer to see limited fracking based on domestic demand, and use it to rebuild our decimated manufacturing base.

If it sounds like I want to hoard our domestic energy supplies, to insure that we have that energy for 100+ years into the future....I do.

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#13
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 8:43 AM

Exactly... it's the short term profit motive that keeps screwing us.

You may have noticed that now the 'financial crisis' is begining to ease off a tad... the TV is now starting to show more and more adds for credit cards... D'uh... it was unsupported credit that screwed us in the first place. Not to mention government schemes to give first time buyers cheap morgages... D'uh sub prime all over again... let's fuel an increases in house prices... which middle England sees for some unaccountable reason as a good thing.
For pitties sake NO... stopit! Let house prices find a sensible market value, and let governments build affordable housing rather than propping up prices for profiteers and developers.

The 'free market' is anything but... it's only free when the big boys are winning... if they are loosing, then we all have to bail 'em out. T'was ever thus.
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#14
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 9:04 AM

We're living in parallel worlds. They are ramping up sub prime mortgages here again, too. This time it will work better.

On the fracking...the entire planet is getting in on the action; with the goal of getting the stuff out of the ground as quickly as possible, exporting it, and burning it up.

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#15
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/15/2013 10:47 AM

South Africa definitely has the right idea when taking caution around precious natural resources. Regardless of what people in (North) America perceive, water can be an extremely finite resource and is not necessarily "renewable".

If the water is ruined at key parts of the cycle, then it may be a while until the cycle returns potable water.

If we continue to extract the water by way of a filtering system which has been ruined through what amounts to blatant disregard for common sense, the water cycle is broken, and so may be the life cycle.

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#16
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/15/2013 11:09 PM

I had a long answer to this post but got rejected several times. Fracking is much less a boogie man than you think.
http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/20081/23218

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#17

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 4:20 AM

Oil and gas are so 1973.

Engineers need to develop sources that are based on the planet's energy income, and not on its reserves.

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#18

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 10:01 AM

I recently attended a seminar at the U of Minnesota on Fracking. It was a balanced presentation by a Professor who is working to solve some of the issues. He has a system prototyped that will allow 90%+ of the water to be reused again in the same system. When they follow the protocol of drilling and pumping, there are minimal risks. The big companies are doing fine. The smaller wildcatters are the ones who are taking shortcuts.

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#19
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Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/16/2013 10:35 AM

Yeah, but how to select which ones to hunt, and which ones not? It is just not right to put them all in the same basket. Besides, I think the FBI would not really cotton to this very much at all. Never mind Homeland Security.

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#20
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Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/16/2013 10:37 AM

Geez, at least we are already half way there on the last line, but when the scam cell phone sellers don't have any cold beer in the frig, that's where they will draw the line in the sand.

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#21
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/16/2013 10:45 AM

The real antogonists are the high end chemical analyzer companies claiming their newest GC3-MS3 instrument can tell what isotope came from where, and then they start in with the propaganda that they detected a fraction of a part per billion of high isotopic mass Br or some such, that will cause Johnny's teeth to fall out, and him to grow an extra leg out of his forehead. Hey man, the instrument companies want a piece of the action and there is apparently no moral ethic to prevent them from making all sorts of claims about what "evil" fracking is doing to the water resource by bubbling gas upward throughout the strata. I say bunkum et putridum.

So what if there is a ppb of something in the water, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Another thing: have you ever seen certain classes of folks throwing their nasty used baby diapers in a surface water lake used for potable water? I have. I say if it rids society of people like that, then frack away.

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#22
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 10:47 AM

I keep thinking that we're missing something big in terms of energy production.

Here we are, sitting on a ball that's spinning at around 1000 MPH, and we have to burn stuff to produce electricity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_rotation

I don't have the brains to figure it out, but I can't help but wonder about some of the ideas that were running through Tesla's mind.

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#23
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 1:43 PM

don't mess with the earth's rotation, please. I prefer being ambulatory.

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#24
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 1:46 PM

OK, go and throw away everything to the rubbish that is made from oil and gas. See what you have left.

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#25
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 1:58 PM

That little face next to his post indicates sarcasm.

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#26

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 5:40 PM

So starting with Bart@'s answer (#18), how do you get to say 97%+ water recycling without residuals contaminating the ground water ... DTH (down the hole) processing maybe with a micro engineering package? In other words, instead of one facility on the surface, use multiple units underground.

So as a start point, what are all the current incremental steps in fracking etc and how might they be better engineered? Are more steps needed to be added?

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#27
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/16/2013 7:17 PM

I am not sure I completely understand your question. First, you must realize that there is a near zero chance of contamination between deep well fracking and shallow aquifer bearing zones. The formation below 500 meters is often referred to an aquaclude (where no water can be transmitted). The gas formations are much deeper than this and the fractures will be completely closed from the 500 meter to say 2000 meters below the ground. The only conduit from the gas bearing formations to the surface is through a highly engineered well, sealed from all water bearing zones. The use of water in hydraulic fracturing often involves using water that was encountered in the original drilling. The water injected is not all recovered but is most often lost to the gas formation, not the upper water bearing zones. The recovered water is usable for other wells to be fracked.

I would also point out that there are very clean methods of fracking that use no water whatsoever. Look up fracking with CO2 and it is effective. It is gaining in popularity as it means carbon dioxide is injected back to the area where a lot of carbon dioxide is extracted. CO2 fracking freezes the formation and thus causes the fractures. It also rids the formation of some biological problems. This type of fracking will likely be the norm in the near future.

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#28

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/17/2013 1:14 AM

The Great Artesian Basin in Australia does go that deep.

"The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is a geological curiosity. What might be described as a 'giant geological sponge', it consists of alternating layers of water bearing sandstone wedged between impermeable mudstones and siltstones. Covering approximately one fifth of the Australian land mass, water has been obtained from depths of up to 2000 metres with temperatures varying from 30 to 100 degrees celsius in the deeper areas.

In the south-west of the basin, water has been dated at two million years since last exposed to daylight. Water enters the basin as rainfall along outcropping intake beds and due to differences in elevation, becomes pressurised within the aquifer. Fractures in the earth's crust result in natural springs. Bores penetrate impermeable layers and this allows water to rise to the surface.

Your point about using CO2 is noted. This is something that more should be made of.

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#29
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/17/2013 11:25 AM

You are right about some depths such as Australia. However, where there are deep aquifers, there will be no fracking because there will be no economic benefits as gas will be very limited if at all found in the underlying formations above the aquifer. Generally speaking, as one goes deeper the fractures (water bearing zones) will close up due to pressure and heat. In most areas of the continental plates, that is the case. Volcanic areas may be exceptions. The same closed fractures system would hold for the Australian aquifer. The fact that the deep aquifer exists at 2000 meters and is "artesian" suggests water entering from shallow zones near each end of the basin. Perhaps some geological folding but I am not familiar enough with the basin.

Yes CO2 fracking is effective and I have had the chance to witness such process. It works quite well and should be a normal usage if enough CO2 can be delivered to on site use.

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#30

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/18/2013 10:43 AM

As Lyn states, money rules. I have friends in a fracking region. The frackers appear on the surface to be very concerned for the public while the local government doesn't move in that direction. It appear they spend 20% of the money on PR that they spend on reelections. Frackers can well afford a smoke screen.

As far as global warming - who knows? We do know the earth is warming; is this due to CO2? Technically, we are at the tail end of an ice age and the earth has been steadily warming for the last 22,000 yrs. The earth will warm regardless of what we will do. Are we speeding the process? Probably…

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#31
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/18/2013 11:57 AM

Any drilling operation, no matter the ultimate depth, must pass through strata containing aquifers. The wells do not need to pass directly through the aquifer to have an impact. Wells that are not maintained or are capped and forgotten (many more causes could be listed) are big contributors to leeching of not only fracking fluids, but the gas which results. Many other contaminants have been noted in wells, where no contamination existed for decades before local fracking began.

Vertical faults caused by fracking and resultant shifts in the earth's upper strata (microquakes) are also theorized to be big contributors to the spoiling of aquifers. Surface water contamination has also recently been discovered to possibly be contaminated through fracking operations.

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#32
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/18/2013 2:04 PM

The construction of deep wells for gas and oil are completely sealed with several casings that pass through any fractured or water bearing zones. The annular space, the space between the casing and bore-hole is sealed with a cement to assure no leakage. There are several of these barriers all the way down to the gas bearing formation.

If there had been an old well without the annular space sealed and it was as deep as the gas bearing formation, it would have been a danger. But as a gas or oil exploration well is abandoned, there are procedures in place to assure they are abandoned properly.

I have spent a whole career in the ground water industry. Water wells and water well drillers are the biggest culprits for poor construction practices. That said there are many very good water well drillers that follow proper grouting techniques and practices. Most water wells are contaminated from the surface through improper well construction. Many water wells are capped and forgotten. New rules have been in place in most jurisdictions and they govern how a water well is to be constructed and abandoned. but that has not always been the case with water wells. Far too many abandoned water wells still exist in far too many areas. That problem has nothing to do with fracking for gas and as I have stated earlier the likely hood of a gas well contaminating a water well is near zero.

If no contamination existed before it is most often not supported by documentation. Very few private home owners will spend the money to examine their water supply any further than a domestic salesman from their local water softener company. A good analysis of a domestic well will cost $500.00 for just the lab fee. Add on the consultants fee for interpretation and sampling and you will recognize the problem.

If there is surface water contamination from fracking, I would say that that contamination did not happen through upward formation movement but rather from poor collection practice at the drill site for fracking residual waters. These waters are meant to be contained. The vertical faults caused by fracking are very small and do not extend beyond 30 meters of the fracking zone. And that is still a lot of separation between any water bearing aquifer and the top of these fracked faults. These micro-quakes are seldom more than what would be registered as background seismic activity. People are looking for an excuse to attack the gas industry and I know they are very careful on their approaches to fracking.

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#33
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Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/18/2013 7:27 PM

"This is one of the myths that won't go away"

Myths? Myths? Are you really serious????????????????????

This is NOT A MYTH?

Whatever makes you say this? Myth?

Even you can believe that it's a myth!!!!!!!!!

It's a fact, and you know it!!!! It is not a Myth!

Yes, I'm back.

It is under development, not in use.

How about some factual responses from you.

Smoke, blown up one's A$$, does not eqaul, "safe to the point of being completely nontoxic". It's propaganda until it's in the ground, working and the poisins are not.

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#34
In reply to #7

Re: Fracking, CSG, shale oil ... how to engineer it right?

11/19/2013 9:30 AM

Do no harm also applies to the citizens living above ground who use ridiculous amounts of oil and gas in their super-sized trucks while they throw out soiled disposable diapers along the highways, along with their super-sized fries box, and their big-gulp containers. Then the same people have water wells with no at surface protection from storm water pollution, and they change their truck's oil right next to the well, dumping the spent oil on the ground, and when something new comes along, to provide more energy, use domestic resources, etc., they are the first ones to go NIMBY.

This whole scenario could not work against reality as well if the German Nazis had engineered it. There is more than enough chicken-little to go around, and a scarcity of common sense.

The largest source of groundwater pollution is ignorance. At least as much of this comes from surface activity if not 10 times as much. In some places, there was pollution in terms of natural gas in water wells - so it seemed. Later this was proven a hoax to garner money from big oil. The courts settled the matter. Other places there is gas in ground water already, no where near fracking operations.

Factoid #7 - more oil is "spilled" by naturally emitting oil slicks than all of the tanker incidents combined.

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#35
In reply to #34

Change The Subject Away From Shale Oil to Diapers

11/19/2013 9:48 AM

Your response doesn't surprise me since you live in west Texas, a state that presently pumps more oil out of the ground than any other state and has farmers who all drive huge gas guzzlers themselves. And about those diapers, that might happen there more than other places, I don't know.

Your response has nothing to do with shale oil, but just sounds like a diversion from the facts.

Maybe you should start a thread on the environmental impact of Texans poor manners and their disregard for other people's property.

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#36
In reply to #32

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 10:18 AM

Hundreds of wells going back 3 or more generations produced potable water. The wells to best describe the issue are not artesian. Once fracking started nearby which must have passed through the aquifer, some homes and farms experienced pressurization from some source. The worst of the wells are now producing natural gas, as well as unpotable water.

The experiment is repeatable.

It doesn't matter how much background or experience any one person has.

Experience by itself proves nothing. Experience proves this, or that, or nothing, according to the preconceptions we bring to it.

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#37
In reply to #33

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 10:38 AM

I guess my response would be, that regardless of advancements in fracking technology...people like you will never stop your perpetual screaming.

http://www.gasfrac.com/

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 12:07 PM

Oh, come on! Are you being paid by big oil?

From your Gasfrac propaganda: "Water-free fracking still remains an early-stage technology, with potentially higher initial costs than conventional fracking methods"

So much for your misguided statement, "the fracking fluid is becoming safe"; now you're telling us that Gasfrac is better than fluid?

Quit grasping at straws. You can't un-ring the bell! The horse is outta the barn.

Ground water all around these fields has been irreparably poisoned.

Earthquakes, where there had never been earthquakes before, don't just happen. These are the result of hydraulic fracturing!

We don't need oil, or gas, so desperately that we have to kill the earth to get it.

We can't go back and un-do the damaged already done. This damage is the result of avarice;greed;the need for political power and wealth, not for the good of mankind.

As to your immature stance on global warming, give that up too. GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL. The earth has been going through cooling/heating cycles since it formed. Deal with it. The cause is not debatable.

Air/water pollution is real and here now, too. Don't deny that! Their effect may be debatable, but not the cause. You did it! I did it! Rabbits and fish don't need gasoline and lubricating oil.

You've pissed me off, again.

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 12:20 PM

You've pissed me off, again.

Good.

As to your immature stance on global warming, give that up too. GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL. The earth has been going through cooling/heating cycles since it formed.

Agree. AGW is a hoax.

How many deaths has fracking caused? Why do you hate birds and bats?

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/aiob-hbm110413.php

https://nrglabjohnwish.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/green-energy-windmills-killing-tens-of-thousands-of-birds/

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 12:31 PM

There ya go again, with the propaganda!

Here's some right back at you.

"Even if we got 100 percent of our electricity from wind turbines, bird mortality wouldn't be even close to that which is caused by communication towers, buildings, automobiles or even cats.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/do-wind-turbines-kill-birds.aspx#ixzz2l75GOXoN

I just came back from the Minnesota house. It was a beautiful sight, all those hundreds of wind turbines turning majestically with the wind, making electricity that you very well are using right now.

Why do you hate birds and fish?

Mass Bird & Fish Deaths Caused by Hydraulic Fracking ...

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 1:01 PM

Your link just presents a question, with no supporting evidence.

I'm powered by nuke. My hands are clean.

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#42
In reply to #37

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 1:12 PM

And there are certain people "like" someone else who think that moving forward indicates progress, that we must find new energy sources regardless of the cost to human dignity...regardless of the long term cost to the environment. This mentality is very similar to another thread on Conference Room 4 where discusson of "long term storage" and remediation through dispersal was put into place for radioactive waste and by-products took place.

We hear through the media that if the local water wells become spoiled that water can be trucked or piped in from near or far. The first question that comes to mind is that if fracking is safe and has absolutely nothing to do with poisoned water sources, why do the companies go to the expense of doing this to begin with? Out of their sheer good nature?

Deliver of water incurs a cost which was non-existent before. Taking water from another source for long term transport to areas which used to be self sustaining only drains the resources from the newly targeted source. It also adds to the already burdening cost of petroleum, a finite resource.

Where do most large municipalities get their water from to begin with? In the US, anyway, water supplies are by-and-large pumped from aquifers. According to the EPA, 15% of Americans pump their own water from private wells...which are not regulated by the EPA. (Poisoning of private wells is not legally monitored and no environmental regulation protects private wells.)

If the aquifers are destroyed with fracking by-products, including methane, and other pollutants then the cities will soon-enough know the pain of the rural communities. When (or if) a poisoned aquifer plume reaches a resevoir "source" then all hell will surely break loose as the problem will affect an ever increasing population.

Remember, under EPA guidelines, one gallon of oil can pollute to excess 250,000 gallons of formerly potable water.

Enjoy your natural gas while it lasts. But, know that it came with a price which will only increase with time. Like radioactive waste, it is a gift which will keep on giving.

This will all end in tears.

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#43
In reply to #18

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 1:18 PM

And 10% of the water which cannot be re-used is trucked away for treatment, but is essentially useless as potable water. The by-products contained in the water are buried and capped, or flushed into a surface water source (remediation though dispersal and dilution).

Minimal risks can result in minimal deaths.

Big companies have proven time and time again that big dollars buy big silence from big government...for a while.

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#44
In reply to #36

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 1:38 PM

What makes you think that a well will remain forever the same? A well is a bio-amplifier of most ground water microbiology. The well is an intrusion into a geological formation. The bore whole provides the room for biological activity that only had small niches before a water well was drilled. The more you pump water, the more bio-accumulation will occur. Once a well establishes a consortium of bacteria in a colony there is a host of things that can be found in a well environment that did not exist when the well was first drilled. There will be micro environments underlying the colony or biofilm that forms. Many many wells are considered biofouled, where the quality or quantity of water has been compromised. If a person of experience were to examine the water they can assess the potential for biofilms to form quite easily. I have seen 30% of wells sampled out of 300 to have biologically induced lead at levels above the criteria for drinking. Cadmium, arsenic, H2S, and yes even methane can form this way. They all have nothing to do with fracking. I repeat myself to this thread, but deep well gas fracking will not cause the issues you claim. Fracking can also be done on shallow water wells, but that is a different topic and that type of fracking can affect shallow wells.

Too many inexperienced people will accept anecdotal evidence as proof of something they may want to believe. That does not make their proof real. If the water well is not artesian, you may want to assess the well as GUDI or Ground Water under the Direct Influence of surface water.

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#45
In reply to #43

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 1:55 PM

And 100% of the water that enters a home and is used is other than irrigation is dumped down a sewer. Unless you want to discuss technology for treating water, at great expense, that resembles something an astronaut will need. If the byproducts meet stringent water quality standards set in most jurisdictions, why can't it be discharged to receiving streams? That is what a sewage treatment plant does every day and at volumes that are much higher than anything all the fracking can produce. We humans will need energy/products from oil and gas for a few generations yet. Gas will reduce the CO2 footprint considerably. In the interim we will search for better alternative such as wind and solar and geothermal. When such technology is ready and practical, it will gain acceptance through marketing. You are using a computer build from oil products. Please, you are being selective and disingenuous to the whole topic.

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#46
In reply to #42

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 2:02 PM

EPA concluded that there was little to no risk of fracturing fluid contaminating underground sources of drinking water during hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane production wells.

http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/wells_hydrowhat.cfm

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#47
In reply to #44

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 2:04 PM

Really?

What makes you so defensive of a technique that you CANNOT defend by any proven methods?

Congress/state legislatures have all been bribed into de-funding/cancelling, or never enacting any meaningful legislation that would hold this UNPROVEN technology in check and keep it from damaging the environment!! I pity your grandchildren!

You must surely be on the payroll of big oil! Or maybe just hate all forms of government and choose to leave your future in the hands of bankers, accountants and lawyers???

Doesn't it bother you, just a little, that these wells have been producing potable water for hundreds of years and now, ALL OF A SUDDEN, they have become unusable, in any form?

Your prejudice/bias is so flatly blatant as to be a sure sing of your true motive, and truth obviously is not a concept you embrace.

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 2:10 PM

Did you not read the last line?

The 2005 Energy Policy Act amended the SDWA definition of "underground injection" to exclude underground injection of fluids or propping agents, other than diesel fuels, in hydraulic fracturing activities related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities.

How do you suppose this :2005 Energy Policy Act got passed? For the good of humanity, or for $$$$$$ in the pocket of Congress??

We can play dueling links all day, but you will never convince me it's good for me.

Remember Burt Reynolds line? You can pee in my boot, but don't try to tell me it's rain water. Or "safe" fracking fluid!

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#49
In reply to #48

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 2:57 PM

You guys are aware that crude oil is a completely natural product...right?

...and that it sits underground in it's naturally toxic state?

...and that it contains the same ingredients that are so scary in fracking fluid?

...and that we have been drilling for it for well over 100 years, much closer to aquifers, and with far less precautions taken?

...and that we still have good drinking water?

It may be poison, but it's mother nature's poison.

http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/text_version/chemicals.php?id=73

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#50
In reply to #35

Re: Change The Subject Away From Shale Oil to Diapers

11/19/2013 3:33 PM

You are right, and I was speaking mostly about irresponsible Texans or ignorant ones, since I suppose I have more experience with Texans, than say, Pennsylvanians.

Lyn: I voted us both off topic for the last two salvos.

Perhaps we should return to the main issue. The main issue with fracking (once one gets past the NIMBY crowd, if they ever do), is not water pollution, but the large demand it pulls on existing water resources (including treated municipal effluent water as here locally). Texans, along with everyone else west of the Mississippi need to really consider where the drinking water will come from for the next generation. But first we have to ensure that there will be a next generation, having a suicidal economy does not bode well either. All I am asking for is a balance between water demands, attention to environmental responsibility (other than photo ops, and hand waving arguments, etc.) And also, for once, I would like to see scientific data not tainted with the emotions of those who have an agenda prior to looking at the data, that would be nice.

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#51
In reply to #47

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/19/2013 3:45 PM

No one pays my bills except me. I am defensive of not big oil or unproven techniques but rather the whole field of geology, geography, and science that does not support the same issues you seem so defensive of today. All I was trying to do was infuse this discussion with a little sanity. Your rants on this topic suggest you are working for High Plains Justice, Sierra Club, Gasland, or some other radical environmental group.

Truth?? The movie Gasland should remind you of a pseudo science trying to advocate for a point of view based in anecdotal evidence. That is bad science at it's worse. Every polluted water well I have investigated who has a well they claim was contaminated by fracking had never had a proper analysis of their well water for many years or more likely never. The idea that many wells have supported people for centuries without problems is absurd. The wells in question were often springs, or dug wells of marginal construction quality. Every hand pump you see attached to the top of a well on a rustic farm is an indication of a problem. Wells have been contaminated by many methods before fracking. I have spent a lot of time and effort (my whole career) trying to help the water well industry try to drill wells properly. Prior to about 1975, very few wells were installed with proper casing and pump installation, a fact I can prove. How do these old wells protect aquifers and yet you and others still pretend they are okay? Nothing happens as sudden as you claim. Hundreds of years but no one ever sampled to know the difference. As for politics, I could give a rats a$$. Dido for big oil, accountants maybe, bankers, and all the other Bay or Wall street types.

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#52
In reply to #49

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 4:12 PM

Grasshopper,

"crude oil is a completely natural product" that doesn't naturally occur in surface well water.

These "same ingredients" have been highly concentrated, and used in un-natural ways.

"drilling for it for well over 100 years." There you go again, the subject is FRACKING not drilling.

kevinm:

I work for a neutral NPO, not "some other radical environmental group."

I'm scared to death that greed is poisioning our environment and people like you are contributing to the squander, by defending these practices.

I'm raising a new family that includes three boys, the youngest of which is 7 YO. I'd like for his children to not have to wear a face mask to breath and not have to buy $5.00 USD/ gallon water to survive.

I own land in four different states and would NEVER allow anybody to drill or mine on my property unless they could prove that their operations would DO NO HARM to the land or environment.

Radical????? Hell yes, I'm radical in my defense of the earth against those who would rape it for their own profit!!!

To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, Extremism in the defense of the <conserving natural resources> is no vice."

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 4:54 PM

Fine.

No oil.

No fracking for NG.

No coal.

No nuclear.

We'll be the greenest and poorest nation on the planet.

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 5:08 PM

Fine. Good.

No oil. We've got oil, enough for many years.

No fracking for NG. Fracking gets us CHEAP natural gas.

No coal. Coal's all going to China. It'll get burned over there and drift back over here on the wind.

No nuclear. I'm all for nuclear, is big oil ever going to let it proceed?

Anyway, we'll be dead soon enough and maybe, someday, engineers will develop new ways to harvest our natural resources safely.,

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#55
In reply to #54

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 5:34 PM

We've come a long way. No need to start panicking now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_fracturing

Both air and water quality have seen vast improvements since the 60s and 70s.

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 6:27 PM

From your link: "when he successfully applied it to the Barnett Shale in the 1990s.[4] As of 2010, it was estimated that 60% of all new oil and gas wells worldwide were being hydraulically fractured".

That means it's cheaper, not better.

Air and water quality haven't improved because speculators and industry thouth it was the right thing to do.

If it has improved, it is because of government regulation, not the good intentions of lawyers, accountants and investors!

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 6:47 PM

I like the idea of cheap energy, and I've already proven that the industry is constantly working on improvements to make it as clean as possible.

I don't know what you want.

It sounds to me like you made your living in corporate America, and now you're ready to kill them off.

The president invested trillions in "green" energy firms. Most of them went belly up, and the founders are laying on a beach somewhere with our money. The rest of us slobs still have to survive.

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#58
In reply to #52

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 7:06 PM

We greedy humans have been exploiting natural resources since we discovered we could. We have hewed our forests, dug out the minerals from the earth, fished the oceans bare, irrigated golf courses with a precious resource often limited (more than all the fracking water), used coal even when the air was choking us, heat our homes and drive cars powered by oil, and the list goes on. Yet today, we still grow more food to feed more people on less land, increased our life expectancy, and if you are lucky enough, enjoy more leisure time with more toys to entertain us. NG will even lower our carbon footprint but not perfect. I see natural gas as an alternative that will serve humans until we can seriously wean ourselves from more troublesome energy alternatives. You see nuclear as a better alternative but I believe nuclear can have much more serious and long term effects (but that is another discussion).

I have raised three children and they are off starting their own families. Yes I am concerned for a future but I am more optimistic than you seem. If we went all out nuclear I would be very concerned. Extremism can be misdirected and I do believe we should let science guide us not control us. We will disagree and discuss as good people should be allowed to do. I do draw the line at extremism and would use discussion until the problems can be understood. I stand by my posts as I am sure you will. Hopefully you will read some of the articles with an open mind. Please, if you can, direct me to some factual information that will support your stance. And avoid anecdotal or flawed reports that cannot pass peer review.

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#59
In reply to #57

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/19/2013 7:07 PM

"constantly working on improvements to make it as clean as possible."

Maybe working on improvements to make it marginally good enough to get it through the meager regulatory statutes we have, thanks to the slackers in Congre$$.

Hey, we can debate this till the cows come home (my mother used that expression a lot) but in the end, the earth will get warmer, no matter what we do, or not, and then colder.

And, that's how the cow ate the cabbage! (another momism)

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/20/2013 6:00 AM

I guess we'll leave it at that.

Nothing you've said in this thread makes any sense...except maybe that the government is corrupt; but everybody knows that.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/20/2013 8:26 AM

I can't make it any plainer than I already have. Ask your daughter to 'splain it to you.

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#62
In reply to #43

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/20/2013 10:08 AM

The problem is that one cannot tell clueless politicians apart from the ones that are paid to be clueless since there is only clueless politicians in the first place.

If there was some with some knowledge one would call them engineers!

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#63
In reply to #61

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/20/2013 11:27 AM

It would have been better to talk about the "engineering" aspects of fracking here, and done an alternate "rant" thread over in the OT section.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/20/2013 12:37 PM

I don't know that there is anybody here familiar enough with "downhole" practices, current and future, to have had such a discussion.

Your side claims there's no harm being done and would have us believe that the contaminated groundwater and earthquakes are just hysterical reactions anyway, so, what's to talk about?

See, there we go again.

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#65
In reply to #64

Re: Water Pollution, Earthquakes and Bribery in the USA

11/20/2013 1:22 PM

Whatever....

Despite your whining, I learned some things on this thread.

I didn't realize how close we were to going to completely non toxic fracking fluid; and I thought the waterless fracking looked like an awesome idea.

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#66

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/20/2013 8:21 PM

I did learn about CO2 in the fracking world.
I would think that active casing engineering and down the hole monitoring could be the way to go. Fracking is out there and very busy worldwide. A better future is what we should all aim for .. now and for the future, even if the pollies are full of compromises.

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#67
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 5:25 AM

I've read that the CO2 works great; but only for fracking operations that are near a source. Otherwise, the transport is cost prohibitive.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/512656/skipping-the-water-in-fracking/

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#68
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 7:01 AM

Oh wait! Lyn's people say no way.

The CO2 will expand, blast it's way to the surface, and suffocate everybody.

http://citizensagainstco2sequestration.blogspot.com/2009/06/fracking.html

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 9:55 AM

Your post made my day and then I found this link.

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#70
In reply to #69

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 10:14 AM

I knew the Iranian ladies are hot but an earthquake? What a bed story.

It must be the one (the earthquake I mean) the Scottish freshly married couples are waiting for!

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#71
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 11:29 AM

My toilet water is immensely more treatable and recoverable than fracking fluids, which is why a portion of those are not treated, not treatable, and are dumped into landfills which are then capped. Bury and forget.

You need to read and understand what you are commenting on. Comparing sewage to fracking fluids is just dumb.

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#72
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 11:37 AM

This message brought you by the Ad Council, Cabot Oil and Gas. Sponsorship was funded by the Carnegie Foundation.

Bullsh!t like this rarely makes the news, thanks to bright spots like yourself.

Oooh, it's all fake and conservationists want your children to freeze to death because they have no gas for heat....ooooh! How terrible.

Pleeeease....

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#73
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/21/2013 5:05 PM

That has absolutely nothing to do with fracking. The word "fracking" doesn't even belong in the article.

It's a collapsed salt mine that happened to have natural oil and gas deposits underneath it.

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#74
In reply to #73

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 12:48 PM

Alas and alack!

Firstly: The release of salt deposits is one result of fracking and a major hurdle in a fracking project.

Secondly: The area of salt mining is directly above, about, and around petroleum deposits, which are mined in adajacent precincts of Lousiana.

Et cetera: It has a lot to do with fracking, and mining in general. This was one disastrous result. There will be more to come. The method for this salt (brine solution) mining (to be used for the gas and oil industry) is fracking.

Oil and gas don't own the term!

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#75
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 1:30 PM

From your link:

The pressure in the cavern was too great and caused a "frack out." Like Mother Nature's own version of the controversial oil and gas drilling technique known as "fracking," brine and other liquids were forced vertically out of the salt cavern, fracturing rock toward the surface and causing the ground to give way.

....................

So I guess your point is, that because brine solution is used in fracking, fracking is to blame for the sinkhole; and fracking is the only thing on the planet that uses salt, or brine solution...right?

What an absolutely amazing observation!

Trucks are used in fracking operations...maybe every truck accident is the fault of fracking.

Wow.

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#76
In reply to #75

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 2:45 PM

Is English your first language?

Do you pick cherries in the off season too?

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#77
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Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 3:12 PM

You're not understanding your own links.

The oil and gas were already there, and under pressure. That pressure was pushing up against the bottom of the salt mine, and it gave way.

I hope you were joking about working as a government inspector...or whatever. You have no workable knowledge of this field.

This may help clear up your misunderstanding about oil fields being under natural pressure...and how fracking has nothing to do with it.

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/21/the-era-of-the-oil-gusher/?_r=0

Here's some info on sinkholes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinkhole

This is being called a man made disaster, but eventually, runoff would have eroded the salt, filled the void with water, and the same thing would have happened.

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 6:12 PM

I guess that we'll just have to settle for ignorance is bliss.

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#79
In reply to #78

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 6:18 PM

If you truly work for the government, your ignorance is dangerous.

We see examples of it almost daily.

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#80
In reply to #78

Re: Fracking, CSG, Shale Oil ... How to Engineer it Right?

11/22/2013 6:28 PM

<Resubscribe for one jab>

When all else fails use this:to get the attention of those who seem too thick to listen to reason.

<I'm gone again>

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