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The fracking bubble is about to burst


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#31    Br Cornelius

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:55 AM

Industry information shows that over the typical lifetime of a gas/oil well ALL well casings fail. Thats right, ALL WELL CASINGS FAIL.
In a fracked well this has got to be a much more serious issue since the stress on the well casing is much more and the well is fracked on multiple occasions - each placing the well casing under great stress.

In Ireland they are proposing to frack in shales at about 1km depth (in a carstified geology) which places the local aquifer firmly in the local extraction zone and fairly much guarantees both pollution of the aquifer and release of methane to the atmosphere. American studies by the EPA have shown that similar shallow fracks do pollute aquifers.

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#32    Rafterman

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 02:38 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 19 June 2013 - 07:55 AM, said:

Industry information shows that over the typical lifetime of a gas/oil well ALL well casings fail. Thats right, ALL WELL CASINGS FAIL.
In a fracked well this has got to be a much more serious issue since the stress on the well casing is much more and the well is fracked on multiple occasions - each placing the well casing under great stress.

In Ireland they are proposing to frack in shales at about 1km depth (in a carstified geology) which places the local aquifer firmly in the local extraction zone and fairly much guarantees both pollution of the aquifer and release of methane to the atmosphere. American studies by the EPA have shown that similar shallow fracks do pollute aquifers.

Br Cornelius

So don't do them.  Problem solved.

"For me, it is better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
                                                                                                                                           - Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World:  Science as a Candle in the Dark

#33    questionmark

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 07:06 PM

in related news:

Bloomberg said:


A Protest in U.S. Oil Country Spells Trouble

for Fracking Abroad


Gardendale, Texas, sits on the Permian Basin, the largest oil province in the United States. That makes it an unlikely site of anti-fracking protests and an even more unlikely bellwether for shale gas drilling activity in Europe and Asia. And yet it is.

About 15 residents in the town, population 1,574, are waging an anti-drilling crusade against Berry Petroleum. They have tried to turn Gardendale into an official municipality, which would give them more control over gas exploration and production near their homes. They launched a website to chronicle Berry's alleged misdeeds, and a YouTube channel with short "Berry Tales" videos. They have, if nothing else, painted a drilling trailer which they playfully call the “Gardenhell scar" and dumped it near a group of oil storage tanks (see above).

Read more


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#34    Doug1o29

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:32 PM

View Postkeithisco, on 18 June 2013 - 04:29 PM, said:

Please vist the link. It is far from sand and water: http://www.endocrine...-27-11Final.pdf
I ran an anti-viral program and now my Adobe Reader is working fine.

Good post.  Lot of good info in there.  I took the liberty of showing your post to a petroleum geologist.  Here's the reply:



I would say this raises more questions than it answers (damn you, science!!).

I'm not one to say all oilfield chemicals should be allowed to remain trade secrets, as the health concerns associated with those chemicals are very important. That said, when a company spends a bunch of time and money developing their own special mix that works well in a given reservoir I don't necessarily think they should have to disclose it to their competitors (right, blah blah tax breaks. OK, end the tax breaks, but I think there's actually a stronger case for making companies disclose the chemicals if we're footing the bill. If we're paying for it we have a greater right to know. Just my opinion. I digress). I think both sides have legitimate points there. And while it's popular to say that human life trumps all other factors, right or wrong,in the real world it doesn't and it never has. I don't see anyone giving up their car over the on-the-job death of a roughneck or advocating the use a whale oil when a lineman gets electrocuted. But John Q. Neighbor gets headaches that might possibly be from the chemicals used on wells near his home and we should stop all fracing everywhere. I'm not making light of their suffering, but there's a disconnect there. And on occasion I wonder if the real problem is their neighbors are making money and they aren't (oh yes, I went there).

What "natural gas operations" are we talking about? It's not a very specific term. They seem to be focusing on drilling and fracing, maybe, but transportation, refining, etc. have significant differences in the chemicals used, the concentrations of those chemicals, and the ability of people to avoid them (ie some of them could conceivably be found in your well water or worse in a municiple water supply, some of them might never be a problem unless you're next door to a refinery, etc.). They should probably clarify what they mean.

I couldn't really tell if the concentration of these chemicals in the environment was consideredf here. Yes, lots of those chemicals are dangerous when they are concentrated down for efficient shipping-- those MSDSs are terrifying, but so is the one for concentrated HCL (I work with dilute HCL without wearing gloves pretty frequently, I spill it on my hands regularly, and I'm still ticking. It did, after about a week, wear a hole in my jeans though). How dangerous are they when mixed with 95% water and sand, add some other chemicals to the remaining 5%, then circulated down and back up hole (we recover as much frac water as possible. It's expensive)? How much of it is left in the formation? How much of it is later returned to surface while the well is flowing? How much of what is left works its way into the air or water? Now... are those exposure levels dangerous, short- or long-term? As always I have to conclude with: looks like we need more studies.

And for the last time, "fracture" does not have a K. :P

B.


Quote

A very brief web search will also show that 2kms underground is deeper than most fracking wells, and that even then the pollution of aquifers above this level  (some more than 2kms underground) is also compromised.
I grant that my knowledge of this subject is limited as I have not made a serious examination of it.  I'm hoping to begin doing that as part of an energy study I hope to begin in the fall.  In the meantime, I don't want to jump to conclusions and there is so much just-plain-hype on the part of frac(k)ing opponents and such a lack of information from the petro-chemical people, that an informed decision is difficult to achieve.
Doug

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#35    Br Cornelius

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:46 PM

Remember that many of these chemicals are known carcinogens at levels of parts per billion. A blow out into a shallow aquifer which causes visible changes in the water is certainly in excedance of these levels.
Things like this will only emerge as spikes of cancer many years after the event - almost impossible to trace, especially with the general levels of secrecy associated with the industry.

Br Cornelius

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Robert Anton Wilson

#36    Frank Merton

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 01:54 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if some company somewhere is caught using a known carcinogen, and they get their ass handed to them.  I don't know, though, that this is reason to stop fracting.


#37    Doug1o29

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:33 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 21 June 2013 - 01:46 PM, said:

Remember that many of these chemicals are known carcinogens at levels of parts per billion. A blow out into a shallow aquifer which causes visible changes in the water is certainly in excedance of these levels.
Things like this will only emerge as spikes of cancer many years after the event - almost impossible to trace, especially with the general levels of secrecy associated with the industry.

Br Cornelius
Perhaps it is time to require disclosure of any drilling/fracking chemicals for which a company claims a tax benefit.  If we, as taxpayers, are going to subsidize them, then we have a right to know.  And if they don't want to disclose what they're using, they don't have to take the tax break.  Personally, I think we should end all such tax breaks to coal, oil, and gas.

Also, it may be time to require disclosure for any chemical with an LD50 > 2ppb.  I really don't care if they want to pack shredded cedar into their drilling mud, but there are other things being used that are more deadly.

BTW, regarding drilling in karst topography:  a drill string in Kentucky suddenly dropped 30 feet.  Apparently, they hit a void.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but it would be nearly impossible to run enough grout into that well to stop the leak.  And all that grout is going somewhere, very likely into the ground water.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#38    Br Cornelius

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 06:53 PM

Quote

Despite accounting for nearly 40 per cent of US natural gas production, shale gas production has "been on a plateau since December 2011 - 80 per cent of shale gas production comes from five plays", some of which are already in decline.


"The very high decline rates of shale gas wells require continuous inputs of capital - estimated at $42 billion per year to drill more than 7,000 wells - in order to maintain production. In comparison, the value of shale gas produced in 2012 was just $32.5 billion."

The report thus concludes:


"Notwithstanding the fact that in theory some of these resources have very large in situ volumes, the likely rate at which they can be converted to supply and their cost of acquisition will not allow them to quell higher energy costs and potential supply shortfalls."

Report author Hughes said that the main problem was the exclusion of price and rate of supply: "Price is critically important but not considered in these estimates." He added: "Only a small portion [of total estimated resources], likely less than 5-10 per cent will be recoverable at a low price...


"Shale gas can continue to grow but only at higher prices and that growth will require an ever escalating drilling treadmill with associated collateral financial and environmental costs – and its long term sustainability is highly questionable."

...........

Another report was put out by the Energy Policy Forum, and authored by former Wall Street analyst Deborah Rogers - now an adviser to the US Department of the Interior's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Rogers warns that the interplay of geological constraints and financial exuberance are creating an unsustainable bubble. Her report shows that shale oil and gas reserves have been:


"... overestimated by a minimum of 100% and by as much as 400-500% by operators according to actual well production data filed in various states... Shale oil wells are following the same steep decline rates and poor recovery efficiency observed in shale gas wells."

Deliberate overproduction drove gas prices down so that Wall Street could maximise profits "from mergers & acquisitions and other transactional fees", as well as from share prices. Meanwhile, the industry must still service high levels of debt due to excessive borrowing justified by overinflated projections:


"... leases were bundled and flipped on unproved shale fields in much the same way as mortgage-backed securities had been bundled and sold on questionable underlying mortgage assets prior to the economic downturn of 2007."

Seeking to prevent outright collapse, the report argues, the US is ramping up gas exports so it can exploit the difference between low domestic and high international prices "to shore up ailing balance sheets invested in shale assets."

..........

"What is most troubling to me is that there appears to be a complacency setting in about transitioning to a more sustainable energy economy. Shales should be used as a bridge. But we are hearing far too much euphoric talk about 100-200 years of natural gas. Therefore no need to worry, it can be business as usual. This is highly problematic in my opinion. We must globally transition away from hydrocarbons.


http://www.guardian....economic-crisis

I sincerely hope no one here has got good money sunk into this pig.

Br Cornelius

I believe nothing, but I have my suspicions.

Robert Anton Wilson

#39    Ashotep

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Posted 24 June 2013 - 12:41 AM

One of these days we are going to wake up to water that is polluted more than it is now and oil prices at a all time high which will cause another recession {depression}.  I wonder how long it will take, we haven't recovered from the last recession.  If the fracking industry employ's almost 2 million people when it collapses there will be unemployment rates higher than we ever seen.  When they lose their job so will many others in different occupations.

We might be able to survive without oil but we won't survive with out clean water.  That's one thing that needs protecting from fracking as if it were an endangered species.  So yes I think we should know what is in those chemicals.  We can afford not to know.


#40    Doug1o29

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 01:48 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 23 June 2013 - 06:53 PM, said:

I sincerely hope no one here has got good money sunk into this pig.
Boom-and-bust cycles are part of the oil and gas industry.  Always have been.  Drilling/fracking may get shelved temporarily, but they will be back as soon as there is an upturn.

Chesapeake is in trouble because they invested too heavily in gas.  That was several years ago when we had some cold winters when gas usage was up.  Then we got some warm winters and the market tanked.  Chespeake still owns an entire gas field that is fully developed and ready to go as soon as the market comes back.  All they have to do is open the valves.  So there is some elasticity in the markets.  Drilling can be shut down temporarily while the market absorbs the surplus.  But as soon as the surplus is gone, drilling (and fracking) resume.

One thought about disintegrating well casings:  after their productive life ends, wells can be decommissioned.  All you have to do is fill them with concrete.  A four-inch bore two miles long does not hold all that much concrete.  Oklahoma has the Corporation Commission (government) and the Oklahoma Resources Board (oil company cooperative) that decommission and cap abandoned wells.  Anybody who drills a well is responsible for decommissioning it when production ends.  But it is not always clear who owns an abandoned well, so we have these two organizations that take over in that case.  If the owner does not decommission the well, the Corporation Commission will do it and sue the owner for the costs - cheaper to do it yourself.

Pennsylvania and other states now having all the problems with drilling and fracking have failed to set up the regulatory systems needed.  Then they try to blame the entire industry for a few unscrupulous operators and their own lack of supervision.
Doug

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The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#41    Br Cornelius

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:24 AM

More evidence of what I have been saying.

http://www.erec.org/..._Gas_on_RES.pdf

It also highlights that a Shale boom represents a real and serious threat to renewables take up and thus cannot be considered a transition fuel - rather a displacing fuel with a very short window of availability. A dash for shale gas would store up huge strategic crisis for the future.

Fracking  represents the madness of an oil dependent society in its end times.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 17 July 2013 - 10:26 AM.

I believe nothing, but I have my suspicions.

Robert Anton Wilson

#42    Frank Merton

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

I think frackting may well be hugely over-hyped and still, regardless, be the bridge we need.  As far as anyone getting heavily into it, I would be that person, and I see no effective instrument wherein the interest isn't either private or heavily diluted.

Supply and demand are in good force here, as price drops supply drops and demand goes up, and vice-versa.  Absent some unseen third source, the future seems transparent.  The only third source that seems likely is substantial more supply than expected from the middle east, and they are better off, if they have such supplies, keeping their mouths shut and keeping prices high.  Otherwise they just increase political pressure to develop non-polluting alternatives faster.


#43    redhen

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:21 PM

Gasland Part II



Edited by redhen, 17 July 2013 - 08:21 PM.


#44    Doug1o29

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 02:05 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 19 June 2013 - 07:55 AM, said:

Industry information shows that over the typical lifetime of a gas/oil well ALL well casings fail. Thats right, ALL WELL CASINGS FAIL.
An old, non-producing well can be sealed by filling it with concrete.  Even if there is a bad casing where the bond between the casing and the rock has failed, the rest of the seal will hold, keeping gas and anything else out of the aquifers.

The difficult part is not the technology, but the politics.  In Ohio and Pennsylvania they whine about the dangers of fracking, but refuse to pass the legislation needed to control the situation.  On the Alleghany National Forest are several wells that spew a steady stream of gas into the air.  These can and should be sealed.  The owner of the mineral rights is the responsible party.  If the company that drilled the well no longer exists, then an orphan fund pays the costs and charges it to an orphan account, into which all oil and gas companies must pay.  There's no secret here.  All it takes is having huevos to get the job done.
Doug

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#45    Br Cornelius

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:26 AM

You may possibly be able to cement seal a redundant well - but it will have been p***ing gas into the atmosphere for at least a decade at that point. I also doubt that filling the well casing with cement will stop gas migration around the edge of the whole casing at the join with the environment - this isd a pathway which will connect the deep fracked zone to the surface regardless of what you do with the casing.

The fracking industry was exempted from the superfund act which means there is no orphan fund to deal with abandoned wells. You can thank Dick Cheney for that.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius, 19 July 2013 - 11:28 AM.

I believe nothing, but I have my suspicions.

Robert Anton Wilson




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