Re: Fracking

1

I think we can assume that "incompetent well construction" is in practice going to be the only type of well construction, and "improper disposal of contaminated water" is in practice going to be the only type of disposal of contaminated water. What encourages me is the possibility of fracking fluids that aren't highly toxic. That's a change that could actually be made.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:31 PM
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2

I don't think either is universal. For example, the professor in question said that one stable way companies are disposing of the water was to fill up all the old, abandoned oil wells that are left to crumble. It helps stabilize the old wells and doesn't go right into the water supply.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:37 PM
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3

I'm not saying either is rare, though. Just that companies vary tremendously in how sleazy they are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:37 PM
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4

So, I'm stupid: is natural gas (as distinct from fracking fluids) in the water supply a problem for human health? I would have guessed no, at least in sane amounts.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:45 PM
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5

What encourages me is the possibility of fracking fluids that aren't highly toxic.

DOE should be funding research on this in collaboration with industry. Natural gas as a replacement for coal is a big win for CO2 reduction.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:45 PM
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6

How much is the DOE's budget getting damaged by the sequester? (I wonder because I think 5 is a good idea, but also because it potentially affects me much more directly.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:48 PM
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7

I think DOE is taking the same hit as everyone else. They are talking about furloughs and program cuts. The program I was working on already got cut before the sequester hit as part of general downsizing. Hopefully they'll be smart enough not to cut too deep on basic sciences.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 2:59 PM
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8

4: Not sure. But there's been natural gas in the well water in parts of Pennsylvania for a long time. Yes, one can set the water on fire, sometimes in areas where there's been no fracking at all.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 3:23 PM
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9

I certainly have heard for a long time that BP is a particularly non-safe company, and that's from well before the Gulf disaster. And let's not speak of the non-majors.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 6:24 PM
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10

And let's not speak of the non-majors.

Every academic everywhere.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 7:49 PM
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11

PA does have a fair bit of shallow gas (at least on place I looked at when I moved here had gas to the house from a well on the property). However, per this map, most of the places where the Marcellus gets drilled is a fair bit deeper than that (it tends to be thicker in the deeper areas).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 7:52 PM
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12

gas to the house from a well on the property

I guess it's wrong of me to be terrified of this?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 8:19 PM
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13

No. London School.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 8:29 PM
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14

13: A house a couple of miles away blew up a few years back from tapping into a gas line. Was not at home, so did not hear it. However, I was rather close to this middle-of-the-night gas line explosion near Houston many years ago. The explosion was in the direction of Houston from my location, so when the huge flash woke me up and I looked out the window and saw it, I briefly thought it was something nuclear. However, subsequent observations did not bear out that hypothesis.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 8:40 PM
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15

There's an oil well that extracts (a tiny bit of) oil from under my house, under a mineral rights lease that runs with the property. They've been ramping up production recently so I've gotten a nice little sum from them this year, nothing spectacular but more than enough for a nice weekend trip somewhere. It's like free money! [until the house blows up]


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-25-13 8:53 PM
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16

What are the risks with incompetent well construction? Leaks leading to explosions?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-26-13 2:16 AM
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17

Yes, one can set the water on fire, sometimes in areas where there's been no fracking at all.

The next Pennsylvania C&W song:

I fell into a burnin' well of fire
They frack frack fracked,
And the flames went higher
Yes one can set
The water on fire
That well of fire
That well of fire


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 03-26-13 1:51 PM
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