Terry Fleming, Executive Director of the Ohio Petroleum Council, clears up misconceptions surrounding Ohio shale development:
“It is no secret that shale development has gained momentum in many communities across Ohio and there are two sides in the debate: those who want our oil and natural gas resources developed in a safe and responsible way; and those who don’t want our oil and natural gas resources developed at all.
Ohio has a rich history in oil and natural gas development. For more than 150 years, our natural gas and crude oil has been used to provide energy resources to homes, schools, churches, farms and businesses across the state.
Those who oppose development have attempted to vilify the industry with misinformation that I’d like to clear up so Ohioans remain confident that the industry will continue to explore and develop Ohio’s shale resources in a safe manner.
First, the assertion “fracking” includes everything involved in oil and gas production, when in fact, hydraulic fracturing is only one small part of the drilling process, and one that the industry has been using safely and reliably for more than 60 years in Ohio to extract energy resources from the ground.
Second, the statement that the oil and natural industry is exempt from oversight, when the industry is one of the most highly regulated industries both by the federal and state government. Ohio recently enacted the most stringent set of drilling regulations in the country in Senate Bill 315. Notably, the nation’s first combined well construction and hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure requirement.
Third, the contention hydraulic fracturing causes water contamination. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has stated on numerous occasions “there are no examples in Ohio where hydraulic fracturing has been responsible for groundwater contamination.” It should be noted that U.S. EPA has come to the very same conclusion regarding the process throughout the United States…”
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Anne: Another excellent post! The information provided needs to be widely disseminated and quoted over and over and over again. The truly radical environmentalists never seem to let real facts interfere with their campaign of fear-mongering. If I have any concern at all about with the industry, it is with the method of dealing with the used fracking fluid when it is returned from the ground. Perhaps Jack Straw or someone else with technical knowledge can speak to this. At this moment I am not sure how to answer, when I am confronted by someone from the anti-drilling, anti-fracking crowd. Best wishes for a happy holiday season. I look forward to your future posts..
Fang: Thank you for enlightening me! Best holiday wishes to you also. I hope that 2013 will be good for all of us. I have learned a lot from your posts and look forward to reading more of them.
Fang & Samual,
Each formation is different. The Ohio Utica/ Point Pleasant is dryer than some of the others. So companies are also using longer "resting periods" to allow the fluids to disapate into the formation. I believe that I understand the water can displace the gas in the rock pores and it stays while the gas comes up.
Another method of disposal is being used by Patriot Water Treatment. They seperate the contaminates out and clean the water.
Anne, Thank you for another great article!!!
This is indeed a great post and an excellent example of someone with great knowledge re-inforcing some great prior threads on this site.
Regarding the paragraph about water contamination, I'm more than a bit surprised that few other posters have commented on another potential source of cross formation contamination: poor well integrity. The steel used in most casing is prone to corrosion or erosion from drill pipe wear, cement jobs are poorly designed, executed or post evaluated, which can and does lead to channeling, casing threaded connections leak, etc. In my three decades in the business, poor well integrity resulted in more underground issues than anything that man did or could do (pumping, etc.) from surface. The physics make it difficult for sufficient vertical fracture growth to occur without loss of hydraulic force downhole.
The antis who are hellbent that fracing alone is the root of all evil would be better served by casting a wider net to explore other proven means of hydrocarbon migration that can cause contamination or near surface water sources.
To reinforce Brian's comments:
The types of situations that might result in the contamination of shallow fresh water aquifers occur at or near the level of those shallow fresh water aquifers.
What is happening 6000 feet beneath those aquifers (fracing) does not have the potential to directly affect the fresh water aquifers.
In the highly unlikely event that there is a problem in a well that contaminates a shallow aquifer, you need look far up hole for the failure.
The Marcellus/Utica wells drilled today are required to provide multiple (redundant) protections for the fresh water aquifers.
Realistically, existing dangers to shallow fresh water aquifers reside in the old shallow gas and oil wells that dot the landscape of PA, OH, WV and NY. Existing dangers to shallow fresh water aquifers reside in shallow wells drilled 20 -100 years ago.
If the anti-fracers had any real interest in the environment, they would be looking at what was done in the distant past (where the potential for any real threat resides). If the anti-fracers had any real interest in the environment, they would be pressing the various states to clean up Orphan wells and regularly monitor the integrity of the old shallow wells.
The deep fracing (and associated modern drilling and completion practices) are not the environmental threat that many imagine.
Fang; you are right that the antis are trying to mask their true intentions of shutting down nat gas for the benefit of their preferred "renewable." But the issue is why do they attack fracking that has never been an issue instead of using other problems like well casing failures?
The reason that fracking has become the symbol is that antis and the left are masters at media manipulation and sloganeering. They have perfected the use of short catch phrases that get their message out.
By using fracking as their straw dog they can play semantics like "Don't frack with my water" or "Stay the frack out" They think they are cute and oh so smart just like the movie "Meet the Fockers" They know that such word games gets them publicity and quickly becomes embedded in the dialogue.
Its no coincidence that Saul Alinski and Howard Zinn were both professors on linguistics.
I assume that those that oppose natural gas drilling and fracking do not and would not have natural gas piped into their homes. Since electricity can be generated with natural gas, I assume they don't have it either.
And of course, they lubricate their bicycle chain with vegetable oil (their bicycle being their only means of transport - while their cousin is trying to convert their old Volvo Station Wagon to run on 100% biodiesel).
And everything they own is a mass of rust. They can't have plastic either. :)