I am a college student at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA. My father is a member of the forum, and I have recently joined because I need some help from everyone. On tuesday night, our one English professor, is going to be showing "Gasland", with discussion at the end. This teacher is known to lean extremely hard to the left, and have a very closed mind on everything else. He is a very much shove-it-down-your-throat kind of person. 


I am pro-drilling, obviously he is not. I assume he is going to use the opportunity to claim "Gasland" as fact, as many others have, and I need as much information if not more to disprove the claims as possible. I have not seen the movie myself (which is the main reason I am attending) but have heard about scenes that are outright lies and stretched truths. I am aware that the flaming water is caused by naturally occurring methane. This is the main scene I am aware of that people have thrown up red flags about. If theres anything else I need to be aware of before hand, I'd love to know. 


If anyone has ANY information on pro-drilling, IE sources or information, or things that prove Gasland as false, other then the EID report, that would be great. I'm really looking for publicized information that I can hand out, but I will take anything. Thanks in advance.

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Hey Tyler,

Is there a kid by chance in your speech class with the last name Swarr ?  He just started at Del Val this semester, after serving in the Marines. 


Dr, Zeimer was one of my profs when I attended DVC.  He was pretty cool.  In fact, he had called me out of the blue, on my birthday, ten years after I graduated.  Strange but nice.   He claimed that he randomly calls past students on their birthdays to see how they're doing post graduation.  Anyone else I would have thought it was freaky in a stalking kind of way, but for Dr. Zeimer, you could expect that he would sincerely do something like that and in a thoughtful kind of way.


Good luck with Professor Stamps.  Being an English teacher, I can see how he could buy into Josh Fox.  Josh is well spoken, however one needs to understand the engineering, geology, chemistry, toxicology, and other sciences related to this field to truly see the fictional side of Josh Fox.  Del Val needs to educate students in the future of this market, similar to Penn State, where they offer an excellent Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering program.  Development of unconventional gas is an industry with a future.  This is truly a market that will provide career growth and security that will outlast both yours and my generation and possibly the generation of your children.   

Tyler - Here's a link i found today and thought it was worthy to forward to you. http://www.globalwarminghysteria.com/blog/author/globalwarminghysteria

Although Gasland didn't win an Oscar, the piece does deserve some balance, and perspective.

I hope this helps.



PS Del Val Grad 1983

First off I am pro drilling and fracing in Pa.

The film makes it seem like Halliburton has discovered a new process called Fracturing. My first job out of college was an Iron Truck driver on a Frac Crew for Halliburton in 1976 so this process has been around for more than 35 years and the directional drilling just as long and the horizontal drilling has been here since the invention of the turbine bit.

The gas entering the drinking water supply derives from poor well design, cutting corners and not having a good cement job.  The cementing process is called Zonal Isolation. The problem is definately not with the service companys and is not all the oil and gas companys fault either. The root of the problem relies with the regulations in place to prevent proper zonal isolation, testing and inspection in O&G wells.

To name some:

  1. The state of pa does not require an FIT which stands for a formation integrity test. This test is done after drilling 10 to 15 feet through the last casing string. This test is very easy and will tell you at what pressure the formation will breakdown and take an influx of fluid or gas into the formation. Why is this important you might ask? Because as you go deeper in the earth more pressure is exerted by the force of rock formations. This is one reason why when you go very deep you have to switch to drilling mud to hold back any oil and gas and formations from caving in. If you don't hold back the oil and gas  then you have what is known as a well kick (controlled) or well Blowout (uncontrolled). The FIT will tell you what mud weight you can achieve for the next section of hole to be drilled. If you exceed that you will naturally break down the formation at the casing shoe and because that is the weakest link in the well the influx of gas, water, drilling fluid, or oil will enter this zone and take the path of least resistance which is toward surface at which point you have a subteranian blowout. When gas enters the water table this is what has happened and it won't stop until the oil and gas resevoir has depleted enough pressure to not be able to penetrate the formation.
  2. The state of pa does not require a company to check to make sure the cement job is good.
  3. The state of pa does not require a minimum standard of cement, especially on the Horrizontal well sections. Do you realize how hard it is to pump a certain volume of cement 1 mile below the surface of the earth and expect it to not be contaminated with drilling mud, oil and gas. Add to this the pipe you are cementing has to be centered in the hole with centralizers and the cement you pump will  try to settle out in the horizontal sections. So a cement has to be designed that is able to suspend the particles until the last second before it sets and is immovable. 
  4. Finally the state does not require cement to be brought back to surface on surface pipes and intermediate strings and does not require cement to be brought back into the previous pipe.

Why is this important? For argument sake lets say your water well is at 200ft and other water zones are below that to say 400ft. The state requires casing to be cemented at 200 below the last water zone so it will be set at 600ft. minimum so lets assume they set it at 1000ft sounds great. Say they drill past this to 3000ft and start to go horizontal shortly after for another 1500ft so. Now your well is a total depth of 4500ft but the vertical depth is 3000 ft because thats where they drilled sideways. Now they want to cement the horizontal producing section  and while going in the hole with the casing it gets stuck because those damn centralizers are hanging up in the hole so they pull back out of the hole and throw out a bunch of them and now the pipe is run back in succesfully but it isn't centered properly (no law has been broken). Now they mix the cement but they did not pump enough spacers or flushes before the cement to clean the hole and minimize cement contamination (no  law broken). The cement is set in place but is substandard because of contamination. (no law broken yet). The total volume of cement fills the horizontal section and tops out at the depth of 2500ft. which is in the straight section.  You now have open hole between 2500 ft and 1000ft. (This is legal).  They don't test for a good cement job which is legal, they frac the piss out of the well which opens up everything and the gas can now migrate past the lousy cement job up the open hole to the bottom of your last casing shoe. Remember which does not have a FIT test and the gas pressure exceeds the zone pressure and now you have gas migrating in the weak formation below the very casing that is supposed to protect your water.


The moral of the story is the large fat government is not doing it's job and does not have anyone that works 24/7 to make sure the oil companys who work 24/7 do there job. Ask your teacher why it's this way and suggest that he is barking up the wrong tree. No one has has broke the law.

It reminds me that no one went to jail during the housing meltdown and no one went to jail during the BP blowout because no one broke the law and the govt. didn't do it's job.

You now have to ask yourself why?

     Hope that explains why you have gasland. 


  been drilling the Marcellus 2 yrs now, prior to that drilled in a number of states out west.  If I might respond to your comments individually.

 1) While a FIT may not be required by statute, I have NEVER seen a FIT not conducted following the drilling out of the shoe. I'm rather certain API standards and practices require it as it would just be foolishness on the part of an operator or drilling contractor to cut a corner on such an easily conducted test. Personally, if ordered to drill ahead without a formation integrity test, I would refuse, as I see failing to perform the test as possibly placing my crew's lives in danger.

 2) As with a FIT, while maybe not required by statute, since last fall and prior to the issuance of the stronger DEP regs requiring an intermediate casing string, every operator I have worked with has done CBL's on both surface and intermediate strings, including cement squeezes to correct deficincies found in the CBL. If not explicitly required by the regs, responsible operators are conducting them most likely to cover their own a$$e$.

  3)PADEP does have a cement standard-all cement must meet API Specification 10 and a minimum of 8 hour wait on cement. While no specific standards exist regarding centralizer placement, due to the variances in well drilling, crooked hole, dog legs and the like, a 'one size fits all' regulation would be impractical as well as possibly counter productive.

  4) Since last fall, (again, prior to the stronger regs) I have not been on a hole where we did not cement to surface both surface and intermediate strings. Seems we're more often than not, chipping cement out of our flow line that settled in it as we were unable to flush up the stack and out the flow line due to concerns of disturbing the setting cement at surface.

  Your analysis of what can happen when these things are not done is pretty much spot on, and an excellent description for the layman.  Quite possibly something of the sort happened in Dimock and in other instances of methane migration. At this point though, for the past several months I have seen practices that I believe will do well to mitigate the problems the industry has faced out here with well construction and gas migration.  The scenario you depict is a fine warning to the dangers of allowing irresponsible operators, drilling contractors and well service companies to operate in this play. Fortunately, I haven't had the displeasure of having to work with any of them yet.



Ross sounds like you are working for a reputable company that is covering there A$$ but some companys are so small they cut corners and have nothing to lose. Do you air drill or drill with mud? What is the average depth of the conductor, surface and intermediate csg. What is the kickoff point and what is typical TD and TVD?


  Have air drilled,mud drilled (both WBM and OBM) usually a combination of the two. Air for sections through the aquifer and oft times to KOP. Swap over to OBM or WBM for the curve and lateral once intermediate string is set. Usually drill out the both shoes on air, swap to mud, perform FIT, then TOOH, swap back to air and TIH blowing down as we go.

    Conductor usually sets at 80-120', surface lands around 500-550' intermediate anywhere from 1500 to 4500' depending on what the 3D has told the engineers. Deeper intermediates where there exists possibly shallow faulting that they prefer to keep isolated. After all it's better economically to recover the gas to sell than to frac it into the neighbors wells, only leading to additional expenses!

  TVD's also vary considerably, most likely due to location elevation differences and formation dip. Usually land the curve around 7300' but seen it as deep as 8400'. Laterals as short as 2500' (stuck pipe, bad hole, inability to get casing all the way to TD) and as long as 4500'.

  KOP usually is around 1300' above TVD. TD is anywhere from 10,000-15,000'

  Hopefully we've weeded out the worst operators by now. Even some of those that the AG lobby might call the worst, I've found to be willing to spend the extra money to get it right, even when it comes into a couple million bucks more.

  Something I tell my friends working other states about PA drilling is this-

  While we all hear "NO" a lot in the patch, and we always hear "HURRY", out here is the only place in the patch where you'll hear the two used together in "NO HURRY"!

  Having experienced the regs in a number of states now, IMHO, PA has the most environmentally stringent regs (though maybe not written in stone) and the responsible operators are doing more to be environmentally safe than I've experienced elswhere.

I used to set 20" @ 1500 - 2000' 13 3/8 @ 4000 - 6000' TVD and 9 5/8 @ 9000-12000'tvd we always had to run the FIT right out of all the shoe's so we knew what was the maximum mud weight we could encounter. Many times we fought the well with shale busting in at our maximum allowable mud weight only to have to set an alternative string in between like 16" to make it to the next section's TD. We sometimes produced through the 9 5/8 and other deeper wells around 16000-18000' we set a 7" liner because the circulating pressure was too high. After we ran a 7" tieback liner to surface and cemented well up into the 9 5/8 casing. It was strange cementing a well at 4000psi.  If after testing the well it never panned out they would plug across the perfs, plug across the liner lap, then cut and retrieve as much 7" and 9 5/8" casing as they could and set a plug across that section and if offshore cut the last strings at seabed level and set a 200 ft plug below seabed level. 


I think the main reason they use air to drill with in this area is because of the lost circulation. How hard is it to get cement to surface? And if it never makes it to surface do they perforate and squeeze or run spagetti tubing down the back side and try to get cement back to surface. I was on a job one time the loss' were so bad that while they were drilling the next section I would pump cement down the annulus watch it come to surface  then fall off and repeat the process every 8 hours. It took me 3 days to fill up the annulus.


   I'll send you a PM to continue this. Kinda feel like were hijacking Tylers thread!



Well, of course it didn't go "as planned." I was never given time to speak, and everyone was dismissed abruptly after the movie ended. I have to decide how I am going to handle the situation given the fact that I emailed the professor prior to the screening and was told there would be discussion at the end. For the time being I sent an email siting the college and club's mission statement and failure to uphold such a statement that proclaims the college as one that "...emphasized respect for all people and ideas, who honored knowledge with practice, progress and the common good." (in tenses of the statement). 


We'll see what comes out of this.

Sorry to hear that Tyler.  Let us know what happens, if anything.


In the meantime kudos for starting a great thread, jam-packed with detailed in-depth information.



the water in pa would burn long before all this.  If you want to talk to Drill'N man owner James Asbury about it, contact him via the paper.  thedrillingman.com


Call the boss, he'll give you real data.



I'm really in a postion to say how can this  young man know much more than any other seasoned in age person around here..Drillin Man is a month old..come on it is not where I will seek the truth.


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