Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Texans Are Challenging Fracking

by Duane Craig

Some Texans oppose Fracking.
Thinking of oil and gas? Well, think of Texas. But, some Texans are sounding the alarms about fracking, the process of hydraulic fracturing that busts open stone below ground to get the gas out. You don’t often see protests in Texas and while the recent one was not a blockbuster, it does signal there are people in Texas who think differently than other Texans, and they are not as inclined to see fracking as a valuable economic stimulus.

Fracking & Texas

With the planned expansion of drilling in the Barnhart Shale some Fort Worth communities have put moratoriums on drilling permits and Dallas is concerned enough about drilling activities within its borders to have set up a task force to look into the matter.

Then too, since Texas has been one of the early adopters of fracking, there is history there that calls into question the overall value of the practice. Start and end with the money. The amount paid for leases has declined dramatically since 2008. Some of the frackers admit they haven’t handled their businesses well either.

Get the story, here.


Bucks Landman said...

Texas is home to over 142 million acres of private farms, ranches and forest lands, thus leading the nation in land area devoted to privately-owned working lands.
Land in Texas

Anonymous said...

Hasn't fracking already been proven to impact drinking water wells (e.g., residential wells over the Marcellus Shale in PA)? Impacted site owners are typically under gag order, so not much info is publicly available (so far). I refer to you the documentary Gasland, which was on HBO last year, for a quick primer and video evidence of the impacts.

I predict this will be a new, significant practice area for EPs. At a minimum, the presence of any oil or gas well would generally constitute an REC. Deep, hazardous waste injection wells in TX have long been known to impact overlying aquifers, as have oil wells (operational or abandoned). To say that fracking is safe until proven otherwise is putting one's head deep in the sand (pardon the pun).
Posted by Peter Barts, P.G.

Robert Flory said...

You need to look at the original data and scientific studies.

While I am sure if you look long enough you can find a ligit case where fracing has affected a well. Most of the HBO show was pure bull, distortion of fact.

Fracing can cause problems but is it a proven cause of major problems I think not. Farm fertilizer has a larger proven impact, so does industrial operations.

Read up on the subject, something besides alarmist literature.

There are a lot areas where historically there have been problems that result from drilling water wells in areas it coal gas and other source methane. Water wells have contained methane for years in many areas.

Do we need to be concerned? Sure. Do we need controls? sure.

Do we need more research? Yes. More biased crap? NO

Fracing is not new. I was observing massive fracs in Wyoming 40 years ago. Being on site was the scary part considering the pressures involved and the consequences of a blown line.

That said, fracing in shallow zones needs to be done with care.

You are missing the real "Chicken Little" issue here.

Check about SW Wyoming. They are having having some real problems. Not directly from fracing that has been going on over the last 50 years there, but from the surface handling of the produced gas.

Based on the history there, air quality issues from production are more likely to be an issue in the NE.

Robert Flory, P.G.

Senior Environment Geologist
Oil Field Trash in a former Life.