Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gas Drilling-The Fracking Truth

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Hydro-fracture expert, Prof. Anthony R. Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E., Cornell University, N.Y. provides myth-breaking info on gas industry environmental impacts:
Gas Industry myths:

1. Hydro-fracturing is so deep in the ground that it does not effect the surface waters or grounds. This is the "science" that the Halliburton Loop-Hole Law, exempting the hydro-fracture technologies from regulation under the EPA's "Clean Air Act", "The Clean Water Act" and "The Public Disclosure Act", is based on.

The fracking truth is the EPA has had to remove these initial studies from its website due to "be-bunking" by numerous true non-Dick-Cheney-Pres. George Bush-Halliburton-influenced scientific studies since the law was passed. The current EPA "restudy" attempts are not needed. The evidence already exists. The EPA is carrying out an industry bribed delaying action with its current re-study of hydro-fracture technologies, so that the gas industry can freely "deflower" the Marcellus shale gas without regulation. The residents that live in Dimock,PA and other contaminated Marcellus and other shale gas drilling areas are the victims of unlimited corporate campaign contributions to our state and national lawmakers, BRIBERY!

This will not bring our contaminated ground water back!

2. Only 4.1 million gallons of water is used to frack a well.

3. Only 10% of that fracking fluid used for hydro-fracking a gas well returns to the surface as "flowback" water.


Gas Well Rig Stage 1., the drilling of the vertical and horizontal wellbore segments, uses millions of gallons of "drilling mud", containing shale formation NORM, heavy metals and gases, which are "dewatered" and stored/buried on site and/or transported for landfill disposal. It contains shale formation compounds that may include NORM, heavy metals and methane gas, which are normally considered as hazardous waste water, but in the gas industry's case is only categorized as common waste water. Legally none of these types of waste waters could be disposed at an ordinary landfill, but are anyway!

Stage 2. Each gas well uses 4.1 to 7.8 million gallons of water for the fracking stage, a pressurized mix of secret chemicals/silica sand/water is injected into the shale fissures to produce shale gas. "Flowback" water is the name the industry uses for surface-returned fracture water and shale formation compounds during the 2nd stage of gas well technology called the shale fracturing stage. Industry constantly states only 10% of flowback fracture water returns to the surface.

However, during the 3rd "gas well production stage", the rig operator declares the rig is producing gas. The remaining 90% of the fracture/formation water, renamed "produced" water or "formation" water does indeed return to the surface; pushed by the pressure of the fracking fluids and the newly released gases.

NOTE: The average Marcellus well site/pad contains 6 to 12 wells.

Stage 1. uses millions of gallons of drilling "mud" per well.

Stage 2. uses 4.1 to 7.8 million gallons for fracking each well.

Stage 3. has "produced" fracture water with brine containing concentrated amounts of dissolved solids of shale formation NORM (naturally occurring radioactive materials), heavy metals and/or radon gas, methane gas, and VOCs from diesel gas commonly used for fracking. . Only 85 to 93% of any of these natural gases are captured for natural gas production.

Stage 4. Gas Processing: The other remaining 7 to 15% of those natural gases are released into the air contaminating the areas around these wells, down wind and wherever this remaining gas is processed out of these fluids and solids at gas processing centers and gas pipe line re pressurizing stations all over the nation.

NOTE: Only 2 of the 78 gas companies in the U.S. are attempting to recycle these toxic fluids. Most of these fluids can not technically be recycled due to desired changes in viscosity levels of these "muds, "flowback", produced" and "formation" fluids at different stages of the drilling and/or fracking process..

full PDF document link below:


Excerpt below:

"...Depending on the total length of the wellbore and the geology, tens of thousands of gallons of drilling mud are typically required for a Marcellus horizontal and fracked well. This mud is continuously circulated from the surface, down the well string to the drill bit, and back to the surface. When it returns to the surface, some process must be used to remove the drill cuttings, so that the remainder of the mud can be reused. This process is called "dewatering". In Pennsylvania, active dewatering processes are applied to the collected used mud, and the dewatered waste is buried on site or transported off site to a disposal facility.
During this first stage,...

...The second stage of Marcellus shale gas extraction involves Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation ("fracking"), a prcess designed to increase the effective permeability of the target formation by fracturing it and/or opening its natural joints using fluid pressure. During the fracking action, fracturing fluid, a mixture of water, proppant (typically silica sand), and proprietary chemicals are forced down the production casing under high pressure. The purpose of fracturing the shale is this way is to provide an incompressible medium to transmit pressure from the wellhead to the target formation, thereby causing fractures and/or opening

existing joints in the formation. The various additives provide fracture opening control, viscosity control, lubrication, corrision control, bacterial growth control, wellbore and perforation cleanout. Depending on total fracture interval, Chesapeake (CHK) reports an average of 5.5 million gallons of fracturing fluid are used per well in their Pennsylvania operations. During this stage and, after the fracking action, flowback fluid comes back up the casing to the surface. Fluid from flowback operation is a mixture of fracturing fluid and brine (1), and various solids released from the Marcellus formation during the perforating, fracking, and flowback operations, including NORM. The volume of flowback fluid returned to the surface varies with well and length of time before the production stage. Industry sources state that 10 to 100% of fracturing fluid is returned in the first 30 days, but some of this is formation (extant) brine and its transported materials....

...(1) Brine occurs naturally in and around the marcellus shale formations, owning to its origins in an ocean environment. Fracking the formation forces brine into the shale fractures, allowing the brine to leach naturally occurring soluble radionuclides and heavy metals out of the shale, where they become concentrated in the brine.", Anthony R. Ingraffea, Ph.D., P.E. Cornell University and Hydro-fracture expert

Link to one of Prof. Ingraffea's Marcellus gas shale three part online lectures:


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