Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pennsylvania activists form alternative Marcellus Shale commission

Washington (Platts)--30Aug2011/509 pm EDT/2109 GMT

Saying the Marcellus Shale Commission reporting to Pennsylvania's Republican Governor Tom Corbett heard too much from business and industry and not enough from the residents of communities affected by natural gas drilling, eight political and environmental groups from the state on Tuesday announced their own "Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission" that will hold five public hearings beginning Wednesday.

The Citizens Marcellus Shale Coalition, headed by two former state representatives from both political parties, will hold its first public hearing August 31 in the southwestern Pennsylvania town of McDonald. A second public hearing has been set for September 6 in Philadelphia on the eve of the gas industry's Marcellus Shale Insight conference scheduled for September 7 and 8 in the city's convention center.

Organizers say the timing is coincidental.

"Right now is the key time because the legislature is dealing with it," former State Representative Dan Surra, a Democrat from Elk County told reporters on a conference call Tuesday. "Right now we have to get it right. There are places in Pennsylvania that are being inundated with drilling."

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UPDATE ** GASLAND Screening in Carson Auditorium, Adams State College Campus Sept 6th, 2011


Josh Fox via Skype at Adams State College
Sept 6, 2011
Gasland screening at 12:00 noon
2:40PM Josh Fox will talk live via Skype.

Where: Adams State College
(719) 587-7011

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fracronyms - Glossary of Oil and Gas Terms

(1) The proper plugging and abandoning of a well in compliance with all applicable regulations, and the cleaning up of the wellsite to the satisfaction of any governmental body having jurisdiction with respect thereto and to the reasonable satisfaction of the operator.(2) To cease efforts to find or produce from a well or field.(3) To plug a well completion and salvage material and equipment.
(1) The act or process of reducing the intensity of pollution.(2) The use of some method of abating pollution.
American Petroleum Institute (API)
The American Petroleum Institute is the primary trade association representing the oil and natural gas industry in the United States.
The space between: (1) The casing and the wall of the borehole.(2) Two strings of casing.(3) Tubing and casing.
American Petroleum Institute
Api County Code
An indicator developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to identify areas such as counties and other subdivision areas identified within state boundaries. Defined by API Bulletin D12A, as amended. This code becomes a part of the API Well Number.
Api State Code
The indicator assigned to a state, as defined in API Bulletin D12A, as amended. This code is a part of the API Well Number (The Api State Code for Colorado is 05).
Api Well Number
A well identifier assigned as defined in API (American Petroleum Institute) Bulletin D12A, as amended. The API Well Numbers are assigned by the appropriate state or federal regulatory agency.
Appraisal Well
A well drilled as part of an appraisal drilling program which is carried out to determine the physical extent, reserves and likely production rate of a field.
Associated Gas
A well drilled as part of an appraisal drilling program which is carried out to determine the physical extent, reserves and likely production rate of a field.
A unit of volume measurement used for petroleum and its products (7.3 barrels = 1 ton: 6.29 barrels = 1 cubic meter).
One barrel of oil; 1 barrel = 35 Imperial gallons (approx.), or 159 liters (approx.); 7.5 barrels = 1 ton (approx.); 6.29 barrels = 1 cubic meter.
Billion cubic feet; 1 bcf = 0.83 million tons of oil equivalent.
Billion cubic meters (1 cubic meter = 35.31 cubic feet).
An acreage sub-division measuring approximately 10 x 20 kms, forming part of a quadrant. e.g. Block 9/13 is the 13th block in Quadrant 9.
Condensate and gas is produced simultaneously from the outset of production.
When well pressure exceeds the ability of the wellhead valves to control it. Oil and gas "blow wild" at the surface.
Blow-out preventers (BOPs)
Are high pressure wellhead valves, designed to shut off the uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbons.
See blow-out preventers
The hole as drilled by the drill bit.
A casinghead.
Bradenhead Test
Pipe cemented in the well to seal off formation fluids or keep the hole from caving in.
Casing string
The steel tubing that lines a well after it has been drilled. It is formed from sections of steel tube screwed together.
Central estimate
A range of exploration drilling scenarios from which the following activity levels, based on recent historical experience, are adopted as the central estimates.
Christmas tree
The assembly of fittings and valves on the top of the casing which control the production rate of oil.
Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Colorado Oil and Gas Information Systems
Commercial field
An oil and/or gas field judged to be capable of producing enough net income to make it worth developing.
The installation of permanent wellhead equipment for the production of oil and gas.
Hydrocarbons which are in the gaseous state under reservoir conditions and which become liquid when temperature or pressure is reduced. A mixture of pentanes and higher hydrocarbons.
Taking rock samples from a well by means of a special tool -- a "core barrel".
Crane barge
A large barge, capable of lifting heavy equipment onto offshore platforms. Also known as a "derrick barge".
Crude Oil
Liquid petroleum as it comes out of the ground as distinguished from refined oils manufactured out of it.
Cubic foot
A standard unit used to measure quantity of gas (at atmospheric pressure); 1 cubic foot = 0.0283 cubic meters.
Rock chips cut from the formation by the drill bit, and brought to the surface with the mud. Used by geologists to obtain formation data.
To increase the distance below a specified reference datum.
The tower-like structure that houses most of the drilling controls.
Development phase
The phase in which a proven oil or gas field is brought into production by drilling production (development) wells.
(1)To bore a hole, Also see Drilling(2)An implement with cutting edges used to bore holes.
The using of a rig and crew for the drilling, suspension, completion, production testing, capping, plugging and abandoning, deepening, plugging back, sidetracking, redrilling or reconditioning of a well (except routine cleanout and pump or rod pulling operations) or the converting of a well to a source, injection, observation, or producing well, and including stratigraphic tests. Also includes any related environmental studies. Associated costs include completion costs but do not include equipping costs.
Drilling rig
A drilling unit that is not permanently fixed to the seabed, e.g. a drillship, a semi-submersible or a jack-up unit. Also means the derrick and its associated machinery.
Dry Gas
Natural gas composed mainly of methane with only minor amounts of ethane, propane and butane and little or no heavier hydrocarbons in the gasoline range.
Dry hole
A well which has proved to be non-productive.
Abbreviation for exploration and appraisal.
Abbreviation for exploration and production.
Enhanced oil recovery
A process whereby oil is recovered other than by the natural pressure in a reservoir.
Exploration drilling
Drilling carried out to determine whether hydrocarbons are present in a particular area or structure.
Exploration phase
The phase of operations which covers the search for oil or gas by carrying out detailed geological and geophysical surveys followed up where appropriate by exploratory drilling.
Exploration well
A well drilled in an unproven area. Also known as a "wildcat well".
Farm in
When a company acquires an interest in a block by taking over all or part of the financial commitment for drilling an exploration well.
A geographical area under which an oil or gas reservoir lies.
Retrieving objects from the borehole, such as a broken drillstring, or tools.
Formation pressure
The pressure at the bottom of a well when it is shut in at the wellhead.
Formation water
Salt water underlying gas and oil in the formation.
A method of breaking down a formation by pumping fluid at very high pressures. The objective is to increase production rates from a reservoir.
Gas Condensate.
Gas field
A field containing natural gas but no oil.
Gas injection
The process whereby separated associated gas is pumped back into a reservoir for conservation purposes or to maintain the reservoir pressure.
Gas/oil ratio
The volume of gas at atmospheric pressure produced per unit of oil produced.
Geographic Information Systems(GIS)
A computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information.
See: Geographic Information Systems
A compound containing only the elements hydrogen and carbon. May exist as a solid, a liquid or a gas. The term is mainly used in a catch-all sense for oil, gas and condensate.
Idle Producing
Injection well
A well used for pumping water or gas into the reservoir.
The lower section, or "legs", of an offshore platform.
A well is said to "kick" if the formation pressure exceeds the pressure exerted by the mud column.
Lay barge
A barge that is specially equipped to lay submarine pipelines.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG)
Oilfield or naturally occurring gas, chiefly methane, liquefied for transportation.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Light hydrocarbon material, gaseous at atmospheric temperature and pressure, held in the liquid state by pressure to facilitate storage, transport and handling. Commercial liquefied gas consists essentially of either propane or butane, or mixtures thereof.
Million Barrels Oil Equivalent.
Mechanical Integrity Test
The act of setting a packer or retrievable bridge plug above the perforations in a wellbore and applying pressure to the annulus in order to ensure soundness of the casing.
Metric ton
Equivalent to 1000 kilos, 2204.61 lbs.; 7.5 barrels.
Mechanical Integrity Test
Millions of cubic feet per day (of gas).
An aperture in the center of a drillship or semi-submersible drilling rig, through which drilling and diving operations can be conducted.
A mixture of base substance and additives used to lubricate the drill bit and to counteract the natural pressure of the formation.
Natural gas
Gas, occurring naturally, and often found in association with crude petroleum.
Natural Gas Policy Act Of 1978
Enacted on November 9, 1978 and became effective December 1, 1978. The Act has been amended, and it replaced or amended the Natural Gas Act. Refer to 15USC 3301-3432.
Natural gas liquids. Liquid hydrocarbons found in association with natural gas.
SEE: Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978.
Oil and Gas.
A mixture of liquid hydrocarbons of different molecular weights.
Oil field
A geographic area under which an oil reservoir lies.
Oil in place
An estimated measure of the total amount of oil contained in a reservoir, and, as such, a higher figure than the estimated recoverable reserves of oil.
The company that has legal authority to drill wells and undertake the production of hydrocarbons that are found. The Operator is often part of a consortium and acts on behalf of this consortium.
Rock in which oil and gas are found in exploitable quantities.
The property of a formation which quantifies the flow of a fluid through the pore spaces and into the wellbore.
A generic name for hydrocarbons, including crude oil, natural gas liquids, natural gas and their products.
An offshore structure that is permanently fixed to the seabed.
The percentage of void in a porous rock compared to the solid formation.
Possible reserves
Those reserves which at present cannot be regarded as ‘probable’ but are estimated to have a significant but less than 50% chance of being technically and economically producible.
Primary recovery
Recovery of oil or gas from a reservoir purely by using the natural pressure in the reservoir to force the oil or gas out.
Probable reserves
Those reserves which are not yet proven but which are estimated to have a better than 50% chance of being technically and economically producible.
Proven field
An oil and/or gas field whose physical extent and estimated reserves have been determined.
Proven reserves
Those reserves which on the available evidence are virtually certain to be technically and economically producible (i.e. having a better than 90% chance of being produced).
An operation involving any of the following: (1) Deepening from one zone to another zone.(2) Completing well in an additional zone.(3) Plugging back from one zone to another zone.(4) Sidetracking to purposely change the location of the bottom of the well, but not including sidetracking for the sole purpose of bypassing obstructions in the borehole.(5) Conversion of a service well to an oil or gas well in a different zone.(6) Conversion of an oil or gas well to a service well in a different zone.
Recoverable reserves
That proportion of the oil and/gas in a reservoir that can be removed using currently available techniques.
Recovery factor
That proportion of the oil and/gas in a reservoir that can be removed using currently available techniques.
To enter a previously abandoned well.
The underground formation where oil and gas has accumulated. It consists of a porous rock to hold the oil or gas, and a cap rock that prevents its escape.
Riser (drilling)
A pipe between a seabed BOP and a floating drilling rig.
Riser (production)
The section of pipework that joins a seabed wellhead to the Christmas tree.
Drill crew members who work on the derrick floor, screwing together the sections of drillpipe when running or pulling a drillstring.
Drill crew members who handle the loading and unloading of equipment and assist in general operations around the rig.
Royalty payment
The cash or kind paid to the owner of mineral rights.
Secondary recovery
Recovery of oil or gas from a reservoir by artificially maintaining or enhancing the reservoir pressure by injecting gas, water or other substances into the reservoir rock.
Shut In Well
A well which is capable of producing but is not presently producing. Reasons for a well being shut in may be lack of equipment, market or other.
A production hiatus during which the platform ceases to produce while essential maintenance work is undertaken.
Shut In /Temporarily Abandoned
A wellbore segment extending from a wellbore intersection along a wellbore path to a different wellbore bottomhole from any previously existing wellbore bottomholes.
The well activity of drilling a new wellbore segment from a wellbore intersection to a new wellbore bottomhole or target.
The operation of drilling the first part of a new well.
Surface Location
The location of a well or facility/measurement point.
Surface Reclamation
A restoration of the surface as for productivity or usefulness.
Suspended well
A well that has been capped off temporarily.
Trillion Cubic Feet (of gas).
Temporarily Abandoned
The act of isolating the completed interval or intervals within a wellbore from the surface by means of a cement retainer, cast iron bridge plug, cement plug, tubing and packer with tubing plug, or any combination thereof.
Second-in-command of a drilling crew under the drilling superintendent. Responsible for the day-to-day running of the rig and for ensuring that all the necessary equipment is available.
The superstructure of a platform.
Underground Injection Control
Underground Injection Control
A program required in each state by a provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for the regulation of Injection Wells, including a permit system. An applicant must demonstrate that the well has no reasonable chance of adversely affecting the quality of an underground source of drinking water before a permit is issued.
Well log
A record of geological formation penetrated during drilling, including technical details of the operation.
Wildcat well
A well drilled in an unproven area. Also known as an "exploration well". [The term comes from exploration wells in West Texas in the 1920s. Wildcats were abundant in the locality, and those unlucky enough to be shot were hung from oil derricks.]
Remedial work to the equipment within a well, the well pipework, or relating to attempts to increase the rate of flow.

Daryl Hannah arrested in White House protest

By Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Jill Serjeant | Reuters

American actress Daryl Hannah is arrested as she joins a protest against the Keystone XL oil pipeline, outside the White House in Washington, August 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jason Reed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah was briefly arrested outside the White House on Tuesday during a protest against a proposed $7 billion oil pipeline, police said.

Hannah was released after paying a $100 fine, following her arrest for failure to obey a lawful order, said U.S. Park Police spokesman Sergeant David Schlosser.

More than 70 people were arrested in the Tar Sands Action protest on Tuesday, which is named after efforts to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project to bring oil sands petroleum from Canada to Texas refineries.

"The Real Frackasaurus Coloring Book" by Ben Price, Projects Director, CELDF

The Real Frackasaurus Coloring Bookby Ben Price, Projects Director, CELDFAugust 30th, 2011

On November 15, 2010, South Fayette Township in Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania passed a zoning ordinance regulating the location of oil
and gas extraction activities in the municipality. The ordinance was
drafted by the Township and cleared by its Zoning Board in an attempt to
protect from fracking as much of the community as possible through the
land-use regulatory authority delegated to the Township by the State in
the Municipalities Planning Code (MPC). What the Board of Commissioners
adopted is an ordinance they cleared as to legality with their municipal
Solicitor. They played it safe. They colored inside the lines.

One day later, on November 16, 2010, Pittsburgh City Council adopted a
Local Bill of Rights Ordinance that bans corporations from extracting
gas anywhere within the City. The Council Members decided not to
surrender any part of the City to the frackers, arguing that all
residents of the City have equal rights, and the Council Members had
each sworn to protect the health, safety and welfare of all of the
residents equally. Critics of the Ordinance said it is illegal and
unconstitutional because it makes people’s rights trump corporate
privileges recognized by the courts, and it challenges state laws that
preempt local law-making and everybody knows state laws are superior to
local ones. This community rights ordinance has the temerity to
recognize the right to local self-government, the rights of natural
communities and ecosystems, the right to water, and that corporate
privileges are subordinate to the fundamental rights of members of the

You couldn’t ask for two more diametrically opposed views of what a
local government should do when faced with a community-wide threat to
health, safety and welfare.

Nine months later, on August 16, 2011,

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This spill is interesting as it was derived from a 'plugged' (abandoned) well.  The images below show a timeline of when the well appears to be active and then when it was plugged.  A contaminant release of unknown quantities was reportedly released and groundwater was positively tested as positive.

Our questions are these: What length of time had the contaminant discharge been ongoing? Does the state know that the well bore has not been compromised and the surrounding aquifers are safe? If so, we'd like the state to show its data to back such an assertion? Will this land be used for housing development?  Will the tenants know of the spill?  Will the contaminant spill happen again?

There are a lot of questions for the state to answer on this one. I urge all readers to comment and or send the COGGC's Director, David Neslin an email indicating your concerns.  email COGCC HERE

Date Rec'd: 4/11/2011 Report taken by: BOB CHESSON
DocNum: 2213240 API number: 05-013 -06272 Facility ID: 206777

Operator Information

Address: 1625 BROADWAY STE 2200 ATTN: TED BROWN DENVER , CO 80202
Phone: (303 )389-3600 Fax: (303 )595-7403
Operator Contact: TODD CULLUM

Description of Spill:

Date of Incident: 4/7/2011
Type of Facility: TANK BATTERY
Well Name/No. RALPH L CARR 1-11 Fac. Name/No.
County Name: BOULDER
qtrqtr: SESW section: 11 township: 1S range: 69W meridian: 6

Volumes spilled and recovered (bbls)
Oil spilled: Recvrd:
Water spilled: Recvrd:
Other spilled: Recved:

GW Impact? YES (groundwater impact)

Surface water impact? N Contained within berm? N
Area and vertical extent of spill: - X -

Current land use: LAND DEVELOPEMENT

Weather conditions: CLEAR AND WARM

Soil/Geology description NUNN SANDY CLAY LOAM

Distance in feet to nearest surface water: 940

Depth to shallowest GW: 10
Wetlands: Buildings: 650
Livestock: Water Wells: 650

Cause of spill:

Immediate Response:

Emergency Pits:

How extent determined:

Further Remediation

Prevent Problem:

Detailed Description:

Other Notifications
Date Agency Contact Response
4/8/2011 COGCC

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Frackville, Pennsylvania - REVISIT

Posted June 8, 2010

Welcome to Frackville: Natural Gas Drilling Threatening Communities

On June 3, about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a natural gas well “blowout” shot natural gas and drilling fluids 75 feet into the air and onto the ground. As the name makes clear, a “blowout” is the industry’s term for a surge of pressurized oil or gas that causes an eruption -- basically the same thing that caused the explosion and fire at BP’s Deep Horizon offshore drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Fortunately, there were no injuries from the natural gas blowout. But that doesn't minimize the potential dangers.

“The event at the well site could have been a catastrophic incident that endangered life and property,” John Hanger, secretary of Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection, said in a statement to reporters. “This was not a minor accident, but a serious incident that will be fully investigated by this agency with the appropriate and necessary actions taken quickly.”

Just yesterday there was another explosion 55 miles south of Pittsburgh, in West Virginia, when a crew digging a natural gas well hit a pocket of methane. Also yesterday, in Texas, one worker was killed and several injured when a natural gas pipeline erupted.

On the same day as the blowout last week, I happened to be touring natural gas development not too far away in upstate Pennsylvania. I was in the bucolic township of Dimock, northwest of Scranton, accompanied by NRDC experts and colleagues from the Waterkeeper Alliance. We met with local residents who have learned by hard experience that natural gas drilling is a threat not just to their rural way of life but also to their water supply and their health.

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NYDOT: Fracking Expansion Could Cost State and Local Gov'ts As Much as $378 Million

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 11:07PM

The natural gas industry has embraced hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it has come to be known in the parlance of our times, and its advocates are actively engaged in positioning it as the silver bullet that will solve virtually all of our nation’s energy woes.

But to say that there are legitimate concerns about the practice and its potential effects on the environment would be an understatement.

To date, most of those concerns have centered around the potential for water contamination in areas where hydraulic fracturing is widely practiced. Indeed, a recent report from researchers at Duke University linked hydraulic fracturing to increased methane content in well water.

But the potential fallout from fracking operations doesn’t end at the water table.

An assessment of the potential impact that natural gas development will have on the communities located within the Marcellus Shale play states that the affect will be nothing less than, “ominous.”

'The potential transportation impacts are ominous. Assuming current gas drilling technology and a lower level of development than will be experienced in Pennsylvania the Marcellus region will see a peak year increase of up to 1.5-million heavy truck trips, and induced development may increase peak hour trips by 36,000 trips/hour. While this new traffic will be distributed around the Marcellus region this Discussion Paper suggests that it will be necessary to reconstruct hundreds of miles of roads and scores of bridges and undertake safety and operational improvements in many areas.'

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