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Fracking

Page history last edited by Ian Balcom (Dr B.) 6 years, 2 months ago

 

 

 

 


 

Colorado faces oil boom "death sentence" for soil, eyes microbe fix

 

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_25692049/colorado-faces-oil-boom-death-sentence-soil-eyes

 

 

Colorado's intensifying oil and gas boom is taking a toll on soil — 200 gallons spilled per day seeping into once-fertile ground — that experts say could be ruinous.

The state's approach has been to try to compel companies to excavate and haul the worst muck to landfills.

But with support from state regulators, oil companies increasingly are proposing to clean contaminated soil on site using mixing machinery and microbes. This may be cheaper for the industry — and could save and restore soil.

But it is not proven.......

 

Continue reading here:

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_25692049/colorado-faces-oil-boom-death-sentence-soil-eyes


 

 

 

 

Reports: Shale Gas Bubble Looms, Aided by Wall Street

Two long-awaited reports were published today at ShaleBubble.org by the Post Carbon Institute (PCI) and the Energy Policy Forum (EPF). 

Together, the reports conclude that the hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") boom could lead to a "bubble burst" akin to the housing bubble burst of 2008.

While most media attention towards fracking has focused on the threats to drinking water and health in communities throughout North America and the world, there is an even larger threat looming.  The fracking industry has the ability - paralleling the housing bubble burst that served as a precursor to the 2008 economic crisis - to tank the global economy.

Playing the role of Cassandra, the reports conclude that "the so-called shale revolution is nothing more than a bubble, driven by record levels of drilling, speculative lease & flip practices on the part of shale energy companies, fee-driven promotion by the same investment banks that fomented the housing bubble..." a summary details. "Geological and economic constraints – not to mention the very serious environmental and health impacts of drilling – mean that shale gas and shale oil (tight oil) are far from the solution to our energy woes."

PCI's report is titled "Drill Baby, Drill," authored by PCI Fellow and former oil and gas industry geoscientist J. Dave Hughes, while EPF's report is titled "Shale Gas and Wall Street," authored by EPF Director and former Wall Street financial analyst Deborah Rogers.

"100 Years of Natural Gas"? Uh huh... 

In President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address, he repeated the fracking industry's favorite mantra: there are "100 years" of natural gas sitting beneath us.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years, and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy,” he stated

Hughes concludes that the "100 years" trope serves as a disinformation smokescreen and at current production rates, there are - at best - 25 years under the surface.

Industry proponents rely on a figure known as "technically recoverable reserves" when they promote the potential of shale basins. The figure that actually matters though, is production rates, or what the wells actually pull out of the reserves when fracked.

In the case of U.S. shale gas, the booked reserves are operating on what Hughes coins a "drilling treadmill," suffering from the law of "diminishing returns." 

Hughes analyzed the industry's production data for 65,000 wells from 31 shale basins nationwide utilizing the DI Desktop/HPDI database, widely used both by the industry and the U.S. government. He sums up the quagmire he discovered in doing so, writing,   

Wells experience severe rates of depletion...This steep rate of depletion requires a frenetic pace of drilling...to offset declines. Roughly 7,200 new shale gas wells need to be drilled each year at a cost of over $42 billion simply to maintain current levels of production. And as the most productive well locations are drilled first, it’s likely that drilling rates and costs will only increase as time goes on.

The reality, he explains, is that five shale gas basins currently produce 80 percent of the U.S. shale gas bounty and those five are all in steep production rate decline.

And shale oil? More of the same.

Over 80 percent of the oil produced and marketed comes from two basins: Texas' Eagle Ford Shale and North Dakota's Bakken Shale, both of which are visible from outer space satellites.

"[T]aken together shale gas and tight oil require about 8,600 wells per year at a cost of over $48 billion to offset declines," Hughes writes. "Tight oil production is projected to...peak in 2017 at 2.3 million barrels per day [and be tapped by about 2025]...In short, tight oil production from these plays will be a bubble of about ten years’ duration."

At current production rates, Hughes concludes, there is 5 billion barrels of shale oil located underneath the Bakken and Eagle Ford, which equates to a measly ten months worth of oil at current runaway climate change-causing U.S. oil consumption rates.

PCI accompanied Hughes' report with 43 charts and graphs and a digital U.S. map with the production data of all 65,000 fracking wells in the lower 48.

Wall Street's Complicity

Roughly 17 months ago, activists from around the country set up encampments outside of Wall Street, coining themselves Occupy Wall Street. As Rogers' report demonstrates, they had the right target in mind.

Rogers opens the report on a defiant note. 

"The recent natural gas market glut was largely effected through overproduction of natural gas in order to meet financial analyst’s production targets," she wrote. "Further, leases were bundled and flipped on unproved shale fields in much the same way as mortgage-backed securities had been bundled and sold on questionable underlying mortgage assets prior to the economic downturn of 2007."

In its early days operating in the U.S., the industry cloaked itself as a "mom-and-pop" shop start-up venture.

Rogers unpacked the reality behind this rhetorical ploy, writing that Wall Street firms are "intricately married to [shale gas and oil corporations]...With the help of Wall Street analysts acting as primary proponents for shale gas and oil, themarkets were frothed into a frenzy."

In other words, there are two spheres of economics unfolding: day-to-day in-field shale oil and gas production economics and Wall Street high finance economics. It's the insane economics of Wall Street investors fueling the economic decisions of those working in the field, in what Rogers describes as a "financial co-dependency."

Faulkner: "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Are we witnessing another "Inside Job" of the sort Charles Ferguson portrayed in his Academy Award-winning documentary film by that namesake?

In his 1951 classic play, "Requiem for a Nun," William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

These are the words of a sage, particularly given the past century of "The Great American Bubble Machine," as Rolling Stone investigative journalist Matt Taibbi has documented of Wall Street's behavior financing multiple economic spheres that have led to near system-wide collapse.

At the very least then, if it all "hits the fan," we can't say we weren't forewarned. 


Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1zXOb)

 


NASA Images Reveal 'Kuwait on the Prairie'

 

 

 

 


 

 

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Updated November 15, 2012, 6:08 p.m. ET

NY agency names panel to review fracking study

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York's health department has named experts from George Washington University, the University of California Los Angeles and the Colorado School of Public Health to review the state's environmental study on shale gas development using hydraulic fracturing, a state official said Thursday.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not been formally made.

Health and environmental groups have pressed for a comprehensive and independent health impact analysis before hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is allowed. Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens rejected that request in September, saying state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah would do the review with help from outside experts.

The DEC faces a regulatory deadline of Nov. 29 to complete new regulations for fracking. Martens said the agency's proposals won't be finalized until Shah's health review is finished. If the deadline isn't met, the regulations may have to be reopened to public comment.

New York has had a moratorium on shale gas drilling since 2008, when regulators began an environmental review of fracking, which releases gas from rock by injecting a well with millions of gallons of chemically treated water.

Regulators contend that overall, water and air pollution problems related to gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are rare, but environmental groups and some scientists say there hasn't been enough research on those issues.

The experts chosen for the health review were John Adgate, chairman of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department at the Colorado School of Public Health; Lynn Goldman, dean of George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services; and Richard Jackson, chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles' Fielding School of Public Health.

Environmental groups criticized the state agencies for not making public the DEC health review that the outside experts will be evaluating.

"We continue to call on the state to perform a comprehensive public Health Impact Assessment," said Katherine Nadeau of Environmental Advocates. "And to ensure the credibility of this study, strongly encourage the administration and the governor's appointees to undertake a more open and transparent process that fully involves the public."

A letter signed by 91 health professionals and scientists was sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday saying there's no indication the health department's review will meet the standards of a full health impact assessment.

"New York's community of medical professionals reiterate our call for an independent, comprehensive health impact assessment," Dr. Andrew Coates of Albany Medical College said in a statement. "Nothing less than a transparent investigation with full public participation is acceptable."

___

Associated Press Writer Michael Virtanen contributed to this report.

—Copyright 2012 Associated Press

Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our Subscriber Agreement and by copyright law. For non-personal use or to order multiple copies, please contact Dow Jones Reprints at 1-800-843-0008 or visit

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An Unfractured Look at Hydraulic Fracturing,

http://eli.ali-cle.org/

 

Listen to the free podcast, "An Unfractured Look at Hydraulic Fracturing," which provides a fantastic summary of what's happening right now across the various federal agencies responsible for the regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Hear three top speakers in the field, Rob Kirsch, Jeanne Briskin, and Richard McNeer, as they provide a background on the EPA's multiyear study on the impact of fracturing on drinking water resources, as well as discuss the uptick in petitions and lawsuits seeking to further encourage fracturing regulations. This is part of ALI CLE's new, free podcast series, Off the Record, which is available on iTunes

 

 

Gas Drilling: The Story So Far

ProPublica, June 26, 2010, 8:42 a.m.

The country's push to find clean domestic energy has zeroed in on natural gas, but cases of water contamination [1] have raised serious questions about the primary drilling method being used.

Vast deposits of natural gas, large enough to supply the country for decades, have brought a drilling boom stretching across 31 states. The drilling technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing [2], shoots water, sand and toxic chemicals into the ground to break up rock and release the gas. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared the process to be safe [1], but water contamination has been reported in more than a thousand places where drilling is happening. Gas companies, exempt from federal laws protecting water supplies, may conceal the identities of their chemicals as trade secrets, making it difficult to determine [3] the cause of contamination.

The EPA is now conducting a deeper study [4] of the drilling, New York state has blocked drilling [5] in New York City2019s watershed, and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the industry. The industry -- in the form of millions of dollars spent on lobbying, a slew of court cases, and a robust public relations campaign -- is pushing back [6].

 

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