A frac job is performed in three steps. First, a large amount of frac fluids are pumped into the well. The high-pressure of the frac fluids and the continual pumping increases the pressure in the well, overcoming the strength of the reservoir rocks to break them apart. Fracing fluids are pumped into the well until the rocks are cracked to a desired length.
Then, frac fluid and propping agents are introduced into the well to extend the breaks and pack them with proppants, or small spheres composed of quartz sand grains, ceramic spheres or aluminum oxide pellets, that hold the fractures open after pumping has ceased. This is important, because then the hydrocarbons can flow through the open cracks in the reservoir rocks. Finally, the well is back flushed to remove the frac fluids.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12190810, Roger Harrabin explains
NYT, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/us/series/drilling_down/index.html, The flow of chemicals and toxins, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/01/us/chemicals-and-toxic-materials-in-hydrofracking.html
http://www.clintoncountypa.com/CC%20Natural%20Gas%20Task%20Force/Articles/12.23.10%20-%20Why%20does%20Marcellus%20Shale%20Hold%20so%20much%20Natural%20Gas.pdf, Why the Marcellus Shale holds so much gas, It's a nice, non hti-and-miss resource
A report by the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security last week found that Europe could cover its energy needs for the next 60 years if it was able to develop its unconventional gas resources.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/907fd72c-7c06-11e0-9b16-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1MbLN2Qg2 The overwhelming vote by the National Assembly follows months of protest across France against a technique that environmentalists say threatens to pollute the water table. Many were outraged at the beginning of the year when it was discovered that several exploration permits had been granted without public consultation. The issue has become highly political as the government prepares for a difficult presidential campaign next year.
Pro lobby, http://www.shalecountry.com/, http://www.shalegasfuture.com/
Anti lobby, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8&feature=related
Water, Gasland, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8&feature=related, Picture, http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2011/05/shale-gas-environmental-concerns.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EconomistsView+%28Economist%27s+View+%28EconomistsView%29%29&utm_content=Netvibes, New node, The NY Times has just published a truly excellent series on hydraulic fracturing. The reporter, Ian Urbina, has come up with some disturbing insights into how the wastewater is managed. This wastewater is, in many cases, laced with radioactivity and toxic chemicals. It is not being adequately tested for many of these constituents. Its temporary disposal in massive lagoons and, eventually, at sewage treatment plants, is not, in many cases, being adequately managed by federal, state and local regulatory agencies., http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/03/06/hydraulic-fracturing-%E2%80%93-more-public-health-implications/, An early draft of the study discussed potentially dangerous levels of contamination in hydrofracking fluids and mentioned “possible evidence” of contamination of an aquifer. The report’s final version excluded these points, concluding instead that hydrofracking “poses little or no threat to drinking water.” Shortly after the study was released, an E.P.A. whistle-blower said the agency had been strongly influenced by industry and political pressure. Agency leaders at the time stood by the study’s findings., http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html?_r=1
Leakage needs sorting, but not a problem in UK or Europe, different water systems, population density quite an advantage
Health, Gasland claims, Unknown effects, http://www.peacelovejava.com/content/myth-hydraulic-fracturing-fluids-and-products-pose-no-real-risk-our-water-supplies-or-public, According to the EPA, toxic chemicals in fracturing fluids include substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; methanol; formaldehyde; ethylene glycol; glycol ethers; hydrochloric acid; sodium hydroxide; and diesel fuel, which contains benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene and other chemicals. These chemicals have known negative health effects such as respiratory, neurological and reproductive impacts, impacts on the central nervous system, and cancer. The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Inc., (TEDX) has also recently documented health effects of chemicals used in 435 fracturing products. According to TEDX, the top four health effects for chemicals in these products include: skin, eye and sensory organ effects, respiratory effects, gastrointestinal effects, and brain and nervous system effects2. In addition to being injected into and near water resources, these chemicals are also being trucked through our communities and can spill and leak from trucks, pits, disposal wells, and flowlines. Aside from water contamination, communities are faced with public health threats from chemicals evaporating off drilling sites and residual chemicals that can spill or leak onto our soils., The documents show that the agency dropped some plans to model radioactivity in drilling wastewater being discharged by treatment plants into rivers upstream from drinking water intake plants. And in Congress, members from drilling states like Oklahoma have pressured the agency to keep the focus of the new study narrow., http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/01/us/chemicals-and-toxic-materials-in-hydrofracking.html
Our bodies have no real problem with methane exposure. But fine. Let's keep a close eye on it, http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemicals/chem_profiles/methane/health_met.html
Climate change - it's good.Real motivation for nay-sayers is that it breaks the climate change/energy security coalition
Precautionary principle, Tyndall Centre, "We are aghast that government accepted the assurances of industry on this while their own consultation had not even finished. There was a shale gas rush in the US and now they are looking into the implications - we need to do it the other way round."
Regulate and find engineering solutions, http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/tag/shale-gas/, I also think, however, that these all sound like questions of engineering. The concerns, as I’ve written here several times, regarding the safety of the process, including how operations may impact drinking water supplies, are not to be dismissed. They are, though, highly amenable to engineering solutions if – and only if – proper regulatory authority is brought to bear. The whole idea of “self-regulation,” particularly of the extractive industries, is ludicrous. I have confidence in the ability of the proper agencies, chief of these being the Environmental Protection Agency, to do their jobs. That presupposes that they are not hamstrung by ideologues in elected office who would neuter the critical role that these agencies play in protecting the public health.
Just more rape and pillage of the earth. Can't we just change our attitude?
You just can't trust this industry, Can all of the relevant agencies do this work properly? Of course. But, as Urbina reports in perhaps the most chilling aspect of this whole story, if special interests work overtime, all the time, to neuter these agencies’ authority, then the public health will not be protected. Pressure Limits Efforts to Police Drilling for Gas is the third article in the series. “…interviews with E.P.A. scientists, and confidential documents … show long and deep divisions within the agency over whether and how to increase regulation of oil and gas drillers, and over the enforcement of existing laws that some agency officials say are clearly being violated.” There’s a long trail of improper influence, very much continuing through to the present day, on what should be the wholly science-based regulatory approach of EPA and the other agencies., http://climatechange.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/03/06/hydraulic-fracturing-%E2%80%93-more-public-health-implications/, More than a quarter-century of efforts by some lawmakers and regulators to force the federal government to police the industry better have been thwarted, as E.P.A. studies have been repeatedly narrowed in scope and important findings have been removed., http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/us/04gas.html?_r=1, For example, the agency had planned to call last year for a moratorium on the gas-drilling technique known as hydrofracking in the New York City watershed, according to internal documents, but the advice was removed from the publicly released letter sent to New York.
Exposes double speak of the green movement