Friday, June 26, 2009

Hydraulic fracturing legislation not needed

A new report from the Colorado School of Mines’ Potential Gas Committee concludes that the United States is sitting atop natural gas reserves much larger than previously thought – more than 2,000 tcf, according to the committee, or nearly 100 years worth of production.

This expanded forecast is due mainly to the discoveries of large reserves of gas in America’s shale regions, including the Marcellus in Northern Appalachia, the Barnett in North Texas, the Woodford in Oklahoma, the Fayetteville in Arkansas, the Haynesville in Louisiana and Texas, and several others. The upward revision represents the largest jump in resource estimates in the 44-year history of the report.

Unfortunately, we may not be able to recover much of this newly discovered clean-burning natural gas. In a move that studies suggest could result in thousands of lost jobs, billions in taxpayer revenue, and massive amounts of energy left in the ground, Congress has introduced legislation that, if passed, will impose new restrictions on a safe and commonly used recovery technique known as hydraulic fracturing, which is a critical well stimulation technology.

Hydraulic fracturing has been used for more than 60 years to access and increase oil and gas production of resources that otherwise would have remained trapped under miles of rock. It’s also been regulated by state agencies for at least that long.

Now, members of Congress who apparently believe that hydraulic fracturing is unsafe and unregulated want to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate hydraulic fracturing as a form of underground injection under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Doing so would place an unnecessary financial burden on a critical American industry without any tangible environmental benefit. Hydraulic fracturing has been aggressively regulated by the states and the process has an impressive record of safety and performance. Imposing an additional burden on companies that employ the technique could conceivably result in the loss of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in taxpayer revenue, and leave massive amounts of energy in the ground.

Your thoughts….

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Don Stowers

I am from Venezuela and have been working in the oil and gas Ind. for 30 years. I am not sure if HF is so sure that does not need more regulations. We have had some fails producing contamination of sweet waters with slated and oily waters. Actually here, there is not any regulation about HF, if we would have some, probably it could be avoided.
So, because, in the future war (cold or hot) will be for water not for oil, I think that this has to be faced with strong limits from now on.
Thanks.
Alfredo Pérez

July 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that fracing is an environmental hazard, it is an economic burden and it is an umpredictable technology that often causes unwanted fluids. Currently there are no other ways to achieve the productivity.

It is also the backbone of Schlumberger, Halliburton, BJ and many others. They will fight against it. I know, because I have implemted and driven a technology, more successful and profitable than the existing technologies, but they fight it like hell.

The legislation, is a question of telling the government what are in the slurries. That would not be such a big problem to tell them. Guars, polymers, straight water. There are generally no big secrets out there. Everybody uses the same chemicals. In Europe they had to tell anyway, so if Halliburton wanted to know what cemicals Sclumberger uses in Clearfrac, they only have to call their european offices; no big deal. Secondly I would say now is the time to innovate. I am sure most americans would say that there is no replacement for fracking particularily in tight gas. So as an industry we need to innovate and adapt to the society, not tell them it is too expensive. If it is too expensive for the industry to behave like a responsible citizen, then it is time for the industry to innovate or die.

July 21, 2009 at 5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my experience, the states have tight enough regulations on HF already.

July 21, 2009 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger SMrF said...

"Unfortunately, we may not be able to recover much of this newly discovered clean-burning natural gas."

Is this because regulation of any sort will make drilling uneconomical, that studies will find fracturing so dangerous as to not be viable, or is this just a polarizing statement?

May 20, 2010 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in the business of monitoring and mapping hydraulic fracturing. Measurements on thousands of fracs show that the hydraulically induced fractures are invariably closely contained in or near the intended producing interval and remain thousands of feet (typically a mile or more)below drinking water aquifers so there is a physical barrier of thousands of feet of impermeable rock between the fractures and the water supplies that we want to protect.

Additionally, although the frac pumping companies prefer not to list their proprietary blends of chemicals, as one of your commentators says "Guars, polymers, straight water. There are generally no big secrets out there." The majority of the chemicals are used in things like ice cream and cosmetics and are so diluted in the thousands of gallons of water used that they could be safely injested in the concentrations being pumped. Additionally, they will be further diluted in the reservoir after pumping.

June 22, 2010 at 6:04 AM  

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5 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mr. Don Stowers

I am from Venezuela and have been working in the oil and gas Ind. for 30 years. I am not sure if HF is so sure that does not need more regulations. We have had some fails producing contamination of sweet waters with slated and oily waters. Actually here, there is not any regulation about HF, if we would have some, probably it could be avoided.
So, because, in the future war (cold or hot) will be for water not for oil, I think that this has to be faced with strong limits from now on.
Thanks.
Alfredo Pérez
July 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
There is no doubt that fracing is an environmental hazard, it is an economic burden and it is an umpredictable technology that often causes unwanted fluids. Currently there are no other ways to achieve the productivity.

It is also the backbone of Schlumberger, Halliburton, BJ and many others. They will fight against it. I know, because I have implemted and driven a technology, more successful and profitable than the existing technologies, but they fight it like hell.

The legislation, is a question of telling the government what are in the slurries. That would not be such a big problem to tell them. Guars, polymers, straight water. There are generally no big secrets out there. Everybody uses the same chemicals. In Europe they had to tell anyway, so if Halliburton wanted to know what cemicals Sclumberger uses in Clearfrac, they only have to call their european offices; no big deal. Secondly I would say now is the time to innovate. I am sure most americans would say that there is no replacement for fracking particularily in tight gas. So as an industry we need to innovate and adapt to the society, not tell them it is too expensive. If it is too expensive for the industry to behave like a responsible citizen, then it is time for the industry to innovate or die.
July 21, 2009 at 5:00 AM  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
In my experience, the states have tight enough regulations on HF already.
July 21, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

*/ ?>
Blogger SMrF said...
"Unfortunately, we may not be able to recover much of this newly discovered clean-burning natural gas."

Is this because regulation of any sort will make drilling uneconomical, that studies will find fracturing so dangerous as to not be viable, or is this just a polarizing statement?
May 20, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

*/ ?>
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I am in the business of monitoring and mapping hydraulic fracturing. Measurements on thousands of fracs show that the hydraulically induced fractures are invariably closely contained in or near the intended producing interval and remain thousands of feet (typically a mile or more)below drinking water aquifers so there is a physical barrier of thousands of feet of impermeable rock between the fractures and the water supplies that we want to protect.

Additionally, although the frac pumping companies prefer not to list their proprietary blends of chemicals, as one of your commentators says "Guars, polymers, straight water. There are generally no big secrets out there." The majority of the chemicals are used in things like ice cream and cosmetics and are so diluted in the thousands of gallons of water used that they could be safely injested in the concentrations being pumped. Additionally, they will be further diluted in the reservoir after pumping.
June 22, 2010 at 6:04 AM  

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