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Author Topic: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?  (Read 9312 times)

Offline Donnah

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Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« on: 22/03/2011 01:18:41 »
Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?

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« Last Edit: 27/03/2011 10:06:30 by chris »


 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #1 on: 22/03/2011 21:51:20 »
.later this evening when I get to a computer that has sound I will address this.

I can say that all the criticism I have seen has been based on very little science, bad science and a lot of "what if's"
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2011 01:17:58 »
OK - these problems do not occur where I work.
 
I stand corrected. I knew nothing about the poor disposal problems encountered in the NE US. I live in Texas. With a long history of oil and gas activity, AND an industry regulation body of the State of Texas that will not put up with what is documented in the two videos, it wouldn't happen. The people that did what is shown would not get out of jail for years. And Dick Chaney would only be responsible for raping Iraq and other foreign countries for all they are worth.  The main reason it wouldn't happen in Texas is the large landowners in the state have a lot of political power. They do not want the their land or income decimated as the people profiled in the videos have been. 

"Slick" water, a term used for frac fluid, MUST be disposed of properly according to state law. The penalties are horrendous for even large companies for violation. As the first 17 min video stated, there are a LOT of disposal wells which are used to dispose of frac fluid. This only postpones the inevitable - it will be hundreds of years or more before the frac fluid is in the environment, not just a few days as it is in the eastern US.

Two years ago I went to central Kentucky to look at a project for investors that was essentially the same as the Marcellus Shale being drilled in Pennsylvania. It was the equivalent Ohio Shale - also Devonian - about which the videos are spotlighting. At shallow depths, the gas leaks to the surface. So no one builds a solid pump house for their water wells. The gas will gather in them and remains undissipated, blowing the pump house to smithereens if the pump kicks on after there has been a gas build-up.  

There is a safe way to extract gas - but not by fracking without disposing of the frac water properly. THE PROBLEM: it is not economical at this time to do so.

The plans for Europe need to be subjected to rigorous government regulation. And the Regulators in the North East US need to be call to answer for the mess that is occurring there.
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2011 02:09:32 »
Thanks for sharing your knowledge JimBob.  Are the disposal wells considered the proper legal disposal method?  Is there any other disposal method used?

What is the safe method of extracting natural gas (I'm curious even if it's not economically viable)?
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #4 on: 23/03/2011 19:50:43 »
Thanks for sharing your knowledge JimBob.  Are the disposal wells considered the proper legal disposal method? 

It depends on the governmental regulations. Obviously in Pennsylvania what they are doing is "legal." In Texas the operators would be heavily fined and made to put things back as they were. Much of the restoration is covered in the lease between the operator and the mineral owner.

Quote
Is there any other disposal method used?

Letting the water evaporate from a pit, then burring the residue is also a method that is acceptable but the design of the final burial place is critical in isolating the waste. 

Quote
What is the safe method of extracting natural gas (I'm curious even if it's not economically viable)?

Frac the formation with just water using sand or glass or plastic beads to hold the cracks open. This also has the advantage of giving the operator more control over where the fracs propagate. 

There are also naturally fractured rocks that need to be propped open as soon as they are drilled, meaning that thee must be pipe in place to be put in the well within a short time before the well's walls collapse. Lastly, we could just forget about drilling horizontal wells, drilling straight holes with minimal fracing as described as in paragraph above.
  
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #5 on: 24/03/2011 17:54:32 »
Letting the water evaporate from a pit, then burring the residue is also a method that is acceptable but the design of the final burial place is critical in isolating the waste. 
When you typed "burring the residue" did you mean to type burying, or burning?
Quote
"Slick" water, a term used for frac fluid, MUST be disposed of properly according to state law. The penalties are horrendous for even large companies for violation. As the first 17 min video stated, there are a LOT of disposal wells which are used to dispose of frac fluid. This only postpones the inevitable - it will be hundreds of years or more before the frac fluid is in the environment, not just a few days as it is in the eastern US.
This sounds like someone inviting themselves to your dinner table, eating everything, leaving dirty dishes, and dropping poison into your children and grandchildren's waterglasses.

BTW JimBob, don't you think Dick Chaney's name suits him?
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #6 on: 25/03/2011 00:31:58 »
BTW JimBob, don't you think Dick Chaney's name suits him?

Not nearly evil enough - but he can't help it, he is from Nebraska but also spent formative years in Wyoming. The old west lives on there - "anything I do is my business" attitude.

There are ranchers here in Texas who live by that credo as well. Just out of college, I met on man who bragged about having "wetback hunts" when illegals became too numerous in crossing his ranch to get into the US. It is a hard world out there.
 
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #7 on: 25/03/2011 04:06:53 »
Letting the water evaporate from a pit, then burring the residue is also a method that is acceptable but the design of the final burial place is critical in isolating the waste. 
When you typed "burring the residue" did you mean to type burying, or burning?

...and yikes, you'e met some nasty predators!
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #8 on: 26/03/2011 00:06:30 »
Letting the water evaporate from a pit, then burring the residue is also a method that is acceptable but the design of the final burial place is critical in isolating the waste. 
When you typed "burring the residue" did you mean to type burying, or burning?


burying
 

Offline Donnah

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #9 on: 26/03/2011 07:26:31 »
"Slick" water, a term used for frac fluid, MUST be disposed of properly according to state law. The penalties are horrendous for even large companies for violation. As the first 17 min video stated, there are a LOT of disposal wells which are used to dispose of frac fluid. This only postpones the inevitable - it will be hundreds of years or more before the frac fluid is in the environment, not just a few days as it is in the eastern US.

And this is considered safe and acceptable?
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #10 on: 26/03/2011 19:34:53 »
When people get scared, they often exaggerate the risks.

However, it certainly appears as if this process needs to be better regulated.

Evaporating the volatiles out of the fracking fluid?

That just puts the methane, methanol, and etc up into the air.  And, with so much in life, what goes up comes back down...  somewhere.

I would think that they could clean and recycle the fracking fluid.  Perhaps centrifuge it and pour it back down the next well.

When our local university transitioned from Hog Fuel to Natural Gas...  there were many good economic reasons to do it, but I still wonder how wise it was to transition from a renewable energy source to a fossil fuel energy source.
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #11 on: 26/03/2011 20:03:29 »
Perhaps I was too alarmist in my choice of words. It will be hundreds of thousands if not millions of years before frac water is in the environment. Erosion will expose most of it into the environment. There is a very small chance that the plumbing in a disposal well will break down and let the frac water from down-hole back up.

As for the volatiles, mentioned in the last post, there are carcinogens, poisons and non-volatiles in frac water that have never been in the earth's water supply before. These are dangerous chemicals that no one wants to come in contact with - even the people doing the fracing. Hazardous material suits are worn by the crews and other personnel doing the fracking. It isn't even safe for them to come in contact with the fluid.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #12 on: 27/03/2011 09:32:44 »
In most places, there is a deep layer of brackish water that remains fairly isolated from the freshwater near the surface.

I assume any frackwater disposal will be into this brackish water layer.

In some arid areas, there are plans to mine the brackish water for purification and use.  Hopefully the farmers and miners won't be clashing over the use of the brackish water layer.

You know,
This probably like a slaughter-house.
Many people are much happier to believe their meat comes in nice packages from a grocery store rather than considering how it actually gets there.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #13 on: 27/03/2011 17:53:12 »
"That just puts the methane, methanol, and etc up into the air.  And, with so much in life, what goes up comes back down...  somewhere."
No, not really, in small amounts these don't matter. They will  be destroyed by photochemical reactions with oxygen in the air.

"As for the volatiles, mentioned in the last post, there are carcinogens, poisons and non-volatiles in frac water that have never been in the earth's water supply before. "
Mankind's water supply has, from time to time, always had oil in in. Oil makes its way to the surface naturally from time to time.
That doesn't make it a good thing, but at least we scientists ought to keep it in perspective.
 

Offline Donnah

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Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #14 on: 14/04/2011 19:38:39 »
As with so many things in life, what seems more expensive at first can be the less expensive option in the long run.  Glass beads sounds like a good way to extract.  Perhaps land owners leasing to frackers can insist on this method or one of the other safe methods JimBob mentioned. 
 

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Is there a safe way to extract natural gas?
« Reply #14 on: 14/04/2011 19:38:39 »

 

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