Hydrofracking question.

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by bunnyversusworld, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Last post.

    We have been drilling wells for a LONG time for Natural Gas.

    Most wells up until now are under fairly high pressure, like the Macanudo Well in the GOM.

    When we drill those wells we use a different technique to control the gas, but it still involves cementing the bore.

    Fracking simply adds a new step.

    To release the high pressure gas we have to Frack the rock layer.

    Wells are also typically done by a combination of companies, each specialists in their area.

    Mostly people are familiar with the Drilling companies themselves but for instance Halliburton is a specialist in the Cementing area (a very specialized part of the process) and other specialties, like Mud Logging is done by companies like Horizon

    http://www.pioneerdrlg.com/
    http://www.halliburton.com/ps/Default.aspx?navid=1&pageid=23&prodgrpid=MSE::1045760969203789
    http://www.horizon-well-logging.com/
    http://oilandgas-investments.com/2010/investing/investing-in-fracking-companies/

    The Fracking crew are specialists and come in after the well has been drilled and cemented.

    Now you can cause a problem several ways.

    One is by an improper Cement Job, and that applies to BOTH well types.

    One is by an improper Fracking operation, generally meaning doing it at the wrong depth, too much pressure etc.

    One is by improper Well Control, which the shutting in of this well is what ulimately allowed the error in well construction to reach the water table.

    This was a bad Cement Job and bad Well Control, not a bad Fracking operation.

    I know you are blind to the difference.

    1. Fracking [completely] past the concrete is a normal result in a well that is constructed properly. <== No, it's the result of a BAD CEMENT JOB even when the Fracking was done properly.

    2. Fracking [completely] past the concrete is a trivial result. <== No, it's the result of a BAD CEMENT JOB even when the Fracking was done normally.

    3. Poor construction had nothing to do with it. <== No, it was a BAD CEMENT JOB, the Fracking crew however did their job normally.

    4. Human error had nothing to do with it. <== No, the Mud Pushers make a BAD CEMENT JOB and worse, they didn't recognize that they had done so

    5. It is correct, and appropriate to frack a well that has been cemented improperly. <== The Mud Pushers thought they had cemented it properly and allowed the Fracking crew to proceed. That was one of the two human errors. At least the Fracking was done properly.

    6. That if the fracking procedure states "First seal the well to this standard, then frack", and they do not seal to that standard, that the frack has been done improperly. <== The Mud Pushers thought they had sealed it. They told the Frackers they could proceed. The problem is they hadn't, that's why the error was a BAD CEMENT JOB, but at least the Fracking crew didn't screw up their operation.

    To put it in perspective, the people who Cement the Well aren't typically the same people that do the Fracking. For instance in the Macanudo well, the Cementers worked for Halliburton, the people drilling and controlling the well worked for TransOcean and the BOP that failed was made and serviced by Cameron International.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Clearly fracking is too dangerous if it must depend on such uncertain cement jobs for its basic safety. We should not put entire aquifers at risk from procedures that put such demands on a technology unable to reliably meet them.
     
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  5. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Cement jobs are important regardless of the type of well.

    Considering the number of wells drilled, the success rate is VERY HIGH.

    So no, let's not go back to candles, fireplaces and horses.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Clearly not high enough based on the amount of contamination.

    Agreed. A future of renewable energy is a lot more palatable.
     
  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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  9. arauca Banned Banned

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    The whole thing is the separation between the aquifer and were is your oil or gas and what kind if strata is in between.
    Example :
    My aquifer for shallow well is 400 feet O don't get radon the city well os 1700 feet they get Radon gas I in my well ,I don't get Radon because there are two impermeable layers . In both cases there is a cement casing .

    By the way Tanks for been a sneech so they unjustly suspended me, I suppose you are part of the mafia.
     
  10. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Nope.
     
  11. keith1 Guest

    --Fracking is expensive, regardless of safety measures and precisely because of those safety costs.
    --Sands wear down the inside of pipe, exacerbating their replacement schedule, costs.
    --Old technology of crossing rivers with oil pipe has demonized the newer safe processes (newer also means more expensive--safety procedures means more expensive).
    Make sure the heroin addict is not exaggerating the ease of product procurement.
     
  12. bunnyversusworld Registered Member

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    Well, all of this has been very informative but I'm still lacking key information from this or my other thread about the extent of damage possible and the nature of the water tables.
     
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4275
     
  14. bunnyversusworld Registered Member

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    thanks, overall I am leaning towards fracking and/or cementing being acceptably safe technology with proper regulation and monitoring and fines. I would like to see the results of the EPA studies on what I'll call toxifying water tables but I am ready to give fracking the benefit of the doubt. I'm sure the Sierra Club would be twitchy eyed with rage if they knew that - but I have noticed a tendency for some environmental groups to misunderstand the science and/or engineering (at least among their rank and file members/activists). I'll keep a weather eye out for those EPA reports though.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There's plenty of evidence of various problems of some kind with this fracking stuff. It's not from breaching the barrier rock, as far as anyone knows, yet, probably. But if we are considering tens of thousands of wells in a given region, thousands with common aquifers and the like, clearly we need a very, very high level of security. Since the people doing the fracking are hiding behind weasel language like "it's not the actual fracking, it's the cement job we have to have for the fracking" and the like, we can't trust these companies to police themselves. Let's put a moratorium on it until we get to the necessary confidence level.
     
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    And yet, according to the PNAS article I posted earlier, every well that was tested, that was within 1km of a fracked gas well, accross two states was contaminated with gas that could only have come from the layer the well was tapping.
     
  17. bunnyversusworld Registered Member

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    An EPA study should compare historical data for well water toxicities and gas content before and after well fracking. As I wrote before, the EPA studies will resolve the matter.
     
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    What would be useful is a study to compliment that PNAS study - repeat the same 'experiment' using unfracked wells. Any differences might be indicative of the role fracking plays in the contamination, versus the act of drilling.
     
  19. bunnyversusworld Registered Member

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    Both would be useful but I prefer to see the results of the same well and associated water tables before and after. Studying multiple wells of course. I'm curious how much natural gas there is in virgin water tables, as well as how much proppant contamination happens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  20. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Of course, this was published by PNAS later that year:

    Methane contamination of drinking water caused by hydraulic fracturing remains unproven

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/43/E871.full

    And a review of that study didn't agree at all with it's method or conclusions:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/E663.full

    In conclusion, the limited data presented in Osborn et al. (1) do not support a systematic presence of thermogenic methane in private wells in the vicinity of gas extraction operations.
     
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    :roll:
     
  22. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Very accurate post.

    I used to do well-drilling (for gas and oil) in the early 90s, and we hired lots of different crews -- some to drill, others to cement, others to puncture a hole at the appropriate level, others to re-cement a puncture hole to go to a new level, and others to frac. Very complex operations.
     
  23. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    I have read the first and last pages of this thread. The arguments appear to be the same all the way through. Adoucette has stated the correct position very clearly. Trippy's view is akin to saying: the problem is the use of drilling mud, because we are certainly using drilling mud on these wells. Or, : the problem is the use of rotary drilling. We should certainly revert to cable tool drilling.

    Fracking is is not the problem. The problem is improper cement jobs. This could be a consequence of the design of the casing and cementing program, out of specification product, or improperly conducted cementing operations. For a solution to the problem this is what needs to be focused on and not disruptive obsessions with an unrelated part of the drilling and completion operations.
     

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