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Tagged : natural-gas-drilling

Shale oil production dependent upon ‘drilling intensity’ that will be hard to sustain, Harvard study says

June 28th, 2013

U.S. shale oil (and gas) production depends upon a frenzied level of drilling never before seen, according to a new paper out from Harvard. That’s because the wells accessed by new fracking techniques typically decline dramatically not long after being put into production.

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Wheeze, baby, wheeze: Sierra Club and others respond to Rick Perry’s fossil fuel-heavy energy plan

October 17th, 2011

From Green Right Now Reports

Many reports are taking Gov. Rick Perry’s energy plan to task for focusing on dirty fossil fuels and promoting jobs numbers for oil and gas development that crumble upon examination.

The New York Times says Perry’s plan to extend drilling on public lands, in the arctic and the Gulf of Mexico resembles “a wish list for the oil and gas industry” and appears to have been drawn from a study by Wood Mackenzie consultants paid for by the American Petroleum Institute.

The Atlantic reports that Perry is far off the mark when he claims that expanding oil and gas drilling and rolling back EPA regulations would create 1.2 million jobs.

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Anti-fracking groups grow as natural gas drilling expands

July 6th, 2011

Across the U.S. resistance to natural gas fracking continues to flare as the controversial drilling practice encroaches upon towns and threatens watersheds.

Fracking protesters in Pennsylvania. (Forests.org)

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Government report and think tank also question rosy natural gas estimates

June 27th, 2011

The New York Times threw some water on the natural gas frenzy this weekend with its story about industry insiders questioning predictions for a bountiful U.S. harvest of natural gas, the so-called “bridge” fuel of the future.

We’ve been wondering for a while about why everyone seems to take the industry word on natural gas prospects. The Times story quoted industry insiders with deep concerns about whether hydraulically fractured shale gas operations will produce as promised, and one analyst who likened the “shale gas plays” to “a Ponzi scheme”.

The skeptics point to data showing that many productive wells dwindle after a few years, and that wide regions around successful wells often come up dry.

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Water down the energy drain

June 16th, 2011

I have a bumper sticker on my car provided by the American Farmland Institute. I like it because it’s (so very) succinct.
No Farms. No Food.
We have another slogan in the making here in Texas this summer.
No Water. No Energy.

With more than half of the state gripped by a severe drought. (See this drought map), questions are surfacing about how wise it is to pump millions of gallons of water laced with lubricants and toxic chemicals into the earth to extract natural gas, a practice known as hydraulic fracturing.

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Forced Pooling: When Landowners Can’t Say No to Drilling

May 19th, 2011

by Marie C. Baca
Special to ProPublica

As the shale gas boom sweeps across the United States, drillers are turning to a controversial legal tool called forced pooling to gain access to minerals beneath private property–in many cases, without the landowners’ permission.

Forced pooling is common in many established oil and gas states, but its use has grown more contentious as concerns rise about drilling safety and homeowners in areas with little drilling history struggle to understand the obscurities of mineral laws.

Joseph Todd, who lives in rural Big Flats, N.Y., wasn’t especially concerned when he learned in 2009 that his half-acre property had become part of a drilling unit. But when methane gas showed up in his drinking water well after the drilling began, he became outraged, describing forced pooling as “eminent domain for gas drillers.”

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EPA asks gas companies for their ‘secret’ fracking formulas

September 9th, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has asked nine natural gas service companies to voluntarily give information about the chemical composition of fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” process.

Fracking fluids are known to contain dozens of chemicals, designed to make the fluids work better when drillers crack into gas deposits deep in the earth. But the exact composition of companies’ formulas was exempted in 2005 from the Clean Water Act, which requires companies to make public chemicals being introduced into the environment.

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EPA invites public to meetings on fracking

June 18th, 2010

People who want to know more about how hydraulic fracturing in the natural gas industry might affect drinking water, can attend EPA meetings in July in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York.

These states have witnessed increases in natural gas drilling, as oil and gas companies tap stores thousands of feet beneath the surface in areas such as the Marcellus Shale in New York and the Barnett Shale in Texas.

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A response to the ‘facts’ about natural gas drilling pollution

March 30th, 2010

(The article, posted March 29, 2010 on the Environmental Defense Fund website, is the reaction of EDF senior scientist, Ramon Alvarez, to a briefing in Austin put on by the Barnett Shale natural gas producers. Drilling in the Barnett Shale in Central and North Texas — as with gas drilling in New York , Pennsylvania [...]

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Drilling chemicals used in new gas wells remain underground

January 25th, 2010

(From ProPublica, which originally posted this piece, which was co-published with Politico, on Dec. 27, 2009.)


For more than a decade the energy industry has steadfastly argued before courts, Congress and the public that the federal law protecting drinking water should not be applied to hydraulic fracturing [2], the industrial process that is essential to extracting the nation’s vast natural gas reserves. In 2005 Congress, persuaded, passed a law prohibiting such regulation.

Now an important part of that argument — that most of the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals that drillers inject underground are removed for safe disposal, and are not permanently discarded inside the earth — does not apply to drilling in many of the nation’s booming new gas fields.

Three company spokesmen and a regulatory official said in separate interviews with ProPublica that as much as 85 percent of the fluids used during hydraulic fracturing is being left underground after wells are drilled in the Marcellus Shale, the massive gas deposit that stretches from New York to Tennessee.

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Colorado towns win protection for groundwater from gas drillers

December 16th, 2009

(The piece below is reprinted with permission from ProPublica, a non-profit news organization focused on in-depth reporting of critical issues.)

Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica
Abrahm Lustgarten/ProPublica

In 2005 the U.S. Bureau of Land Management offered up thousands of acres of federal land in Colorado to drilling. Because the land was in the heart of an area that supplies drinking water to 55,000 people in the western part of the state, the plan drew stong opposition from local communities

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Repealing the Halliburton Loophole would be a vote for clean water

September 1st, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

One of my pet complaints is finally being addressed, at least partly. Living here in the Barnett Shale region of Texas, where drilling for natural gas is making Swiss cheese of the ground beneath, say, my house, I’ve been sensitive to these reports coming out that link fracturing chemicals to groundwater contamination.

To be fair, natural gas advocates point out that the crevices they’re tapping are typically not at the same level as groundwater. Still, that means they’re either drilling through potential groundwater territory, or above it (think: gravity).

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