University study: Fracking hasn’t contaminated groundwater

posted at 9:15 am on February 18, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Stand by for the backlash from environmentalist groups. One of the mainstays in the green movement and their efforts to derail domestic energy production is the widely touted liberal doctrine that fracking is bad. (For those just joining our program, fracking is the common nickname associated with hydraulic fracturing.) Various political, agenda driven activists like Josh Fox have made a fine living blaming fracking for everything from exploding sinks to earthquakes. (No… seriously.)

In the past, when a series of studies have shown the majority of these claims to be nonsense, activists responded by claiming that the institutions performing the studies must have deep, secret ties to the energy industry. Therefore the results must be suspect. But now a new study is out, and this one comes from academia.

The hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to develop natural gas has no direct connection to groundwater contamination, according to a study released Feb. 16 by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

The study reported that many problems blamed on hydraulic fracturing are related to processes common to all oil and gas drilling operations, such as casing failures or poor cement jobs.

University researchers also concluded that many reports of contamination can be traced to above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than from hydraulic fracturing, Charles “Chip” Groat, an Energy Institute associate director, said in a statement.

“These problems are not unique to hydraulic fracturing,” he said.

The vast majority of fracking activity takes place hundreds, if not thousands of feet below the aquifer. Will you find natural gas and related hydrocarbons in the area when you initially drill a hole in the ground in places like Pennsylvania’s shale play? Yes, you will. You will also find those same compounds present when you drill a new water well. The land is full of hydrocarbons. That’s why we drill there.

Of course, you can expect this study to fall on deaf ears among the usual suspects, just as previous ones have. Possibly the only thing that’s going to attract the attention of the key players is the tens of thousands of jobs being added in Pennsylvania and the fact that state with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation right now is North Dakota, at 3.3%. I wonder how they managed that? (Hint: they’re not picking mangoes.)


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No fracking way.

Let the spelling arguments begin!

hawkdriver on February 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

But what about the earthquakes?

You just have to continue to stir the pot.

Everybody knows teasippers in the technology part of UT are in the pocket of big oil. That’s where they all go to work after getting their degrees.

Geeze, Jazz, I thought you were up on this stuff.

JR is alive and well in Texas. Those Texans want to destroy the planet.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

file this one in the “no sh!t Sherlock” file…and from the rabid libs in Austin!

DHChron on February 18, 2012 at 9:22 AM

Of course, you can expect this study to fall on deaf ears among the usual suspects, just as previous ones have.

No fracking way! This is science and the left are the science nerds. They will embrace this like they did global warming…or something like that…

cartooner on February 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

The pressure is already there, better to discharge it little by little.

MrMoe on February 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

JR is alive and well in Texas. Those Texans want to destroy the planet.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Yeah, everybody knows Austin is a hotbed of paleo-cons!

cartooner on February 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

This study could have been written by the Good Lord himself and it would still be vilified by the environazis.

It will also not stop them for one second from utilizing all of the utterly false studies that they manufacture as gospel to continue their quest to return us to the stone age.

You do realize that there is a reason that National Geographic and other cable outlets produce those post-apocalyptic shows about how cities will return to the Earth after our demise, don’t you?

turfmann on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Austin is in Texas, George W. Bush is from Texas, George W. Bush has friends in the oil industry……there is our link!

tommer74 on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

You’re expecting a university to determine that fracking is bad? Just think of what it would do to their recruiting efforts.

/double entendre

Bunsin2 on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I wonder, are the environmentalist wackos crying about fracking contaminating groundwater the same ones that thought MTBE was a great idea?

Left Coast Right Mind on February 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

get the frack outa here!

trailortrash on February 18, 2012 at 9:32 AM

AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!!!!

DRILL BABY DRILL

IlonaE on February 18, 2012 at 9:33 AM

there are big shale gas deposits in just about every part of the country. with new drilling/fracking techniques they can work just about anywhere. our country should build power plants in the vicinity of this shale gas instead of using nuclear,oil,coal.

as for coal we are now shipping it overseas.this is where our coal should go and the cleaner shale gas used here. we have huge deposits of coal and foe our economy ship coal to china

gerrym51 on February 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

But–but—Gasland!

That’s the standard response from lefties to any study like this. They think that movie is gospel.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Yeah, everybody knows Austin is a hotbed of paleo-cons!

cartooner on February 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

LOL Austin is a lot like Berkeley with a twang. It’s a surprise they published this study.

Fallon on February 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Well, fracking may be safe, but surely it hurts some endangered spieces. Right? /s

I’m sure they’ll find one like they found the lizards in Texas.

Kaffa on February 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

ship coal to china

gerrym51 on February 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Those ships can’t go back empty. Besides, the money we send over there takes up so much less space. Especially using large bills.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

are you telling me that mangoes ain’t be growin’ in N. Dakota? Holy Frack…..all these years I been duped./

ted c on February 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Austin is in Texas, George W. Bush is from Texas, George W. Bush has friends in the oil industry……there is our link!

tommer74 on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

That is the way a lot of them actually think. Many people on the left are terribly close-minded and bigoted.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Fracking tickles Gaia causing her to laugh resulting in earthquakes.

Blake on February 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

The oil produced from fracking will add to globull warming.

Therefore, you need to buy your greenhouse gas offsets for a few dollars per therm from my offset trading web site for absolution and all will be forgiven.

/algore

WhatNot on February 18, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Fracking…

the SIXTY YEAR OLD technology (better now than ever) that has been safe as long as it’s been in use.

(It used to be done with explosives!)

And you ain’t NEVER lived til you have an explosive frack…!!!

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

This study is racist.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

What if we said we are cleaning up a massive underground oil spill and making big oil pay for it? The greenies would be happy about that, right?

jfox21 on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

That is the way a lot of them actually think. Many people on the left are terribly close-minded and bigoted.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Why not? Just look at how screwed up Texas is compared to the more enlightened parts of the country. Texans and their stupid governor. The US would be so much better off without them.

I say, pay Texas to leave the union and be rid of them.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

(It used to be done with explosives!)

And you ain’t NEVER lived til you have an explosive frack…!!!

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Yep. And dry ice, don’t forget the dry ice.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Fracking tickles Gaia causing her to laugh resulting in earthquakes.

Blake on February 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Heh.

BallisticBob on February 18, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Fracking…
the SIXTY YEAR OLD technology (better now than ever) that has been safe as long as it’s been in use.
(It used to be done with explosives!)
And you ain’t NEVER lived til you have an explosive frack…!!!
Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

See Project Gasbuggy.

mchristian on February 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I say, pay Texas to leave the union and be rid of them.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

You won’t have to pay them. I’m sure that many would love it. Then they wouldn’t have to send money to Washington to bail out the blue states!

Kaffa on February 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I am so tired of liberals attacking EVERY viable source of energy. Coal fired power plants are bad. Oil is bad. Nuclear power plants are bad. Drilling for natural gas is bad. Wind and solar are the ONLY sources of energy they will accept, even though one kills birds and the other requires chemical batteries to maintain steady energy supply and both are horribly inefficient. If we ever got cold-fusion to actually work, they’d protest that, too.

WingedPanther73 on February 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

You won’t have to pay them. I’m sure that many would love it. Then they wouldn’t have to send money to Washington to bail out the blue states!

Kaffa on February 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Sssshhhhh! The US needs to pay Texas to leave the union. Texans are too dumb to do so other wise.

That’s the only way.

And build a fence along the Red river.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I say, pay Texas to leave the union and be rid of them.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

You won’t have to pay them. I’m sure that many would love it. Then they wouldn’t have to send money to Washington to bail out the blue states!

Kaffa on February 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Nope, we’ll take the money. For the refugees children

mchristian on February 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Laugh all you want you nutjob frackin’ deniers, Gaia will have her revenge if we progs don’t tax you into oblivion first!!!
/deep thoughts by a whack lib

ted c on February 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Recently, a band of crazed Austin occupiers swarmed the comment section of Urbangrounds: http://urbangrounds.com/2012/02/occupy-austin-evicted/#comments

They have done it before. It’s like an email is sent out to the leftards with marching orders to go raid a conservative blog.

Blake on February 18, 2012 at 9:56 AM

And build a fence along the Red river.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Actually they use to sell bricks at the Texas State Fair so that they could build a wall at the Red River to keep the yankees out. No oil for yankees. Let the yankees freeze!

Kaffa on February 18, 2012 at 9:57 AM

What if we said we are cleaning up a massive underground oil spill and making big oil pay for it? The greenies would be happy about that, right?

jfox21 on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

We have a winner already!

jistincase on February 18, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Please everyone stop calling it “Fracking” with a K. It is always spelled “Fracing” I’ve worked in the oil patch for 27 years, trust me on this on. Example: “We are going to Frac this well”

RodneyRight on February 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Morning. DHChron
Has Texas warmed up? Its gonna be in the mid 40′s here in Ohio.

angrymike on February 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

The fracking “problem” in some areas is starting to take care of itself, because the process has been so successful, there’s now a glut of natural gas on the U.S. market. So some areas where people might be conflicted about the drilling activity because of the screeds they’ve been hearing from environmental activists are about to see the activists get some of their wish, as the drilling rigs — and the economic benefits and jobs they’ve brought — go away. Let’s see Josh Fox spin a return of 10 percent unemployment to Marcellus Shale areas being great for the residents.

jon1979 on February 18, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Please everyone stop calling it “Fracking” with a K. It is always spelled “Fracing” I’ve worked in the oil patch for 27 years, trust me on this on. Example: “We are going to Frac this well”

RodneyRight on February 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

But it works much better with the “K”.

As in, “We are royally fracked!!”
/enviro-whackos

Bitter Clinger on February 18, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Jazz, thanks for posting this. I am doing research on fracking and you have totally made my day. :)

upinak on February 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Kaffa
Hold on a minute, not all Yankees are idiots. I got a big block Chevelle that needs to to hit the road this spring.

angrymike on February 18, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Fracking…

the SIXTY YEAR OLD technology (better now than ever) that has been safe as long as it’s been in use.

(It used to be done with explosives!)

And you ain’t NEVER lived til you have an explosive frack…!!!

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

This. I worked in the field 30 years ago, and we used fracking then. It just wasn’t used as a primary method of extraction.

If we drilled a dry hole, but the geologist was still convinced it was down there, an outfit would be called in and they would fracture the existing hole.

predator on February 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Ann McElhinney is the funniest Irish woman I’ve ever heard. Donate to her documentary Fracknation here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1009530098/fracknation

ctmom on February 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

angrymike on February 18, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I’m thinking about getting in some golf today…in February…in Illinois! Thank Gaia for warming!

predator on February 18, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I wonder how long it will take for the researchers to be attacked, have their personal info posted on the internet and have their familes threatened?

darwin on February 18, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Predator
Its nice ain’t it. I love winters like this!

angrymike on February 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM

This has nothing to do with the main topic other than to show the hypocrisy of liberals. A close family member who is about as liberal as they come, had a well drilled on his “farm” that only produced about 2 gallons per minute. To increase the flow rate he paid the well driller to use a procedure that increased the flow rate to about 12 gallons per minute. The procedure? Fracing. Yet to this day he is publicly against the procedure. OIMBY

oldernwiser on February 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM

(It used to be done with explosives!)

It still is. They use perf guns to shoot holes in the rock to allow the water to be pumped in.

Tc0061 on February 18, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Release the Fracken!

predator on February 18, 2012 at 10:29 AM

I worked in the field 30 years ago, and we used fracking then. It just wasn’t used as a primary method of extraction.

Yeah, me, too. Worked all over the oil field, including on a fracing fracking crew with Halliburton VERY briefly.

In certain productive formations (like the Austin Chalk) that were tight by nature, most wells were fracked.

All the wells I helped drill were vertical bores, and directional drilling sometimes obviates the need to frack at fracing all, since the productive bore is so much larger.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Energy Institute? University of Texas?

UT @ Austin = Texas = Big Oil = Corrupt!!!!11!!1!! Eleventy!!!11!1!!

Facts do not sway the True Believers in the face of Higher Truth.

novaculus on February 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

They use perf guns to shoot holes in the rock to allow the water to be pumped in.

Actually, the perf guns are used to pierce the casing at the productive zone level in all wells…fracking fracked or not…

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

All the wells I helped drill were vertical bores, and directional drilling sometimes obviates the need to frack at fracing all, since the productive bore is so much larger.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Same here. I worked the patch from ’79 through ’83. I think directional drilling was still a work in progress back then. We had Halliburton or another outfit (Schlumberger?) on site fairly often.

predator on February 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I wonder, are the environmentalist wackos crying about fracking contaminating groundwater the same ones that thought MTBE was a great idea?

Left Coast Right Mind on February 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Yup – and the same ones who are making us use light bulbs full of mercury.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Please everyone stop calling it “Fracking” with a K. It is always spelled “Fracing” I’ve worked in the oil patch for 27 years, trust me on this on. Example: “We are going to Frac this well”

RodneyRight on February 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

In which case it would be pronounced frasing – like racing with an F in front. Or do we now say NASCAR is about car racking?…..

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

predator, I don’t know if Halliburton even does fracing fracking anymore. Seems an age since I saw any Halliburton trucks.

But the process has been really streamlined now. Our fracking frac jobs were IMMENSE, with, like 15 trucks on location. I never see that many now.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

But the process has been really streamlined now. Our fracking frac jobs were IMMENSE, with, like 15 trucks on location. I never see that many now.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

That’s the way it was when I worked it. Halliburton vehicles were all over the place. And other than the driller being on the handle, the rest of the rig crew pretty much just got out of the way.

predator on February 18, 2012 at 10:47 AM

The US needs to pay Texas to leave the union. Texans are too dumb to do so other wise.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Actually, according to all published research, the folks in Texas are absolutely average in intelligence. Right around 25 out of 50 states.

Remember, the Democrat Party ruled Texas until about 15 years ago. So any dumb Texans older than 15 are all their fault.

Del Dolemonte on February 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Nope, you have to pay us. We’re THAT dumb.

You can call BR549 to give me your bank info…

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The report’s lack of faith disturbs me.

As any devoted environmentalist knows, the real problem with fracking or any energy related project is the deep disturbances they cause in “The Force.”

MessesWithTexas on February 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Actually, according to all published research, the folks in Texas are absolutely average in intelligence. Right around 25 out of 50 states.

Del Dolemonte on February 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Well – half of all people are below average in intelligence…. /
I’m guessing they’re the majority in the blue states.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

They talk about the supposed bitter clingers on the right, yet these lefties cling way tighter to their blindness, stupidity and tunnelvision and the lefties that I know reflect this same short-sighted clinging in every aspect of their disastrous personal lives.

stukinIL4now on February 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Please everyone stop calling it “Fracking” with a K. It is always spelled “Fracing” I’ve worked in the oil patch for 27 years, trust me on this on. Example: “We are going to Frac this well”

RodneyRight on February 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

See Hawk!

No fracking way.

Let the spelling arguments begin!

hawkdriver on February 18, 2012 at 9:18 AM

….and I thought the argument would be over a ‘u’ and a couple of other letters.

KOOLAID2 on February 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I’m no environmental wacko, but I am a PA resident, and I am very much aware of the problems that have resulted from fracking in our state. Look, I’m all for finding new and cleaner forms of energy, and natural gas certainly seems to fit that bill. At the same time, I also believe strongly in property rights. I know more than a couple of families that have had to deal with groundwater contamination issues since fracking has begun here. My only real beef is how hard some people are trying to downplay that issue. Homeowners shouldn’t have to suffer due to the irresponsibility of natural gas companies. If, like the article states, the problem is linked to poor practices rather than fracking itself, that’s fine. That’s no excuse for these companies to drag their feet when dealing with property owners whose lives have been severely disrupted by these companies’ mistakes and/or negligence.

humili mente on February 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM

But now a new study is out, and this one comes from academia.

That’s funny.

Wasn’t it ‘academia’ (and post-academia ‘experts’) that had the whole of the entire world in a tizzy about man-made global warming and the impending doom of thawed glaciers, thawed poles, and sea levels rising so high that many heavily populated coastal cities and ocean locked countries (aka: Islands) would be underwater within a single generation? At first, nearly everyone believed it as gospel since the source was ‘academia’, so it must be absolutely correct and true.

Aw, the good old days. Good times.

 

…just thought I’d throw that out there.

SD Tom on February 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM

No worries everyone, the US State Department is already on the case to counter this study, using your tax dollars around the world paying for the showings of Gasland and other dubious movies!

US Department of State American Film Showcase

Ronaldusmax on February 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I know more than a couple of families that have had to deal with groundwater contamination issues since fracking has begun here.

Look up the term “causation”.

See also “anecdotal”.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

It comes from fracture, long used in the oil patch as FRAC thus FRACCING as bochures spelled it out beginning DECADES ago.

Kermit on February 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Come on Jazz, everybody knows that it is the extra mass in the atmosphere caused by the increased of CO2 from .03% to .04% over the last 100 years that is pressing down of the faults that cause them to rupture. Instant earthquake.

Do I really need to put /s

chemman on February 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

BTW, in Jazz’s article he misses one VERY IMPORTANT aspect.

The envirowhackos set the parameters of the study.

I am presently part of a study group of professionals putting together guidelines and control measures to ease the minds of the public. There have been a FEW problem fracturing jobs, but mostly because the responsible OHIO regulatory agency has approved those poor well designs.

Where there have been problems with wells (ANYWHERE), it is because of dunderheads in regulatory agencies who have approved bad well designs.

Kermit on February 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Geothermal heating is the next big thing among Progressives (and others, if we’re honest). This, for the Left, is the new love, replacing their old love, fracking.

And, geothermal installations, I’ve been told, contribute to earthquake occurrences.

But it doesn’t produce oil, gas, or coal. So, it’s OK.

Right?

dogzilla on February 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

It comes from fracture, long used in the oil patch as FRAC thus FRACCING as bochures spelled it out beginning DECADES ago.

Kermit on February 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Which one is it – fracing or fraccing? YOu’re uptight about the spelling and you’ve now spelled it 2 different ways yourself.
I can see where it comes from, but your first spelling “fracing” looks like it would be pronounced frasing – as with racing.
Though through history people have threwn lots of variations into the English language which threw is into confusion….
So you can frac if you want and others will frack – but I doubt NASCAR will ever be about racking….

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Sorry – I guess there’s 2 of you arguing the spelling – and you both spelled it differently.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

I’m no environmental wacko, but I am a PA resident, and I am very much aware of the problems that have resulted from fracking in our state. Look, I’m all for finding new and cleaner forms of energy, and natural gas certainly seems to fit that bill. At the same time, I also believe strongly in property rights. I know more than a couple of families that have had to deal with groundwater contamination issues since fracking has begun here. My only real beef is how hard some people are trying to downplay that issue. Homeowners shouldn’t have to suffer due to the irresponsibility of natural gas companies. If, like the article states, the problem is linked to poor practices rather than fracking itself, that’s fine. That’s no excuse for these companies to drag their feet when dealing with property owners whose lives have been severely disrupted by these companies’ mistakes and/or negligence.

humili mente on February 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I’m living in the middle of one of the biggest shale oil plays in Texas right now, and have listened to several hydrology presentations in the past four years on the local underground water supply. The main threats are either in faulty casing work on the original drill hole through the aquifer levels or improper reinfection of the brine that comes back from the drilling operation.

You can’t avoid government oversight on the companies doing the drilling and supplying the water because there’s a lot of money out there to be made in providing oil and natural gas drilling services, and people are attracted to money who will skirt the rules if nobody’s looking. But it’s about the people involved with the process, not the process itself, and that’s where the environmentalists come down — they want to eliminate the procedure, even though the procedure is old enough it can qualify for Social Security next year, and if it really were the unsafe process they’re claiming it to be, underground water supplies across the South Central Plains would have been rendered unusable decades ago.

jon1979 on February 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Please everyone stop calling it “Fracking” with a K. It is always spelled “Fracing” I’ve worked in the oil patch for 27 years, trust me on this on. Example: “We are going to Frac this well”

RodneyRight on February 18, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Generally you do add a K to a word like “frac” that ends with a C if you’re adding the -ing suffix. “Picnic” becomes “picnicking,” for example.

I have a Facebook friend who just moved from Pennsylvania is constantly posting articles about how deadly fracking supposedly is. I’m tempted to post this on his page but I already know it won’t make a difference. Forcing the Catholic Church to pay for contraception is A-OK but anything that contradicts the tenets of the Church of the Environmental Left is blasphemy of the worst order.

Shadow on February 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

As a life-time resident of South Central Kansas who experienced her first ever earthquake a couple of months ago, I was concerned when I heard its possible cause was laid at the feet of a fracking procedure in Oklahoma. The earthquake didn’t cause any damage here, but even so, it was pretty dang scary wondering if our house was going to come crashing down around our ears. Everything in the house was shaking/moving, the floor underneath me felt like jello, and it sounded like a convoy of 18 wheelers driving across a steel bridge.

mom29js on February 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Not that it matters one bit, but when I was in college working on a bachelor’s in Petroleum Engineering if they didn’t spell it out in full, things were shortened to “frac”, as in “frac job”.

L1b3r7y.0r.D347h on February 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

The study must have deep, secret ties to the energy industry.

WeekendAtBernankes on February 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Funny how geothermal never got accused of causing earthquakes. It doesn’t involve hydrocarbons so it’s not immediately attacked by the lying Marxist drones.

Django on February 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

No fracking’ way I’m not gonna’ post a BattleStar Galactica reference!

Opposite Day on February 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

As a practicing geologist of 25 years. I can unequivocally state that fracing does in no way produce earthquakes. Wells are typically drilled to 4,000 – 12,000′ depths depending on the shale play. The overlying hydrostatic pressure of the sediment above it is too heavy to overcome. Fracing only propogates a thousand feet at best and then along natural fractures.

Where ground water is an issue is in the quality of a surface casing cement seal. Like the gulf coast BP spill this is bad practices by a very few companies going beyond proper guidelines and safety measures. Companies are drilling deepr surface conductor pipe to avoid this issue.

One issue with the non conventional resource play is that wells may start producing ay 200 barrels or an mcf gas per day but quickly drop to very low rates. To keep the companies production rates up, they have constantly be drilling wells

Another factor is that we are now producing so much natural gas that prices have tanked independant of oil and it can’t be stockpiled with no pipelines available. They are actually flarrng gas in some areas of North Dakota to get the extralcted oil out and shipping it by railway. you can see the flares from space.

audiotom on February 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM

mom29js on February 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

I always find it funny when people think something has NEVER happened before if they personally have just never seen it.
Earthquake history of Kansas:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/kansas/history.php

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Fracking fracing exploits micro-fissures in a productive formation. Part of the process is placing very fine, very hard sand in the micro-fissures to keep them open.

Me jumping up and down in Houston would more likely cause an earthquake in Kansas.

“Gas-drive” oil wells…which rely on formation pressure to drive oil up the production tubing (so you don’t pump the oil) ALWAYS are flared…unless they just happen to be very handy to a gathering pipeline. You need to produce the wells (for both economic and technical reasons), and there’s nothing to do with the gas until it can be piped.

(I did invent a method to use it at the location, but…)

Generally, the well-bore above the productive zone is isolated with “packers” which act to seal the cased bore, so you shouldn’t see much pressure at all at the surface casing.

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Why not? Just look at how screwed up Texas is compared to the more enlightened parts of the country. Texans and their stupid governor. The US would be so much better off without them.

I say, pay Texas to leave the union and be rid of them.

cozmo on February 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Yes, give it back to Mexico, I say. I bet we’d have to pay Mexico to take it back.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

This study could have been written by the Good Lord himself and it would still be vilified by the environazis.

turfmann on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

If it were written by the Good Lord himself, they probably couldn’t read it in government buildings.

But on the subject of spelling, the word is “picnic” but we have “picnicked” or most of us know something about “picnicking”. Thus it may be “to frac”, but that doesn’t mean that it’s “fracing” and not “fracking”. (Dictionaries that accept “magic” as a verb also indicate that “magicked” and “magicking” are the accepted endings.) There is no reason for panicking.

I think there’s a real reason “ci” is generally pronounced “sih” as it “city” or “civil”. There are no rules to make “cing” unlike “pacing” and “racing” and “bracing” and “icing”, so I think it is general practice.

So it’s “fracking” obvious to me.

Axeman on February 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Yes, give it back to Mexico, I say. I bet we’d have to pay Mexico to take it back.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

I’d rather give the Peoples’ Republik of Kalifornia back to Mexico.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Yes, give it back to Mexico, I say. I bet we’d have to pay Mexico to take it back.

juliesa on February 18, 2012 at 3:58 PM

I’d rather give the Peoples’ Republik of Kalifornia back to Mexico.

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Let’s pay Canada to take Detroit off our hands. They can merge it with Windsor, call it Wintroit.

slickwillie2001 on February 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2012/02/documentary-filmmakers-want-to-film.html

Interesting, from InstaPundit. An HONEST documentary on fracking fracking, frac it…

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

Let’s pay Canada to take Detroit off our hands. They can merge it with Windsor, call it Wintroit.

slickwillie2001 on February 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

or Dewind – new motto – “this place blows”

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I heard that its possible cause was laid at the feet of witchcraft. Does that concern you?

blink on February 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM

Wait a minute – I thought algorean globull warming was causing ALL of our problems – what the frack…..

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 4:28 PM

dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Try to purchase Frack Tanks. There are none available. However if you ever want to purchase what is used for fracturing, you will have to purchase FRAC tanks.

Kermit on February 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM

according to a study released Feb. 16 by the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.

Yeah, everybody knows Austin is a hotbed of paleo-cons!
cartooner on February 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM
Austin is in Texas, George W. Bush is from Texas, George W. Bush has friends in the oil industry……there is our link!
tommer74 on February 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM
LOL Austin is a lot like Berkeley with a twang. It’s a surprise they published this study.
Fallon on February 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Even leftist engineers might let the evidence trump their personal ideology, but UT is definitely not a hotbed of bitter right-wing religion-clingers (although the gun-toting part used to be true even there).

In certain productive formations (like the Austin Chalk) that were tight by nature, most wells were fracked…Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Is that outside the Austin City Limits?

Well – half of all people are below average in intelligence…. /
I’m guessing they’re the majority in the blue states.
dentarthurdent on February 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Well, there is one place where all of the children are above average.

AesopFan on February 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I heard that its possible cause was laid at the feet of witchcraft. Does that concern you?

blink on February 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM

………………….

No comment.

Asurea on February 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I was actually given a tour of a lab at Virginia Tech, years ago, of a scientist who was trying to prove that you could use something very similar to fracking to ease geological pressures. If fracking does cause small earth quakes then isn’t that a fantastic new tool that may some day lead to practices that can prevent massive earthquakes?

DFCtomm on February 18, 2012 at 6:06 PM

I was actually given a tour of a lab at Virginia Tech, years ago, of a scientist who was trying to prove that you could use something very similar to fracking to ease geological pressures.

I know…

Government grant money…

Ragspierre on February 18, 2012 at 7:30 PM

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