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Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes
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I didn't check your math, but I also didn't see the source for a lot of your assumptions. Particularly how you arrived at a translation to cfs in a given stream. Maybe if you can flesh that out a bit....

Posted on: 2010/9/2 20:10
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Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Quote:

JackM wrote:
I didn't check your math, but I also didn't see the source for a lot of your assumptions. Particularly how you arrived at a translation to cfs in a given stream. Maybe if you can flesh that out a bit....


Fair enough.

Just to make it easier, assume one horizontal drilling rig takes a full year to drill six horizontal wells. Each one of those wells is about 10-12,000 feet long remember. It takes a bit of time to drill that far.

Here's the logic:

1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons
Therefor 1 cubic foot per second = 7.48 gallons per second
there's 60 seconds in a minute,
60 minutes in an hour,
24 hours in a day and
365 days in a year.

That adds up to 236 million gallons of water.
Therefore, 10 times that is 2,360 million gallons of water.

Rig count courtesy of these guys:

http://extension.psu.edu/naturalgas/maps

79 rigs X 6 wells X 5 million gallons = 2,370 million gallons.

I don't believe it myself, but there it is.

Posted on: 2010/9/2 21:56
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Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Quote:

Gone4Day wrote:
OK, lets do some math.
As of last Friday, there were 89 active rigs in PA. 10 conventional, vertical rigs and 79 horizontal rigs. Each horizontal rig can drill 6 wells over a 9-12 month period. Each well requires 5 million gallons of water. In 9-12 months they will drill 474 wells using 2,370 million gallons of water or about 6.5-8.6 million gallons a day.

The equivalent of 10-13.3 cfs.

That supplies all the water needed for every Marcellus well being drilled across the entire state. I'm starting to think this whole water thing is a red herring being used to scare the crap out of people. And it seems to be working nicely.


I think you stating that the volume of water being used is the primary reason for concern is a red herring. If we were building a water park with all the water, obviously there would be less alarm. People want to know what it is being mixed with, and how many of these toxins will find their way into all water supplies. The water initiates the process and the problems that follow, such as air pollution from processing and movement of gas, and deforestation and run-off. The sheer tonnage of initial water removal would only scare the crap out of fisherman, if they happened to be fishing for a fish that was particular about its environment.

Posted on: 2010/9/3 6:47


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Tell the people of dimock pa about the red herring idea.

Posted on: 2010/9/3 9:01


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Quote:

Brownout wrote:
Quote:

Gone4Day wrote:
OK, lets do some math.
As of last Friday, there were 89 active rigs in PA. 10 conventional, vertical rigs and 79 horizontal rigs. Each horizontal rig can drill 6 wells over a 9-12 month period. Each well requires 5 million gallons of water. In 9-12 months they will drill 474 wells using 2,370 million gallons of water or about 6.5-8.6 million gallons a day.

The equivalent of 10-13.3 cfs.

That supplies all the water needed for every Marcellus well being drilled across the entire state. I'm starting to think this whole water thing is a red herring being used to scare the crap out of people. And it seems to be working nicely.


I think you stating that the volume of water being used is the primary reason for concern is a red herring. If we were building a water park with all the water, obviously there would be less alarm. People want to know what it is being mixed with, and how many of these toxins will find their way into all water supplies. The water initiates the process and the problems that follow, such as air pollution from processing and movement of gas, and deforestation and run-off. The sheer tonnage of initial water removal would only scare the crap out of fisherman, if they happened to be fishing for a fish that was particular about its environment.


My post was in response to some comments in this and other threads about the seemingly large amount of water needed and the concern it would have on streams to take out that much water. As I and Gone4day (he did a better job than I) have shown it's really not that much water relative to what's available if some common sense is used to extract it. Neither one of us said this was the sole issue. Only that this issue is far and away overstated.

Posted on: 2010/9/3 19:42


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Is my math wrong?

6 wells x 5,000,000 gallons = 30,000,000 gallons

79 rigs x 30,000,000 = 2,370,000,000 gallons

2,370,000,000 divided by 365 days = about 640 million gallons a day?

Isn't this 2 billion 370 million gallons of water?

I am using an old calculator!

I won't even attempt a cfs calculation as my head hurts already.

Either way, the prediction is for about 400 active wells a year by 2012. Also, most well pads will have 8 wells drilled per pad.

The really good news is that means that "only" 1% of this water, 2,370,000 gallons, is considered to be cancer causing chemicals!

Jim Kearney

Posted on: 2010/9/3 22:08
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Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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...so you are saying they need to find a way to treat or a place to dump almost 3 billion gallons of waste water...


On a side note there was an article in our local paper today about Beaver Run Reservoir...our local drinking water supply. Its posted no trespassing, fishing boating or pretty much anything else...but they are going to allow drilling...HUH?

Posted on: 2010/9/4 9:03


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Penns Creek probably has an average flow of 300 CFS at the gauge at village of Penns Creek. This is average CFS for the year. (I'm using a bit of Kentucky windage just from an extensive knowledge of gauge rates through the calendar year. Even if I'm off 2 to 1 the idea still holds.) That equates to about 70 billion gallons of water a year. So if we only used Penns as our source fro drilling it could supply all the water needed without affecting any other stream and we would have some to spare.

In attempting to understand the risks involved with drilling we have to break the problem into parts and evaluate each part to see the impact. The same is true if we were engineers trying to recover the gas. What these calculations show is that sourcing the water is not much of a problem.

As to treating the water after it is used, that's another set of evaluations. I have not studied that issue in depth but I am confident there are ways to treat the water. Most importantly we need to make sure there are safeguards in place to assure that the water is treated correctly to acceptable standards before releasing back into the natural environment.

Posted on: 2010/9/4 10:26


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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franklin,
There are no sewage facilities in the state that are truly able to handle this waste water. To my knowledge they can not handle the TDS (salt) in the water, nor the chemicals used (once we find out what they use). Another problem that has already occurred in Jersey Shore is the fact that many plants are near capacity for municipal treatment and are not large enough to handle that many gallons. Jersey Shore accepted the frack water and thier system became overloaded any the had to attempt treating more than the plant was designed to and they were promptly fines by the state. It turns out that sewage wasn't treated to standard nor the TDS levels in regulations. A good example is the New Castle treatment facility. It can treat about 11.5 million gallons a day and operates between 9.5 and 10 millions. Even going to the maximum treatment level, the gas companies would need to find 64 sites each day to treat even one aspect of the problem, disposal, while not treating the problems of chemicals and TDS.

To put 1 million gallons of water into perspective, I was watching PBS a week or so ago and the covered a story on a large swimming area near Ligoneer. The swimming "hole" was 400' long, 150' wide and 4' and equaled 1.3 million gallons of water. You would need 5 times that for one well. I just came back from my cabin on Fishing Creek where the water is extremely low and tried to envision that scenario. I also noted that the eagle, mergansers, mink and kingfishers success rate improves as the water level goes down. Low water has been blamed for some of the algae bloom in lakes and water supplies in the state. The gas companies need so much water that they are looking at Larry's Creek and many other streams of that size, meaning small. They need water every day and although no self respecting fisherman would even think about Penn's Creek this time of year for fishing, yet the drillers will want this water when they drill the area near by.

tomgamer,

My quote for chemicals was wrong in the repect that I used 1% when it is actually .5% or 1,185,000 gallons of chemicals. Plus only about 15 to 30% comes back from the fracking. Of course in the deep disposal method, they would simply pump that water into the ground anyway. I will try to attach the information about water in Wyoming that returned to the water table in about 11 years, not the 100 as claimed by the drillers.

I don't wish to be or sound like an alarmist, but this is not good for the environment, our water and ultimely our health.

Jim Kearney

Posted on: 2010/9/6 21:46


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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Total dissolved solids is a measure not a pollutant. It is the measure of both organic and inorganic substances suspended in a given liquid.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_dissolved_solids

Posted on: 2010/9/7 16:55


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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I'd be interested in knowing what size tanks are on the trucks they are using. Judging from a few pictures they look like 4500 gallon tanks.

Posted on: 2010/9/8 7:56


Re: Zoning Boards says No, judge says Yes

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My understanding is that the trucks haul roughly that much water meaning a fracked well would need better than a thousand loads of water, to be fracked one time.

tomgamer, A measure is correct. The a sucstance in the dissolved solid is the question and how much a stream or other water source can bear. The Dunkard Fork pollution was salt about 5 times that of sea water once tested. The total TDS from Consul Energy was within limits but a spike in that number was higher , obviously, than the stream could handle.

I'm attaching some info that makes it much clearer:

What are the Water-Resource Concerns About Developing Natural Gas Wells in the Marcellus Shale?


Substantial amounts of water are required for the drilling and stimulation of a Marcellus Shale gas well. Fluids recovered from the well, including the liquids used for the hydrofrac, and any produced formation brines, must be treated and disposed of properly. Three important water-resource concerns related to Marcellus Shale gas production are:

. supplying water for well construction without impacting local water resources,

. avoiding degradation of small watersheds and streams as substantial amounts of heavy equipment and supplies are moved around on rural roads, and

. determining the proper methods for the safe disposal of the large quantities of potentially contaminated fluids recovered from the wells.

These concerns are discussed in more detail in the following sections.


Water Supply


Drilling requires large amounts of water to create a circulating mud that cools the bit and carries the rock cuttings out of the borehole. After drilling, the shale formation is then stimulated by hydraulic fracturing, which may require up to 3 million gallons of water per treatment (Harper, 2008). Many regional and local water management agencies are concerned about where such large volumes of water will be obtained, and what the possible consequences might be for local water supplies. Under drought conditions, or in locations with already stressed water supplies, obtaining the millions of gallons needed for a shale gas well could be problematic. Drillers could face substantial transportation costs if the water has to be trucked in from great distances.

Similar shale gas operations in the Barnett Shale of Texas have obtained hydrofrac water largely from groundwater sources (Byrd, 2007). Water supply concerns over the Barnett Shale drilling have been brought up in the past (see, for example, Francis, 2007). Texas State and County agencies now closely monitor volumes of water used during drilling, and a consortium of Barnett Shale drilling companies have developed best management practices for water conservation, with the goal of keeping the pace of drilling and production activities within the bounds of sustainable water use. Similar steps have been discussed in Marcellus Shale gas production areas, but not yet fully implemented.


Transporting Fluids and Supplies


Large hydrofrac treatments often involve moving large amounts of equipment, vehicles, and supplies into remote areas. Transporting all of this to drill sites over rural Appalachian Mountain roads could potentially cause erosion, and threaten local small watersheds with sediment. Drill pad and pipeline construction also have the potential to cause similar problems. Of equal concern is the possibility for spills or leaks into water bodies as the fluids and chemical additives are transported and handled. Little is known about how a Marcellus Shale drilling "boom" might adversely affect the land, streams, and available water supplies in the Appalachian Basin. Even under current Marcellus gas production levels, complaints of rural road damage and traffic disruption from drilling equipment have been received, indicating that this could be a significant problem if carried out across thousands of active drill sites.


Wastewater Disposal


For gas to flow out of the shale, nearly all of the water injected into the well during the hydrofrac treatment must be recovered and disposed of. In addition to the problem of dealing with large bulk volumes of liquid waste, contaminants in the water may complicate wastewater treatment. Whereas the percentage of chemical additives in a typical hydrofrac fluid is commonly less than 0.5 percent by volume, the quantity of fluid used in these hydrofracs is so large that the additives in a three million gallon hydrofrac job, for example, would result in about 15,000 gallons of chemicals in the waste.

Hydrofrac fluids are often treated with proprietary chemicals to increase the viscosity to a gel-like consistency that enables the transport of a proppant, usually sand, into the fracture to keep it open after the pressure is released (fig. 6). The viscosity of these fluids then breaks down quickly after completion of the hydrofrac, so they can be easily removed from the ground. The chemical formulations required to achieve this are highly researched and closely guarded, and finding out exactly what is in these fluids may present a challenge. The data publicly available on Marcellus Shale hydrofrac treatments indicate that a slickwater frac works best on this formation (Harper, 2008). These types of hydrofracs employ linear gels and friction reducers in the water, and utilize only small amounts of proppant, relying instead on fracture surface roughness to hold it open (Rushing and Sullivan, 2007). The potential problems for local wastewater treatment facilities caused by proprietary chemical additives in hydrofrac fluid are unclear.

Along with the introduced chemicals, hydrofrac water is in close contact with the rock during the course of the stimulation treatment, and when recovered may contain a variety of formation materials, including brines, heavy metals, radionuclides, and organics that can make wastewater treatment difficult and expensive. The formation brines often contain relatively high concentrations of sodium, chloride, bromide, and other inorganic constituents, such as arsenic, barium, other heavy metals, and radionuclides that significantly exceed drinkingwater standards (Harper, 2008).

The current disposal practice for Marcellus Shale liquids in Pennsylvania requires processing them through wastewater treatment plants, but the effectiveness of standard wastewater treatments on these fluids is not well understood. In particular, salts and other dissolved solids in brines are not usually removed successfully by wastewater treatment, and reports of high salinity in some Appalachian rivers have been linked to the disposal of Marcellus Shale brines (Water and Wastes Digest, 2008). Another disposal option involves re-injecting the hydrofrac fluids back into the ground at a shallower depth. This is a common practice in the Barnett Shale production area of Texas, and has been utilized for some Marcellus wells drilled in West Virginia (Kasey, 2008). Concerns in Appalachian States about the possible contamination of drinking water supply aquifers has limited the practice of re-injecting Marcellus fluids, however. Another option might be to inject the waste fluid into deeper formations below the Marcellus Shale that are not used as aquifers, such as the Oriskany or Potsdam Sandstones. A third disposal process used in Texas places the wastewater into an open tank to evaporate. The solids that remain behind are then disposed of as dry waste. Although this may be an effective technique in the deserts of the American Southwest, its usefulness in the humid climate of the Appalachians is questionable. A systematic study of the options for Marcellus Shale waste fluid treatment, disposal, or recycling could help to determine the best available procedures.


Summary


Natural gas is an abundant, domestic energy resource that burns cleanly, and emits the lowest amount of carbon dioxide per calorie of any fossil fuel. The Marcellus Shale and other natural gas resources in the United States are important components of a national energy program that seeks both greater energy independence and greener sources of energy. Marcellus gas development has begun in the northern Appalachian Basin, with significant lease holdings throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, southern New York, western Maryland, and eastern Ohio. Because of questions related to water supply and wastewater disposal, however, many state agencies have been cautious about granting permits, and some states have placed moratoriums on drilling until these issues are resolved. At the same time, gas companies, drillers, and landowners are eager to move forward and develop the resource.

While the technology of drilling directional boreholes, and the use of sophisticated hydraulic fracturing processes to extract gas resources from tight rock have improved over the past few decades, the knowledge of how this extraction might affect water resources has not kept pace. Agencies that manage and protect water resources could benefit from a better understanding of the impacts that drilling and stimulating Marcellus Shale wells might have on water supplies, and a clearer idea of the options for wastewater disposal.


Sorry, I couldn't attach the file but I thought this was a good explanation of the process and problems.

Jim Kearney

Posted on: 2010/9/8 12:40



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