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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2008/10/25 14:19
From York County
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Well the best news is it says in Dave's link that a DEP inspector is already at the well.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 15:07
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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2010/5/3 14:18
From Potter County
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pcray gave a good explanation. One really important thing left out though is that this drilling can and does cross numerous aquafers and the process of "fracking" that takes places uses lots of very harmful chemicals that have to be "passed through" these aquafers. Something like 80% of the "fracking" fluid stays in the ground and is known to migrate into different aquafers. I've read this has happend up to 30 miles away from the actual well pad.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 15:15


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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First, there's not enough details on this explosion for me to know for sure, but I believe the "explosions" generally are not of the fireball kind, though they may be flamable at the surface if they get a spark. I think they occur during hydrofracking, well after "drilling" has completed. The well is filled with frac fluid, capped, and pressurized to break up the rock at depth. Most explosions, including the one in Clearfield County I believe, occur when the cap fails. What happens is that the thing busts open violently and frac water mixed with oil and gas spews high into the air. When the pressure releases enough they can then fix the cap.

Frac water is 99% sand and water, but they do put a host of other chemicals in it which can be toxic, plus it picks up heavy metals, oil, gas, etc. from depth.

The immediate danger to people would be those who are on site, near the explosion. But the more realistic danger to people living in the area is from the frac water. Some is obviously released with the frac water "gusher", and the blowouts may also bust the well casing which protects the aquifer. Yes, they do employ well casings to below the depth of the aquifer, so assuming everything goes right, the aquifer is not contaminated. But things don't always go right. So in situations like this, beyond the immediate health concerns of those involved, the important questions are:

1. How much water was released above the ground and was it contained before it could soak into the ground or reach streams?

2. Is the well casing still intact, or did it break too (if it breaks, then the aquifer is left unprotected from frac water and methane).

Obviously frac water contaminating an aquifer can lead to longer term human, livestock, pet, wildlife etc. health issues.

Plus, there are some isolated incidents, at least 1 of which is in PA, where actual methane contaminates the aquifer. This too could be from a busted well casing that is neglected during the collection stage, or it's possible the act of hydrofracking released methane into natural faults which intersect the aquifers (and are not protected). We don't really know, though busted or incorrect depth on the well casing seems more likely than faults (those would have to be some really deep faults). All we know is that methane has contaminated streams and water wells, and methane in the plumbing can lead to a house explosion. The occurance of this is the extreme minority, but its not zero.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 15:19


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

Joined:
2010/5/3 14:18
From Potter County
Posts: 146
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Yes, the gas companies say that the mixture is only 1% chemical, but that's because they hope we can't do the math and 1% doesn't sound too bad, does it. Lets do some math.

Several sources document that it takes upwards of 5 million gallons of fracking fluid to frack 1 Marcellus well. 5,000,000 times 1% (.01) is 50,000 gallons per well. Now, to the easier math. 1 well pad can have up to 8 wells drilled on it. 8 x 50,000=400,000 gallons per well pad. There's talk of having 11,000 wells drilled in Potter County in the next two years alone (1 pad every 1/4 mile or so). 11,000 wells x 50,000 gallons of very bad chemicals (they won't even tell us what all of them are because Dick Cheney worked to get some laws changed a few years ago as VP) = 550,000,000 gallons of chemicals going into the ground, which 80% or so will stay there and most likely migrate.

* 11,000 wells is the low end estimate for the next 2-3 years.

** gas company executives openly discuss being in this area for 30-50 years doing this.

OOPS...I forgot. They get all of this water out of our trout streams to mix with the chemicals, year around, low water or not. And they don't pull water when it's even the least bit cloudy.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 15:32


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2008/1/31 17:19
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The only part of that that I'll dispute is that the water left down there is likely to migrate. It is extremely unlikely to migrate for any given well, but it is likely that somewhere will experience it migrating. The only way it migrates is if something goes wrong, like a busted well casing. Of course, I'm not saying that never happens. There might be a 1 in 10,000 chance of a blowout and only a 1 in 30,000 chance a given well will blowout AND result in a busted well casing which could cause a serious pollution incident. But if you drill 10,000 wells in a small area, well, that area does indeed have reason for concern. If you drill 200,000 wells in a state, well, it's virtually assured that there's going to be a number of blowouts and several severe pollution incidents in that state.

But it does need a path to get to the aquifer. We're talking about stuff well below sea level here. Water thats deeper and isolated from the aquifer, stays deeper and isolated from the aquifer, forever. It's when you lose that isolation that you have an issue. Like, oh, I don't know, a big hole drilled to the surface, pressurization from gas at depth, and a busted casing near the surface water.

The impact that EVERYONE will see is development for the workers, water use issues, heavy equipment traffic and the resulting road damage, and new roads cut to well pads. Siltation and noise pollution (at all hours) will be issues during the drilling phase, which will last from months to a few years for a given pad. After the drilling operation finishes most of the pad will be let to grow back and the noise and siltation will die down, you'll be left with a rather unobtrusive condensation tank, but the dirt road to it will be maintained. When the drillers leave one pad, though, they're not gone, they'll just move a half mile down the road and make a new pad. So you're likely to have this increased activity going on in the general area for a period of 20-50 years, yes. It's not like the entire area will be paved and completely dead for all recreational use, we've used those condensation tanks as deer stands! But yes, there will be ugly spots on the landscape, road degradation, you'll get caught behind big trucks on 2 lane roads, stuff that you just don't want to deal with when you go to God's country.

Impacts that will be rare but WILL occur in several localities statewide:

Stream and water well pollution from frac water, which leads to degradated water quality, and if not monitored and taken care of, long-term health effects on people, livestock, wildlife, etc. Likely fish kill in the immediate area. Effects are likely to fade with time.

Impacts that will be extremely rare but are likely to occur (again) somewhere in the state:

Methane contamination of surface water and aquifers. Extreme danger to stream water quality, perhaps major fish kills. Forcing of people to drink bottled water in their homes and danger of home explosions. This situation may be somewhat permanent.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 16:09


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2006/9/9 22:44
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Quote:
Water thats deeper and isolated from the aquifer, stays deeper and isolated from the aquifer, forever.


That's a pretty bold statement. PA is unique with it geology, and this is new for here, so as of yet I am not sold that this stuff will forever be isolated.

Kinda like the phrase 'never, say never.'

Posted on: 2010/6/18 16:38


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2010/2/21 12:17
From Solanco, PA
Posts: 184
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im just saying, yea we may be in a fuel crisis right now, but i havent heard one good thing about the whole operation.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 16:50
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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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BlkLgbEaDheAd09:

Jobs man. JOBS!

Posted on: 2010/6/18 16:53


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2010/2/21 12:17
From Solanco, PA
Posts: 184
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then get a job that helps the environment not destroy it

Posted on: 2010/6/18 17:22
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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

Joined:
2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
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^^^^^^

but where's the profit in that? The margins are too thin, gotta think about the $hareholder$.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 20:23


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7976
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I fear that some of these operations are by people who are not responsible enough to protect the safety of people working for them and are simply out for a fast buck. It was on Lick Run according to the article is that right or was it Elk Run. I know there is a well on Elk Run. They never should ahve allowed that one, it's a very good brookie stream.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 20:50
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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2006/11/20 10:08
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Yes, please pray for the workers. I, too, fear that this is going to happen increasingly often. As Chaz suggests, we need to gear up for the long haul. This could be one small gulf horror at a time.

Posted on: 2010/6/18 21:12


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

Joined:
2010/5/3 14:18
From Potter County
Posts: 146
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Chaz,

It was on Lick Run Road, but really on Elk Run creek.

by Chaz on 2010/6/18 20:50:03

I fear that some of these operations are by people who are not responsible enough to protect the safety of people working for them and are simply out for a fast buck.


BP just spent a couple of dollars a few months ago to buy out a smaller company up this way so they could drill in the Marcellus Shale too. So, your fears are coming true.

At least you don't live here to see and hear it every day.

One resident that lives right near where this happened saw all of the emergency vehicles and immediately called the "all hours emergency" phone number to see if they should evacuate or what, and couldn't get a response. Sounds like Ultra Resources is top notch too.

Posted on: 2010/6/19 9:08


Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6494
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That is a shame because Elk is an awesome trout stream.

*blah*

Lets hope it stays that way.
Our cabin is on Painter Run Road. I often take the 4 wheeler out and fish Painter, Lick and Elk easily in a morning.

Posted on: 2010/6/19 21:35
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Re: Another Marcellus Shale Explosion

Joined:
2006/9/20 21:44
From E-Town and Germania
Posts: 426
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We just got back from Potter. We were in the Log Cabin for dinner Friday evening and I heard it was a pressurized frack fluid line that ruptured, injuring the workers. Nothing was said about any fluid being spilled. We drove past the Lick Run Road well site on the way to dinner and there sure seemed to be a lot of activity. If there was a spill would we even hear of it?

There are four pads along Pigeon Hill near Germania. Each of these, if there was an accident, would drain to the headwaters of Kettle Creek or its tribs. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

Posted on: 2010/6/20 16:16



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