Sunday, November 18, 2007

Barnett Shale Weekend Roundup

A busy weekend of Barnett Shale news in the Star-Telegram:

  • An interesting read on the injection well issue in Fort Worth. Gas drillers frame their argument this way: "Lack of available, accessible, affordable saltwater disposal wells is a deal-killer for the Barnett Shale in Fort Worth." God if that were only true. But it ain't a deal killer, it just cuts into their profit margin.

    Gas companies have said that they need as many as 15 injection wells, connected by a network of pipelines. Although gas drillers claim injection wells are safer than having trucks with wastewater on our streets, this argument overlooks a few things. If a water truck tips over and spills its cargo -- how much water is spilled? 10,000 gallons? If a pipeline leaks and goes undetected for a week or more, how much water is spilled? 10 or 100 times as much?

    However, this argument is getting some traction at City Hall and, unless something changes soon, the current moratorium against injection wells won't stand up. If you care about the environment in Fort Worth, I encourage you to write the Mayor and your City Council representative and let them know that you do not want injection wells in our city.

    Injection wells are easier and cheaper for the gas drillers, but this disposal method is not in the best interests of the people of Fort Worth or our natural environment.

  • Whoever wrote the headline for this story must also dot their i's with smiley faces or little hearts. I mean, talk about looking on the bright side: "Johnson, Wise county residents say benefits [of gas drilling] outweigh costs." How about this -- "90 percent of those surveyed in Wise County say that gas operators MUST adopt and use more environmentally friendly drilling practices."

  • A video from the S-T's Barnett Shale blog shows us that gas drilling is noisy and -- what a surprise -- people who have gas wells on their property like it and their neighbors don't.

  • Mitch Schnurman writes about JPMorgan's deal with the City of Fort Worth to manage its gas lease paperwork will undoubtedly raise more than a few eyebrows. The money quote: Gene Powell -- that big ol' teddy bear for the gas industry -- sez "They're always asking me, 'What's the best deal you've ever seen in the Barnett Shale?'" Powell says. "That's easy: JPMorgan's contract with the city of Fort Worth." Yipes!

    TXsharon said...

    Technology exists to clean up the production water using reverse osmosis but operators refuse to explore that option.

    Did you know that in the US it takes about 7 barrels of water for each barrel of oil produced. Those 7 barrels of water are ruined.

    Operators should be forced to clean up the water and we need to lobby for legislation. Changing the laws and enforcing them is the only way to deal with these abusers.

    Greg said...

    Can I suggest we quit calling it salt water. Salt is a generic term for a class of chemical compounds, but when we say salt water people think of table salt, sodium chloride (NaCl). The salts contained in the used frac fluid are a bunch of heavy metal and other compounds that are toxic. And then there are the flammable contents of that fluid, too, that have caused tanks to erupt and burn. So this isn't like what we play in at the beach.