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Fracking ban in Colorado town tossed as statewide vote looms

  • A fracking ban in Longmont, Colo., was thrown out by a judge yesterday, rejecting the city's argument that the ban is legitimate because the fracking amounts to a purely local matter.
  • Colorado's governor and business leaders aim to defeat ballot initiative proposals that would amend the state constitution to require wells to be set back 2,000 feet from structures and provide communities with more control over where drilling takes place.
  • Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) and Encana (NYSE:ECA), which are drilling in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, plan to spend $50M to fight the measures.
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Comments (12)
  • Moshe Ben-Reuven
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    Lamentable decision by the judge. Might cause small communities to be torn apart in the current Colorado frackgold rush. The gain: a small, temporary stream of revenue from fracking. The certain long term "benefit": 5 million gallon each settling lagoons for recovery water, to gradually seep into the water table.
    25 Jul 2014, 11:37 AM Reply Like
  • Avatar910
    , contributor
    Comments (6) | Send Message
     
    There are no 5 Million gallon settling lagoons, the water is injected far below the drinking water level. In fact, given your penchant for renewable energy you should know that increasingly, majors and supermajors are recycling and reusing this water because it is cost-effective and to keep it out of the environment after it flows back.
    25 Jul 2014, 04:03 PM Reply Like
  • Moshe Ben-Reuven
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    Dear Avatar,
    Most of the fracking water, injected far below the water table, comes back to the surface with shale gas recovery. If you look up aerial images of frack sites in PA, many of which happen to be recorded, you will see that nearly all have a large lagoon on site. Legends of recycling are circulated by Chesapeake (in NYS hearing in 2012 they declared that 57% is recycled) and others, but existing municipal waste water treatment is inadequate, and new ones are expensive to build. In other words, recovery water ends back on the surface onsite, to pollute eventually.

     

    The current rush to get a small profit from drilling these expensive fracking wells in Colorado has recovery water at the bottom of its worries. $6.4 million per average multi-stage horizontal hydro-fracked welli, is trouble enough. Over 70% of the entities drilling in the Marcellus today are non-major, and non-supermajor. Very few will likely be there when the time comes to clean up. Even if 100% of CO fracking wells would be drilled by super-majors, like Exxon (remember XTO, a bottom performer in the Marcellus) or, perhaps, BP, a champion of Clean? do not expect any preventive or remedial actions.

     

    What we are talking about is not just clean environment and sustainability. We are talking about the health of our society.
    26 Jul 2014, 08:55 AM Reply Like
  • Craig Cooper
    , contributor
    Comments (2405) | Send Message
     
    "Most of the fracking water, injected far below the water table, comes back to the surface with shale gas recovery."

     

    Dr. Ben-Reuven,

     

    Most of the frac fluid remains within the target reservoirs located far below fresh water aquifers. Actual flowback ranges from 5% (Haynesville) to 50% (Barnett, Marcellus).

     

    Fluids flow back to the surface into steel tanks or lined pits (per EPA regulations to prevent contamination of the surface) where the hydrocarbon / formation water / frac fluid mixture is separated. The formation water & frac fluids are either recycled & re-used or disposed of per governmental regulations.

     

    Recovery & treatment does not "ends back on the surface onsite, to pollute eventually". To assert that that is typical or the de-facto standard is disingenuous, wrong and needlessly provocative.

     

    Your assertion of 'small profit' is also wrong. http://bit.ly/WULE6N

     

    And the fact that the majority of E&P companies active in US Unconventional plays are Independents has much more to do with geography (i.e. L48 Onshore) than with play type, capability or profitability. Big Oil has historically been unable to compete with Independents in the L48 arena; too slow, corporate cost structure is too high, greater portfolio of competitive opportunities (global vs local).
    26 Jul 2014, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • Moshe Ben-Reuven
    , contributor
    Comments (258) | Send Message
     
    Dear Craig Cooper,
    With respect, even 50% of 5 million gallons recovery, is appreciable. There is much more water coming to the surface, which is the occluded water in the shale. In lined frac pits, which I was referring to, it is just a matter of time, 3-5 years, that seepage starts. Plastic gets cross-polymerized, becomes brittle, and starts to let water come through. Steel tanks, over such timescale, get corrosion spots, unless very carefully maintained. So, firstly, what I have stated stays correct.

     

    Where exactly is your magical separator, where "hydrocarbon / formation water / frac fluid mixture is separated"? Separation of hydrocarbon liquids and gases, leaves a significant percent VOC contamination in the water. Heard of azeotropes? Formation water and frac water are separated only in your imagination, I am afraid. Sludge may drop to the bottom, but to remove radioactivity, as in the Marcellus, you need what, divine intervention? Another baseless "expert" assertion.

     

    Your words, are therefore, in your language, "disingenuous, wrong and needlessly provocative." You come here to toot your horn, Mr. Cooper. Facts are facts, and to this end, you have brought nothing to contradict my statements.

     

    Now to the issue of Majors. All you write is correct. Which is in support of my view, that large caliber clean-up entities will be likely unavailable, when all these lined pits and steel tanks leak into the ground. The cleanup will be charged to us, taxpayers. But no worry! the communities near those sites will be long gone.
    26 Jul 2014, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • Craig Cooper
    , contributor
    Comments (2405) | Send Message
     
    Dr. Ben-Reuven,

     

    I've previously provided pertinent information based on 40 years of firsthand experience as well as links to key sites, peer-reviewed papers, informative blogs and the like and you have, as far as I can determine, ignored them all.

     

    You post information that is wrong, incomplete, misleading and / or needlessly provocative.

     

    There are none so deaf as those who will not hear.
    26 Jul 2014, 06:05 PM Reply Like
  • John Polomny
    , contributor
    Comments (522) | Send Message
     
    Typical of these luddites. They enjoy the comforts, wealth, civilization, and lifestyle that fossil fuels provide yet deride the exploitation of the resource. Fools.
    27 Jul 2014, 08:51 PM Reply Like
  • Asok_II
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    I think the solution is relatively simple here. The need for drilling for fossil fuels could be greatly reduced if everyone opposed to "fracking" and/or drilling for petroleum and/or mining for coal would simply abstain from utilizing any fossil fuel energy for any purpose and use no products made with or by or from fossil fuels. These people could reduce both their petroleum and carbon footprint, and lead by example, proving once and for all that they're not just ordinary, garden-variety hypocrites who preach "Do as I say, not as I do."

     

    I certainly don't understand why these people who are so opposed to using fossil fuels continue to use them. After all, they're the very first to boycott lettuce, grapes, Walmart and such for the slightest perceived unfairness. Certainly "saving the planet" is far more critical than trying to put Walmart out of business.

     

    So, all of you anti-frackers and anti-drillers and anti-miners, please quit yammering, and whining and finger-pointing and do something positive for a change: quit consuming resources you detest so much. After all, it shouldn't be that much of a hardship, since you can simply substitute the wind-power and solar power you adore so much that you've demanded that hundreds of billion of tax dollars of other peoples' money be spent "developing" (though I do have to admit I'm not sure exactly how you'll lubricate the moving parts and insulate your electrical wiring).
    25 Jul 2014, 12:35 PM Reply Like
  • John Polomny
    , contributor
    Comments (522) | Send Message
     
    Awesome!!
    25 Jul 2014, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • HYMN
    , contributor
    Comments (138) | Send Message
     
    The people " should " be allowed to decide. However, the days of, for, and by the people seem to be long gone. When the cost of cleaning up the fracking mess is figured in, it's going to be some expensive oil. If there is any justice they'll win the appeal. Until then looks like the towns people get to take it on the chin.
    25 Jul 2014, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • John Polomny
    , contributor
    Comments (522) | Send Message
     
    What mess, we have been fracking wells for 40 years and no one complained until you luddites ran out of other issues to crab about.
    25 Jul 2014, 03:36 PM Reply Like
  • schcas
    , contributor
    Comments (18) | Send Message
     
    "Cost of cleaning up the frack mess"

     

    To which mess are you referring??? And to what costs???
    25 Jul 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
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