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Ex-governor slams own party as too wary of fracking

June 22, 2013

HARRISBURG (AP) — Former Gov. Ed Rendell on Friday criticized Pennsylvania Democrats over their “ill-advised” call for a moratorium on fracking....

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Jun-23-13 8:59 PM

I assume DEP, Anadarko, etc understand the details of the situation enough to ensure the designs will work. It would be nice for us to have the knowledge of the details too.

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Jun-23-13 7:33 PM

It doesn't say what caused the faulty cement casings on the wells and Chesapeake claims that the blame for the gas migration issues are still unresolved.

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Jun-23-13 6:54 PM


Pretty good. From the information, we know that frack fluids did not bust up through the rock layers into the fresh water zones nor did Marcellus gas migrate into the fresh water.

On item #3, you said it migrated up from a faulty well, or some articles said faulty casing. Do you know what was faulty about them or was there was something unexpected like the shallow gas that they hadn't encountered in the area before?

I really don't know but am asking.

I also assume the new revised design has been effective.

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Jun-23-13 3:31 PM


1. Methane.

2. Methane trapped in shallow rock between the surface and the Marcellus Shale escaped into drinking water aquifers.

3. Migrated up from faulty wells.

4. Changed its casing and cementing methods to add a third string of nested steel to its wells.

5. The work performed to fix the problem is now required by the state's updated drilling regulations.

6. Any other questions call the DEP at 570-327-3636 (24 hours).

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Jun-23-13 2:38 PM


What was the contaminant?

Where did it come from?

How did it get there?

Was there any work performed to rectify the problem?

What changes could be made in the future to prevent it from happening again?

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Jun-23-13 8:48 AM

chris123, here is another case. DEP fines Chesapeake Energy more than $1 million for contaminating 16 private water supplies in Bradford and Washington Counties.

The water well contamination fine is the largest single penalty DEP has ever assessed against an oil and gas operator.

DEP determined the cause was improper well casing and cement that surrounded gas wells.

This information can be found on the DEP website 5/17/2011.

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Jun-22-13 7:26 PM

@ Tex- I realize that the industry is doing what as required of them whenever possible but I still believe that gov't oversight drives that train. And there's still room for improvement, for instance, mandatory pre-drilling water testing. That is still not required by law here and if done may not cover all potentially affected areas within a unit. And there's always something to be said when continuing a poor practice is more financially rewarding than the fine, But that;s not to say the industry is all bad or that I wish to see gas operations cease in our state. A little more common sense from both sides would be welcome.

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Jun-22-13 7:14 PM

eric, I respectfully disagree with your assertion that there have been no incidences of aquifer contamination. A 1987 case in WV was pointed out to you in another thread a day or two ago. More recently, there is Pavillion WY where substandard drilling practices border on the criminal- shallow drilling near a deep aquifer that even a school kid could have predicted andno one should have ever let happen.

I realize what happened in WY is unlikely to happen in PA thanks to both our shale geology but also gov't oversight. So yes, sometimes you can have it both ways. That said, I will always get sick of fox that expect me to let them guard my henhouse. You must think we in PA all just fell off the turnip truck:)

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Jun-22-13 7:04 PM


The types of cements are modified and changed to fit different situations, depths, pressures, temperatures, pumping times, etc. Lab test are run under these different conditions to develop good mixtures.

There is a lot of science and engineering that has been developed to get us to the modern, proven practices of today. Improvements are being made in water reclamation and recycling practices. Regulatory interventions are needed because some people make mistakes or haven't been trained. I would like to say that all in the gas industry have the highest levels of integrity and knowledge but alas people are people and there are always a few bad characters that spoil it for everyone else so certain levels of regulation are required for all.

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Jun-22-13 7:03 PM


you would not know that is how they produced except for the earthen skimming dams that are still there. The grasses, weeds, flowers, brush and trees have come back. But we have learned this is not acceptable and improvements were made.

Likewise, years ago, people didn't use the various casing strings or cements to protect wells and there were instances where fresh water was contaminated. They didn't know better. The regulatory bodies, like the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC), New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (NMOCD), California Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA), etc, etc were established in the different states to develop regulations and regulate the companies so that fresh water, rivers, lakes, terrain, wildlife, mankind, etc are protected. People/regulatory agencies have analyzed the methods that do work and those that do not work and are constantly improving practices and techniques.

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Jun-22-13 7:02 PM


showed that we were achieving theses designs. The newer, long distance horizontal drilling wells even provide more confidence in the placing of these fracks.

Temperature surveys and cement bond logs are run in the wells before the frack to ensure there is sufficient cement protection above the producing intervals.

The oil and gas industry has existed for over a hundred years and much has been learned. Many mistakes were made years ago. They would just flow the oil out onto the ground and catch it in big pits and then send it to market. The salt water that was produced would contaminate the ground and kill vegetation. I have seen some of the pits in west Texas and New Mexico and it was the wrong way to operate but it was the best they knew back then. But after years of microbial action eating on the oil that was soaked into the ground and flushing due to years of rainfall, some of these areas are coming back. In fact, some of the areas, you would not know tha

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Jun-22-13 7:00 PM


Logging tools record characteristics of the productive and non-productive intervals are gathered. They can even measure/calculate rock mechanical properties that can be put into computer models. These frack simulators determine how many and how big the fracks need to be for the wells. These calculate the 3 dimensional characteristics of a frack during time. During the fracks, rate and pressure data are gathered to ensure the frack is progressing okay. Fracking is nothing new; some report that 70% of the wells in the US have been frack.

Personal experience says that is probably close to right. I was even involved with the massive hydraulic fracs (MHFs) that were done on the East Texas Cotton Valley Sand formations 30 years ago. We were designing fracs that were 1000 to 3000 ft in lengths. The rock properties and the depths that we were at would allow these. Even analysis of pressure transient data after the fracs and modeling the gas rate/pressure decline

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Jun-22-13 6:59 PM

"What I personally want to see is the ability to evaluate all of that without the hype or hysteria from both sides that usually surrounds this topic."--Chris123


Chris123, most of what I mention has been evaluated but many that don't want the gas industry don't want to look at the facts.

Before wells are even drilled, seismic is gathered and analyzed. Geological cross-sections are made to identify the Marcellus shale intervals. Surveys are made to identify the fresh water zones so they can be cased and protected. Geologic cuttings are gathered during the drilling process.

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Jun-22-13 6:01 PM

“Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.” President Obama

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Jun-22-13 5:57 PM

Just watch. After Cuomo wins re-election in New York, he will open parts of the state to drilling.

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Jun-22-13 5:34 PM


I grow sick of those who love big gov't and then don't trust it to regulate the gas industry.

You can't have it both ways.

The DEP and the industry have worked very well together, starting with the Rendell Administration.

There are no incidents of water contamination, only allegations and the typical handful who see dollar signs.

Meanwhile, the environmentalists lie, lie and lie about the dangers, with no factual basis.

Anyone who understands the process knows that the chance of groundwater contamination is tiny compared to an overturned tanker truck on the highway.

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Jun-22-13 12:25 PM

Erik- abolish them so there is NO oversight? I hope you're kidding.

Though I believe those agencies can be swayed by political contributions to those in power, I trust the regulatory mechanisms in place more than I trust business interests alone as they are motivated by quick and dirty profit. Somehow the two will need to learn to work together so all interests are served, not just the bottom line.

I love this state and would like to see it grow economically while preserving it's clean air, water and natural beauty. I believe it can be done when the hype and hysteria end and pragmatism toward a common goal becomes the focus.

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Jun-22-13 12:09 PM

The industry is regulated by the state and federal gov't. Both agencies are massive, costing us billions in tax dollars.

If you do not trust them to do their job, then abolish them.

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Jun-22-13 11:17 AM

All excellent points Texas. What I personally want to see is the ability to evaluate all of that without the hype or hysteria from both sides that usually surrounds this topic.

Except for our state forests, I wouldn't support a moratorium. Private landowners should be able to develop their holdings. Many of the gas counties sorely need a new economic base. I'd consider state forest gas a strategic reserve. As someone else said, the gas isn't going anywhere so what's the hurry? I'd rather see the state keep a little money in the bank so to speak for future needs both energywise and financially.

IMHO gas development is neither all good nor all bad. As someone in an earlier article stated this week, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The test will be if both sides of the issue are willing to objectively weigh the evidence and also accept whatever measures serve the growth of the industry while placing reasonable safeguards on the environment as needed.

I know lol. I'm a dr

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Jun-22-13 9:24 AM

What would be expected to be accomplished in a moratorium? How would we know when it is done? What are the deliverables (i.e. knowledge, science, technology, measurements, etc.)? If the deliverables are accomplished sooner, would the moratorium be done?

Do we want to prove that fracks can be controlled and don't grow from the Marcellus shale up into the fresh water zones? Do we want mathematical models that show the geometry of the fracks and the lengths and heights they grow to?

Do we want to look at the mechanical configurations of the wellbore and do a study as to what methods/technologies have worked in history and what do not work?

Do we want to create a plan that minimizes the amount of footprint of disturbance in the forests and stays minimum distances from certain natural or man-made features?

Do we want to create a recycling plan that minimizes usage of various natural resources?

How would we know that the goals of a moratorium are accomplished?

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Jun-22-13 8:42 AM

@eric- You're right that fracking is not going away and though I believe it can be done responsibly with reasonable safety, don't expect me to accept it can be done without proper state oversight.

Also, this discussion is much better served without name calling.

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Jun-22-13 7:49 AM

Yes eriklatranyi, as long as you say so... it must be true...?

But then... what's the hurry, the gas has been there for millions of years and its not going to spoil if we wait a few more years to extract it.

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Jun-22-13 7:43 AM

Erik, isn't odd how we are all supposed to accept the "Science" of global warming even though stats show cooling yet disregard the science that fracking is safe because of the agenda of the left?

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Jun-22-13 7:19 AM

Fracking is not going away, liberal boobs!

Your party will use the issue to raise funds, but they simply want to play with the additional revenue because they know it is safe.

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