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And the winner is...

January 18, 2014

My favorite sentence from the comments posted about my letter (Shame on PCHPG, 12/15/13) is this gem, "Are you aware that thousands of people have their drinking water wells drilled into the......

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(70)

eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 6:21 AM

I'd like to ask Mr. Kesich how all that nasty stuff is going to flow against gravity once the natural gas is depleted?

6 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 6:22 AM

FACTS:

One million wells have been hydraulically fractured and there is not one case of water contamination.

But, liberal fantasies continue to be told.

5 Agrees | 10 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

JerryfromRI

Jan-18-14 6:43 AM

Eric, not a single well huh?

A certain rather expensive reverse osmosis machine that went unreported to share holders comes to mind.

Comments Eric?

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sideliner

Jan-18-14 7:35 AM

erik, not one well, eh? How 'bout this:

According to a study by Duke University:

"“The methane, ethane and propane data, and new evidence from hydrocarbon and helium content, all suggest that drilling has affected some homeowners’ water,” said Robert B. Jackson, a professor of environmental sciences at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “In a minority of cases the gas even looks Marcellus-like, probably caused by poor well construction.”"

The industry will NEVER take responsibility for water changes near well sites. Never. And there will be those like you, erik, who, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, will back them up. And all I can say is, "Why?" These are your neighbors whose fundamental right to clean drinking water is being blatantly violated. Why would you not even consider the remote possibility that there are environmental problems with this method of extraction? You seem to blindly defend the industry regardless. Makes no sense at al

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CMReeder

Jan-18-14 7:41 AM

Erik must want to be quoted in the next letter.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Jan-18-14 7:44 AM

"That is to say, not perforate the impermeable layers protecting us from all the Marcellus nasties with tens of thousands of gas wells that will eventually lose integrity and provide pathways for contamination of future generations' water, soil and air."

++

John, when you use the term perforate in the O&G business, it is the process of lowering shaped charges down the well bore so that they are detonated and make a hole(s) through the casing and cement sheath in the desired producing formation. When they pump the frac fluid down these wells, it goes through these holes into the Marcellus formation. These holes then allow entry ways for the gas to enter the well and be produced.

I believe that when you used the term "perforate the impermeable layers", you meant "drill through the impermeable layers".

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ToTEXASfromPA

Jan-18-14 7:45 AM

Assuming the latter, your question is why. John, throughout the world, the vast majority of the oil and gas lies deeper than fresh water that people use for drinking, agriculture, and industrial use. So if we don't want to drill through these impermeable layers, we would essentially be living like our ancestors did over a century ago. There would be no automobiles, tractors, or planes; no fuel oil or natural gas heating; less of the modern medicines that are manufactured at chemical plants; less electrical energy, no plastics for the wide array of items in your house, none of the agricultural chemicals or fertilizers, etc. Basically I am saying that the life we have today would be non-existent. I even attribute the longer life expectancies that we have nowadays (as compared a century ago) to the oil and gas production that has powered the industrial revolution. People live 20-30 years longer.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Jan-18-14 7:45 AM

Now to your issue, I also think that engineers, oil companies, and state regulatory agencies have learned lots and developed better technology and practices through the last near century and that the industry can case and cement the impermeable layer safely. There need to be regulations and practices in place so that "fly by night" companies abide by the rules. There will be the occasional well that has a problem but there are repair procedure and methods to remedy these. One of the biggest concerns that I have is the undocumented, improperly abandoned, deeper wells that were drilled decades ago in PA. Efforts between operators, land owners, well drillers, and regulatory agencies need to be made to identify these wells the best way possible so they don't become flow paths to allow gas into fresh water zones. Even if this happens, they can be repaired.

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 7:48 AM

sideliner:

That Duke University study was debunked.

Sorry, all the fraud you liberals engage in will not change the fact that not one well has been contaminated despite 1 millions wells being hydraulically fractured!

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 7:52 AM

Jerry:

Reverse osmosis is a filtration method.

The industry uses hundreds of various filtration devices and techniques for various reasons.

Nevertheless, if a water well near a gas well shows contamination (source undetermined), the first thing the industry does is address the water to make it safe.

Testing comes next to determine the chemical makeup of the contamination so the source can be found.

So far, other than defective casings (that get fixed), no water well has been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing.

The EPA says it, the industry says it and all your conspiracy theories to the contrary do not change that FACT.

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ToTEXASfromPA

Jan-18-14 7:57 AM

Erik and Sideliner,

There is one and only one well that I am aware of where a fresh water well was contaminated by fracking fluid and it was the Parson's well in a West Virginia. In this case, the frack fluid found a path to the fresh water through a nearby, unknown, improperly abandoned well that penetrated deeper formations.

The cause was not any faulty well casing or inadequate cement job on the newly drilled well, nor incompetent overlaying impermeable layers that were the problem.

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JerryfromRI

Jan-18-14 7:58 AM

"Other then defective casing".

Erik, do you understand that your neighbors don't want to drink water that has been contaminated?

4 Agrees | 4 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

JerryfromRI

Jan-18-14 8:21 AM

Eric,

What are your opinions of the following:

Open pits vs. covered, closed-loop systems?

Test drilling cutting equipment for naturally occurring radiation before disposal?

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

ToTEXASfromPA

Jan-18-14 8:38 AM

"How many years will the cement seal between the casing of Marcellus wells and the surrounding rocks and soil last?"

++

Good question. Cement is made from quarried limestone plus some other additives that help create a desired cement slurry viscosity, density, and pumping/set time. The quarried limestone is heated in ovens to drive out the water that is bonded to the calcium carbonate. It is a dehydration process and allows the cement to be in a dried, powder form. When you add water, the calcium carbonate will hydrate, crystallize, and harden (much like concrete which also contains aggregate, like rock).

So the cement down-hole in the well should be as permanent as undisturbed limestone in a quarry or formations of limestone that are thousands of feet deep under the surface. What's that, millions of years!!!

Proper wellbore design and cement placement which are dictated by regulations are important.

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 9:23 AM

Jerry:

Nobody's well water has been contaminated.

Why can't you understand that?

When wells are drilled, cased and grouted, they are tested to ensure there are no defects that would allow contact between what is in the well with the surrounding rock and soil.

Properly grouted wells are ensured through the testing process.

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Ritty77

Jan-18-14 9:29 AM

"One million wells have been hydraulically fractured and there is not one case of water contamination."

"So far, other than defective casings (that get fixed), no water well has been contaminated from hydraulic fracturing."

Good morning, Erik. The second statement adds a caveat to the "not one case" assertion of the first. So the next question would logically be how often have "defective casings (that get fixed)" occurred and how long is water affected until the fix?

I think your second statement renders your first statement false. As a supporter of fossil fuel extraction, I don't expect a perfect, accident-free process, but I expect honesty.

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 9:30 AM

Jerry:

Someone does not point to a place on the ground and say "drill there".

There is 3-D seismic analysis, sometimes test bores, etc to understand the underground structure and makeup before any decision is made to drill.

They can also identify underground fault lines to avoid those.

Then, geologists and engineers create a well plan that maps exactly how the well is to be drilled.

During drilling, equipment senses the position of the drill and knows what rock formations it is passing through. Cuttings that come back from the drill tell them also what they are passing through.

There are very few surprises when drilling.

You wish to imply that proper care is not taken in handling nature's radioactive materials, salts and heavy metals.

People hear the word "radiation" and panic, so anti-energy groups are now focusing on that to scare people.

Very sad.

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 9:34 AM

Ritty77:

Great point!

Defective casings have only allowed underground methane to get into nearly water aquifers....not chemicals from fracking.

But that was before the today's well tests were created that ensure the casing is sound.

Today, nothing happens until the casing passes testing.

These technologies, tests and procedures are constantly changing and improving. The O&G industry does not sit on its laurels. They know full well how much attention is paid to this and are investing billions to ensure no accidents happen.

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BornHere

Jan-18-14 9:42 AM

DEP complaint #279838 Franklin Township, Lycoming County The Dept. investigation indicates that gas well drilling has impacted water supplies.

DEP complaint # 286490 Moreland Township, Lycoming County At this time the Dept. investigation indicates that gas well drilling has impacted the water supply.

Oil and Gas Drilling pollutes well water states confirm. NBCNEWS 1-5-2014

4 States confirm water pollution from drilling. USATODAY 1-5-2014

Report confirms oil and gas has contaminated well water. wwwdotewgdotorg 1-10-2014

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Alsever

Jan-18-14 9:44 AM

And just where did you get your Geology degree? Are you aware that the Marcellus is named for Marcellus , NY, where it comes to the surface? The Marcellus shale comes to the surface in a lot of places and water wells are drilled into it in both New York and in Pa.. Ever drive off of I-180 into Lycoming Mall? Note the Black Shale in the road cut? Know what formation it is?

Over near Elimsport there is a Township shale pit where the local township mines your "Toxic" Marcellus Shale and uses it for road work. State Geologists from DCNR takes college kids there on Educational trips to show them the Marcellus shale.

Think you win your own prize! Penn State Grad?

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JerryfromRI

Jan-18-14 9:45 AM

Thank you Ritty.

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hopeforfuture

Jan-18-14 9:47 AM

eriklatranyi

I appreciate your informative answers. I have a question and you seem to have answers. Are the casings completed in the well before the gas is extracted? That seems like a logical step. I know nothing on the process so if you could explain.

Thank you

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CMReeder

Jan-18-14 9:59 AM

Erik is just going to give you bs not honesty.

5 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 10:03 AM

hopeforfuture asked:

"Are the casings completed in the well before the gas is extracted?"

Yes!

The entire well is cased. There is zero contact between mother earth and the inside of the well bore except at the holes created to crack the shale.

The well is cased and tested first.

Once it passes pressure testing, then, the holes are perforated in the horizontal section only......perforating and fracking do not take place in the vertical portion.

First, the holes are made in the casing using explosives. Those holes create the only opening in the casing to the shale layer.

Then, the frack fluid is pumped down and pressurized. Again, this only happens in the horizontal section.

They do not fill the well to the top with fluid and then pressurize it.

In other words, frack fluid is never pressurized against the vertical section of the well.

It is plugged and pressurized in the horizontal section only.

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eriklatranyi

Jan-18-14 10:06 AM

Mr. Reeder:

You can accuse me of lying all day, but what I post is verifiable, unlike the bilge that spews from your mouth.

3 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

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