If you don’t wish to take heed to people who do that professionally, how the hell are you going to find anybody with any experience?
The ensuing lack of exposure to anybody with a shred of technical competence on the topic has dreadfully clouded the waters. This needs to be a boring and entirely uncontroversial subject. It pains me deeply that I have to keep arguing about it.
The core drawback seems to be that the anti-fracking activists aren’t conscious of the correct terminology or processes for what they’re opposing. That makes it inconceivable to have any kind of significant technical dialogue on the issue.
And it dreadfully biases the google search results away from competent commentators, because professionals do not use the nonsensical/inaccurate terminology picked up by activists. We don’t discuss fracking contaminating water wells, we discuss conductor casing cement bond integrity or wastewater dealing with/remedy. Those are precise, real environmental issues that each one oil/gasoline activity should deal with. That’s what we discuss. It is throughout Journal of Petroleum Expertise, Oilfield Evaluate, and different business-specific tutorial publications. Significantly, I feel each subject of JPT has an obligatory article about frac fluid remedy/recycling now. I am fairly bored with the topic.
But you will not find many educational research refuting dumb made-up theories from activists as a result of, to be blunt, the industry has better stuff to do than argue with self-righteous morons. These are people who clearly made up their thoughts about the subject without bothering to be taught something about it. Individuals who don’t even get the fundamental terminology right, but are adamantly in opposition to the method anyway, are zealots and simply aren’t worth participating with.
For example, the actual “hydraulic fracturing” process has completely nothing to do with water contamination, seismic activity, or any reboiler (double-tube plate) of that. When those issues happen, it is due to different unrelated phases within the gas extraction course of. Uninformed (however angry) individuals have rolled up your entire shale properly construction, gasoline production, and waste disposal process beneath this “fracking” umbrella term with out having the faintest idea what it truly means. The precise hydraulic fracturing stage is just not the source of any of the problems persons are pinning on it.
The seismicity issue is a good instance. Improperly-sited wastewater disposal wells, pumping for decades into closed geological formations, can construct ample stress to alter giant-scale seismic stress distributions and cause small earthquakes. This is a credible, fairly nicely-supported concept that no one actually denies. However it isn’t fracking! It is common oil and gas business water disposal, which pre-dates the fracking growth by decades. Injection wells have been the preferred disposal technique for oilfield waste fluids (>ninety five% of that are natural brines produced by older wells along with oil) ever because the Clean Water Act restricted floor discharges. Steady pumping of billions of gallons of fluid over several decades is a basically totally different process from hydraulic fracturing, which is a pair days of pumping to position some sand in the ground, followed by immediately flowing the fluid again out. Totally different functions, totally different timescales, totally different orders of magnitude of power pumped into the bottom, different equipment, totally different reservoir geologies, different laws. The one similarity is that each contain massive pumps and a effectively.
If you want to have a serious discussion about seismic exercise from improperly-managed wastewater disposal wells, nice. We are able to discuss that. It’s an issue the business is conscious of and is working on. It should not happen but it surely sometimes does. We are able to interact with the public and regulators in a meaningful way on that topic. However in case you say FRACKING is causing seismic activity, you clearly do not know have the faintest thought what you are talking about.
Think about complaining to your electrician when your own home’s plumbing leaks. It’s like that. The mistaken terminology is being used and the consultants aren’t going to take it critically.
We can not have meaningful discussions when one aspect refuses to study the vocabulary or fundamental process behind the activity. That’s what frustrates me and lots of industry consultants so much about this topic. Not one of the accusations make any sense. It’s not possible to argue with people who simply mash random technical phrases collectively in a way that sounds scary.
And the stuff that folks are literally fearful about, if you dig via the incorrect terminology, just isn’t specific to shale fuel in any respect! They’re the same points all varieties of oil/gasoline activity have. Floor spills, poor cement bonding, waste disposal. The precise fracking step does nothing whatsoever to elevate the danger profile versus a typical “conventional” nicely or unfracked properly. All these concerns are common for all wells, with or with out fracking.
If you want to oppose all oil/gas activity because of the risk of poor casing integrity inflicting aquifer contamination, wonderful, we can have a rational discussion on those terms. However I will win that argument, as a result of saying we should cease making oil/gasoline wells right now could be mainly a loss of life sentence for six.5 billion folks. The planet and financial system cannot at the moment assist the world’s inhabitants with out fossil fuels. Perhaps sometime, but not right this moment and never for decades to come back. We’re stuck with oil and fuel drilling for a while yet. So let’s have severe, rational discussions on how to cut back the harm that causes, and please, please, please stop arguing previous each other.