Ellen Cantarow of Truthout interviewed Louis W. Allstadt, a former vice president of Mobil Oil. It was painfully obvious to me that he honorably gave up a tranquil, restful, retirement to “do the right thing” in working to educate us on how unproven safe unconventional fracking is. Here are some points I took away from the interview …
1) The industry cannot control with certainity how far (vertically) the fractures go out from these horizontal laterals. Allstadt said that one of the appendices of the draft SGEIS [New York Department of Conservation guidelines for the gas industry] that was issued in July 2011, was expunged. It was of the EPA study in a coal-mining area where “the fractures had progressed in unexpected patterns and at greater lengths than expected.”
I read in YAHOO mail /Associated Press this morning …. “Seismic monitoring determined one hydraulic fracture traveled 1,800 feet out from the well bore; most traveled just a few hundred feet.”
…update this Associated Press water contamination study was later recanted as being incomplete and due out by year end of 2013.
2) Allstadt said that the volume of water for fracking and flowback is 50 to 100 times more than conventional fracking. It is no secret that injection wells handling the waste fluids from UNconventional fracking is linked to seismic events. Here is another related statement by geophysicists from the University of California in Santa Cruz…..“As operations expanded, so did the seismicity”.
3) Allstadt said “The other [difference] is that the rock above the target zone is not necessarily impervious the way it was in the conventional wells.…there are already cases where the methane gas has made it up into the aquifers and atmosphere. Sometimes through old well bores, sometimes through natural fissures in the rock. What we don’t know is just how much gas is going to come up over time….. We’re opening up channels for the gas to creep up to the surface and into the atmosphere.”
4) Allstadt said that “And there are lots of good indications that plugging the well doesn’t really work long-term” citing that the wells still have some pressure down there and that sooner or later the steel and cement degrades.
Only time will tell how chronic small quakes or one time “eventful sized” quakes will be to opening up new or expanding old faults causing unintended migration into our atmosphere and our ground water sources. Also the aging of cement and steel are risks for casing integrity on ALL types of wells such as natural gas, oil, disposal/injection and water wells. Any type of leaking wells can communicate with faults and make their way to our ground water sources AT ANY DEPTH. Contaminated ground water can eventually feed toxins to our municipal drinking water sources.
From: kim feil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>; “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>; “Michael.Buettner@arlingtontx.gov” <Michael.Buettner@arlingtontx.gov>
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:12 PM
Subject: about those drilling laterals under lake Arlington