This candid, historic EPA 1987 report (volume 1 of 3) is a must read showing the EPA has had decades upon decades to mitigate fossil fuel extraction risks even before the unconventional/horizontal drilling.
This report shows (page II-5) they have been using the same type of chemicals used in drilling muds that is associated with todays processes….
“Numerous chemical additives are available to give the mud precise properties to facilitate the drilling of the well; they include acids and bases, salts, corrosion inhibitors, viscosifiers, dispersants, fluid loss reducers, lost circulation materials, flocculants, surfactants, biocides, and lubricants.”
“Oil-based drilling fluids account for approximately 3 to 10 percent of the total volume of drilling fluids used nationwide. The oil base may consist of crude oil, refined oil (usually fuel oil or diesel), or mineral oil.”
On page II-7 ….
“For long-term corrosion protection, a packer fluid is placed into the casing/tubing an~ulus. Solids-free diesel oil, crude oil, produced water, or specially treated drilling fluid are preferred packer fluids.”
“Operators use a variety of stimulation techniques to correct these conditions and increase oil flow . . Acidizing introduces acid into the production formation, dissolVing formation matrix and thereby enlarging existing channels in carbonate-bearing rock. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping specialized fluids carrying sand, glass beads, or similar materials into the production formation under high pressure; this creates fractures in the rock that remain propped open by the sand, beads, or similar materials when pressure is released.”
The report shows the exempting of oil and gas drilling fluids as “hazardous” waste (on page 11-16) which predates the Halliburton Loophole from the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Two years later this “previously confidential” General Accounting Office (GAO) report from 1989 implicates Class II injection wells for KNOWN ground water contamination.
Fast forward to 2010 during the frenzy of unconventional drilling here in the Barnett Shale and note this WFAA video is about a new gas well pad site + an injection well down the road = the claim for one or both processes ruining this man’s well water…..http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Water-well-driller-blames-gas-rig-for-tainted-supply-104456654.html
But look no further that the current water contamination case being suffered by Steve Lipsky and his family and neighbors to see that the……
EPA overreach to protect people = FAIL
EPA underreach to protect fossil fool jobs = SUCCESS
EPA to protect a liveable planet = on tract to fail
Since this EPA doc is hundreds of pages long, here is a little more info…
page IV 76- IV-77
Improperly Abandoned and Improperly Plugged Wells
“Degradation of ground water from improperly plugged and unplugged wells is known to occur in Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana. Improperly plugged and unplugged wells enable native brine to migrate up the wellbore and into freshwater aquifers. The damage sustained can be extensive.
Problems also occur when unidentified improperly plugged wells are present in areas being developed as secondary recovery projects. After the formation has been pressurized for secondary recovery, native brine can migrate uP. unplugged o·r improperly plugged wells, potentially causing extensive ground-water contamination with chlorides.”
“The potential for environmental damage through ground·water degradation is high, given the thousands of wells abandoned throughout the country prior to any State regulatory plugging requirements.”
Here is the link to volume 3 of 3 called “Management of Wastes from the Exploration, Development, and Production of Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Geothermal Energy”
I am still looking for the link to volune 2
Ground water is at risk, from oil and gas but now that urban drilling is here, radiation poisoning in our air, food, and water is areal concern. I see on Google Earth these “field applications” adjacent to pad sites…(drilling mud) farming is loosly regulated and I fear particulates blowing off into the neighborhoods and schools like at Bowie High in Arlington (radiated?) TX.