Dont bank on PHAGE fixn’ well souring

Twice I am aware of people sickened by Chesapeakes cleanout/flowback stage in Urban areas (like the Truman/CowboyStadium & Lynn Smith/Bowen-Division drill sites in 2012). In pursuit of preventing a “stale water odor” that Chesapeake fails 2 B proactive in preventing this nuisance & health issue aspect) let us first consider what the good scientist has to say about well souring that I equate with “stagnant/stale water” from biocide application failures……

Bacteria has a natural predator, her name is Phage, but the frackers prefer nasty biocides rather than water banking the “safe” antidote.

Here is the transcript quote from Professor Yuri Gorby, PHD geomicrobiologist, from a youtube testimony on how fracking increases by  “….thousands of times their (organisms) normal activity in that formation and so they will generate tremendous amounts of H2S”.

Screen shot 2016-02-16 at 1.23.21 PM

many thanks to Frack Times for this interview

(I boldfaced for emphasis)….“You know in these deep shall formations that are formed basically as ocean deposits ah you have salt water thats high in sulfate other amines including urano bicarbonates I mean those are in those systems and …and so those are naturally en-trained in those systems when you when they are buried and then I think for the Marcellus shale, it is a about 350 million years old. And the ….those sulfur metabolizing organisms are also en-trained in that system and they persist I mean we-microbiologists are now starting to investigate the extent of life down into these deep systems and life – microbial life extends much deeper even than these formations that we see. What they what is happening when we drill down into these formations is that the accumulated over time…the accumulated gases like H2S which is a toxic and corrosive gases will first come up out of that hole in their first you know during the first phase after fracturing and when U R basically flaring off that the gas……We hear a lot about biocides that will knock back the growth of bacteria or being used sometimes as a sterilizing agent – you don’t really sterilize these formations …but you can by adding biocides and those can include formaldehyde & gluteraldehyde-those are the organic ones. Quick kill formulas that I don’t know actually know what are contained in there but for the organic biocides, (gluteraldehyde and formaldehyde) are listed in many of the recipes are the fluids that are used for fracking. And there was the 2011 congressional committee that was put together and I think chaired by Henry Waxman, that you know they had the list of the 750 different chemicals that are used in and I think they studied 20 or more companies. So there is the list of these chemicals and in almost all of you’d see formaldehyde & gluteraldehyde and then you can have other biocides…and these meta-biocicdes that they are talking about…with the organic ones I mean these don’t…they they last for some period of time and again they are meant to knock back the activity of micro-organisms and especially the sulfate reduced bacteria (SRB) that through their naturally metabolism generate corrosive toxic H2S in those systems. So again that is one of the souring agents in sour gas streams so it is very important to get that material and avoid the production of the H2S during production phase of these wells. As a microbiologist and someone who has been working in aerobic systems for more than 20 yrs now, I am really concerned that after those biocides degrade, and they naturally degrade, that the natural activity of those SRBs that are still in that formation, they can, they will grow back I mean its very difficult to sterilize -its impossible to sterilize a formation….so they will grow back. And because this whole system now is FRACTURED and hydrated and you stir all this up – is basically just activating a big batch ???…that these organisms their activity is increased thousands of times their normal activity in that formation and so they will generate tremendous amounts of H2S. The real concern is as that H2S is generated and percolates or moves up in the well itself, that failing casings that are you know that are upper in the upper regions will be dissolved and will by this corrosive gas. And when H2S enters aerobic aquifers, I mean again the actuality of micro-organisms will generate things like sulfuric acid and this leads to the generation of locally now around here is acid mine drainage or least down in West Virginia and central Pennsylvania. But acid mine drainage of 100,000 wells…. If you are thinking about the magnitude of this problem here. In 93,000 sq miles of Marcellus shale- the hundred plus thousand deep wells with stove pipes from these deep formations…. and with a failure rate of 50% in 30 yrs I think is what the industry claims, we can almost guarantee -not even with doing any science- that we’re going to contaminate massive ground water aquifers. Now it would be good to be able to conduct this science, to actually to evaluate the generation rate of H2S in these systems, to evaluate the impact of that H2S as it enters these aquifers. Thats a long term study and we’re talking you know a decade or two of investigation to see what the impact will be. But remember this area, this land is not for just us. Its for our children and our grandchildren. And we’re going to leave them with a toxic mess that they won’t be able to clean up”.



Related to this story addressing the Barnett Shale well souring is a phage patent filed in 2010 called Prevention and Remediation of Petroleum Reservoir Souring and Corrosion by Treatment with Virulent Bacteriophage” ( US 20110171719 A1 ). The abstract basically says to use “naturally occurring bacteriophage, virulent for targeted bacteria, particularly sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) and acid producing bacteria (APB)”….this indigenous bacteriophage is grown (cultured and banked) in large quantities and used to overpower the bacteria naturally.

Here are the patent excerpts from Ecolyse Inc of Texas’ where BALDWIN, DOUGLAS;SUMMER, NEIL S.;REEL have assigned a new owner, effective date of June 2015, as DOW Global Technologies.

I boldfaced for emphasis some excerpts of the patent….

    • [0004]
      Bacterial fouling leads to serious problems in the oil and gas industry. Bacterially-evolved hydrogen sulfide sours petroleum reservoirs, elevating risk and devaluing the product, while bacterial production of iron sulfide creates black powder accumulation, causing pipeline blockages. Microbially-influenced corrosion attacks the whole system, from fracture tank to refinery, and degrades fracture fluid additives. In Barnett Shale operations in Texas, water is typically stored in large ponds which are open to the atmosphere prior to the start of fracturing work, allowing the water to become heavily contaminated with bacteria. In addition, bacteria become established in biofilms near the wellbore during shut-in of the well.
    • [0005]
      The Barnett Shale formation’s low permeability requires the use of large-volume hydraulic fracturing technologies to enhance gas production. Other shale formations, such as the Marcellus in the eastern U.S., also require hydraulic fracturing. In a typical “frac” operation, water is collected in portable tanks or large, purpose-dug ponds from a variety of sources, including water wells pumping from aquifers, chlorinated city water supplies, and ponds, rivers, and lakes. Each of these water sources has some level of innate indigenous bacterial contamination that continues growing during the collection reservoirs’ exposure to the atmosphere.
    • [0006]
      Hydrofracturing (“fracing”) and “water flooding” is heavily dependent on the availability of water, and a typical horizontal “frac” operation requires one to five million gallons of water. The water is pumped into a production well at very high rates (one to over two hundred gallons per minute (gpm). Droughts such as that affecting the Barnett shale operational area have been common over the past several years. During times of drought, water recovered from previous hydro-fracture operations (“flow-back” or “produced” water) is reused, and mixed with “fresh” water in holding ponds or tanks. This reused water introduces elevated bacterial fouling concentrations and solids loadings. Even in times when no drought exists, the universal use of flow-back water in all “frac” operations is utilized to mitigate the expense and environmental harm done in removing and disposing the highly contaminated waste water and is increasingly being required by regulation.
    • [0007]
      To counter bacterial fouling and reservoir souring, chemical biocides, commonly hypochlorite bleach, are applied to the fracture water. The cost of the biocide treatment for a single typical “frac” operation can be as much as $50,000. Additionally, the design of recovery systems with sour service alloys, thicker pipe, and heavier valves leads to increases in capital expense.
    • [0008]
      The scale of the problem is enormous. The Barnett Shale underground natural gas formation extends over 5,000 square miles in north central Texas. A total of 6,519 gas wells with a further 4,051 permitted locations existed as of Aug. 15, 2007. Wells are being drilled within populated areas, such as the Dallas-Fort Worth city limits, where it is vital to minimize risk and environmental impact. The petroleum industry currently spends $2 billion on biocides annually. Broad spectrum biocides require the additional expenditures associated with regulatory compliance. These biocides may remain in the water when it is pumped out of the well, creating waste handling and disposal problems. Understandably, biocide usage in the petroleum industry is facing growing regulatory resistance because of the negative impact on the environment and associated health risks.
    • [0009]
      As well as requiring enormous expenditures, biocides are not sufficiently effective. Any bacteria that are endemic or are introduced into the formation encounter favorable growth temperatures and conditions during the “frac” and flooding operations, as the large volumes of water pumped downhole result in near wellbore cooling. Wells may be shut in following the operation while surface processing equipment and flowlines are installed, leaving time for bacteria to colonize. Once bacteria become established in a well, they develop biofilms that supply a stream of bacterial contamination downstream the well through water tanks, flow lines and disposal facilities. Biofilms protect the bacteria from the chemical biocides and a program of regular, high volume biocide application must be initiated merely to keep the free-swimming bacteria in check and minimize problem bacterial byproducts. Biofilms themselves are impervious to biocides, and can only be mechanically scoured, as with pipeline “pigs”. In addition, there is increasing biocide resistance being observed in hydro-fracture and flood water bacteria.
    • ‘0018…”Within two hours of the addition of a single particle of the classical phage T7 to a laboratory culture of 10 billion Escherichia coli cells, more than 99.9% of the bacteria are destroyed and 10 trillion virus particles are generated. There is, thus, a scientific basis for calling bacteriophages “the only medicine that grows” and, in fact, many of the early myths of curative springs or rivers were grounded in the reality that phages existed in these waters at concentrations capable of curing leprosy or cholera (Hankin, 1896).
    • Second, phages are specific for target (or matching) bacteria, because they generally only bind to the type of bacterium that their adsorption device, or “tail”, recognizes, and that is encoded in their DNA. Thus, phages are harmless to other bacteria and, obviously, to higher organisms.
    • [0019]
      Phages do not infect plants or animals and are, therefore, safe to produce, store, handle and apply. Bacteriophages have been declared “Generally Recognized as Safe” for use in human food.
    • [0020]
      Because bacteriophages reproduce along with the microorganisms that they infect, in the method of this invention, once down-well, they will spread to other bacteria of the same species.
    • [0021]
      The viscosity additives to “frac” and “flood” water are, ironically, food sources for fouling bacteria. Bacterial degradation of the viscosity additives occurs early in the fracture water tanks and in the subsurface, causing premature viscosity drops and fracture closing.

—end patent excerpt—–

But don’t “bank” on the frackers to go through the trouble of phage therapy (bacteria-eaters-origin Greek phagein meaning to eat) for stinky wells…they just like to throw a bunch of chemical biocides down the hole (like gluteraldehyde) and hope for the best.


About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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