Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oil & Gas Boom Impacts Kansas

Despite the efforts of the US Obama administration to shut down the fracking US oil & gas explosion, new hot spots of fossil fuel prosperity continue popping up across the continental US. In this case, it is the flat and placid state of Kansas that is being impacted by the economic tsunami brought by shale oil & gas fracking and horizontal drilling.
Hundreds of workers seeking high-paying jobs are flocking to places like Harper County, which had resorted to paying people to live there because of its declining population. Businesses are coming back from the dead and a housing shortage has caused rents to triple.

Oil companies began exploring Southern Kansas over a year ago, seeing enormous potential in the area now that new technologies like horizontal drilling and fracking have made it possible to tap into the oil-rich Mississippian Limestone formation.

SandRidge Energy, which holds the most horizontal drilling permits in Kansas, estimates there are about 15 billion barrels of recoverable oil in this part of Kansas. The company plans to drill 130 wells in the state by the end of the year -- up from 10 last year. And its wells are hitting oil 100% of the time.

"[The oil companies] aren't hitting any dry spots," said Mike Lanie, economic development director of Harper County. "This is looking like it could be the largest economic impact in the state's history, and for many people in these small towns, this will be a blessing." _CNN_via_CarpeDiem
If the US can eject the suicidal energy starvationists from its highest levels of government, media, and academia, its future -- and that of the global economy at large -- will look much more assured.

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Blogger Whirlwind22 said...

Lets hope the water doesent get poisoned from all of the deadly chemicals used in fracking.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Hell_Is_Like_Newark said...


Just some quick facts:

There are several different media used for hydraulic fracturing. They include nitrogen, water, and natural gas liquids.

Water is most commonly used due to the deep / high density of the layers that are to be fractured in the USA.

The vast majority of the mix is water and silica sand (generally around 95% by mass). The rest of the mix contains chemicals used for biocides (bacteria growth in wells can cause the well bore to plug with biofilm)and friction reducers. The latter allows the sand to slip into the cracks created during the fracturing process, keeping the crack open (and hence the gas and oil flowing). The vast majority of what is used is pretty benign at the quantities found.

There is no potable water found at the depths where this is taking place. Potable water only exists to about 600 ft. Below that, water found will be in the form of brine. Oil was discovered by accident in PA by people who were actually drilling for brine.

It is physically impossible for a heavy brine solution to migrate up into the potable water layers. First, there are numerous other non-fracked layers of rock above the hydrocarbon containing layer. Second, brine is much denser than fresh water. For it to rise, it would have to defy the law of gravity.

The only way for contaminates to get into the drinking water would be from a bad casing job on the riser that goes from the hydrocarbon layer to the surface. This has nothing to do with fracturing. Even so, the frac additives are so small in mass (compared to million of gallons of potable water) they would be diluted to harmlessness. The threat comes from hydrocarbons and brine; both of which are at much higher concentrations.

The various states already have plenty of regulations and enforcement to deal with casing issues.

If you would like to see what chemicals are used in fracturing, they are listed here:

Select PA as it has over 1,400 hydraulically fractured well in operation. You will have plenty to look at.

12:44 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Thanks for the comment, HILN.

The science of fracking is being refined rapidly, in anticipation of possible environmental objections and restrictions from governmental and intergovernmental agencies.

WW22's often cryptic comments generally appear targeted more for effect, rather than for actual give and take conversation, ie, for purposes of learning.

But many readers are interested in the nitty gritty of such important techniques.

3:36 PM  

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