Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Study links fracking with methane-contaminated drinking water (+2video RT)

Household drinking water that comes from wells near known fracking sites contains levels of methane six times greater than what’s common elsewhere, a new study has found.
Researchers at Duke University sampled drinking water from 141 wells across northeastern Pennsylvania and southern New York and determined that the concentration of methane, the main component of natural gas, is much higher when those wells are within one kilometer of a hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” sites.
Fracking is a method of drilling deep into the Earth in order to extract natural gas and has seen an emergence in recent years as an increasingly popular process used by energy companies. That spread in popularity is not without opposition from environmentalists and activists, however, who fear fracking has detrimental effects on the Earth.

According to the latest study, researchers have linked fracking sites with methane contamination several times over what is seen elsewhere. The scientists say that those high levels aren’t a direct result of the drilling, though, but caused in part by poor well construction that has allowed the water to become contaminated.
"It is looking like we are seeing a problem with well construction in some places and not others," wrote the study’s main author, Robert Jackson.
"Poor casing and cementing problems are the simplest explanation of what we found,” he said, but declined to single out well construction as the exclusive cause of the contamination.
"We need to understand why, in some cases, shale gas extraction contaminates groundwater and how to keep it from happening elsewhere," the researchers wrote.
Jackson and his crew determined that 82 percent of the 141 water wells tested had elevated levels of methane, with other additives appearing in unusually high numbers as well. In addition to finding methane concentrations at around six times the usual level, Jackson also found ethane concentrations 23 times higher in drinking water at homes near fracking sites. In ten of the sites located within one kilometer of a drilling, propane was detected in 10 separate water samples.
The methane, ethane and propane data, and new evidence from hydrocarbon and helium isotopes, all suggest that drilling has affected some homeowners’ water,” Jackson wrote.
Steve Everley, a spokesman for Energy in Depth, told the Wall Street Journal that Jackon’s study "is not a smoking gun to say that gas drilling is a problem."
"There is methane concentration near gas wells, but there is also methane concentrations in areas where there is no gas drilling," he said. Energy in Depth, wrote the Journal, is funded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Jackson’s peer-reviewed study appeared in this week’s edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 http://rt.com
26/6/13
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Related:


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1. http://youtu.be/YWMsHW4SMCY  (A Fracking joke)

2. http://youtu.be/1HkIVWSR8K0?t=3s {Contaminated Water blamed on Natural Gas Drillingthe wrong way! (Part 1)}

 

5 comments:

  1. Department of Energy study claims fracking is safe, contradicting previous findings...

    Preliminary results from a study funded by the US Department of Energy demonstrate that hydraulic fracturing has no effect on drinking water – results that contradict numerous other reports that prove the opposite.

    For the past year, researchers at the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have monitored a fracking site in western Pennsylvania, southwest of Pittsburgh. They allegedly found no evidence that the chemical-laced fluids injected into the ground made their way to the surface, the Associated Press reports.

    These fluids were injected into wellbores more than 8,000 feet below the surface and were not detected above 3,000 feet. The chemical-laced fluids, whose potential health effects are hotly debated, thereby kept a considerable distance from aquifers that provide drinking water.

    The study was the first time that a drilling company allowed federal researchers to inject tracers into the fracking fluid to see if it spreads. Drilling advocates are likely to hail the study as proof of the procedure’s safety, but it contradicts numerous other studies that have demonstrated the opposite......http://rt.com/usa/study-claims-fracking-safe-324/
    19/7/13

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  2. Fracking Großbritannien will Vorreiter in Gasförderung werden....

    Die Regierung in London kündigt einen Niedrigsteuersatz von 30 Prozent für die neue Art der Fördertechnik an. Bei anderen Öl- und Gasfeldern in der Nordsee liegt der Satz deutlich höher. Trotzdem bleibt Fracking auch auf der Insel umstritten.

    Großbritannien will in Europa zum Vorreiter bei der Ausbeutung von Schiefergas-Vorkommen mit der umstrittenen Fracking-Methode werden. Um Investoren aus der Energiebranche anzulocken, werde die Regierung in London „das großzügigste Steuerregime der Welt“ für die Förderung von Schiefergas schaffen, kündigte Finanzminister George Osborne am Freitag an. Unternehmensgewinne aus der Schiefergasförderung sollen mit nur 30 Prozent besteuert werden, während der britische Staat bei den meisten Öl- und Gasfeldern in der Nordsee 62 Prozent kassiert. „Ich will, dass Großbritannien bei der Schiefergas-Revolution vorne mit dabei ist, weil sie das Potential hat Tausende von Arbeitsplätzen zu schaffen und die Energiekosten von Millionen von Menschen niedrig zu halten“, sagte Osborne.

    Geologen vermuten, dass allein Schiefergasvorkommen in Nordengland den Bedarf Großbritanniens auf mehrere Jahrzehnte hinaus decken könnten. Für verlässliche Prognosen sind aber Hunderte von Fracking-Probebohrungen nötig. Wie in vielen Ländern ist die Schiefergasförderung auch in Großbritannien hoch umstritten: Beim Fracking wird Gestein mit einer Mischung aus Wasser, Sand und Chemikalien aufgeprengt („gefrackt“), damit das Erdgas abfließen kann. Das Gemisch wird dabei mit hohem Druck und in großen Mengen in den Boden gepresst. Gegner warnen vor einer Vergiftung des Grundwassers durch Chemikalien. Die Regierung hält die Befürchtungen für übertrieben und setzt auf finanzielle Anreize: Gemeinden, auf deren Grund gebohrt wird, sollen eine Prämie von 100.000 Pfund (rund 120.000 Euro) erhalten und 1 Prozent der Erlöse erhalten.
    Große Lärmbelästigung für Anwohner

    Mit der Unterstützung für das Fracking setzen sich die Briten von anderen Ländern in Europa ab. In Deutschland wollen die Unternehmen Exxon-Mobil, Shell und Wintershall nach Schiefergas bohren. Aber die Bundesregierung hat einen Gesetzentwurf, der die Erdgasförderung in Deutschland neu regeln soll, zumindest bis zur Bundestagswahl im September auf Eis gelegt. Die Regierungen in Frankreich und Bulgarien haben Fracking-Verbote erlassen. Auch in den Niederlanden ist das Fracking stark umstritten. Rumänien hob dagegen ein zwischenzeitliches Moratorium auf. Polen und die Ukraine forcieren die Schiefergas-Förderung ebenfalls.

    In Großbritannien konzentriert sich Schiefergas-Suche bisher auf die Grafschaft Lancashire im Nordostengland. Vor zwei Jahren hat das Fracking dort zu einem kleineren Erdbeben geführt, woraufhin die Behörden vorerst keine neuen Genehmigungen mehr erteilt haben. Bei der Schiefergasförderung sind sehr viel mehr Bohrungen nötig als bei konventionellen Fördermethoden.
    http://www.faz.net/frankfurter-allgemeine-zeitung/fracking-grossbritannien-will-vorreiter-in-gasfoerderung-werden-12288327.html
    19/7/13

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  3. Exploratory fracking tests outside London kick off despite protests...

    The energy company Cuadrilla has begun test drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex, some 40 miles from London. Anti-fracking protests at the site entering their ninth day managed to delay the project.

    A 78-feet rig has been erected on the site and the drill is expected to take weeks to reach its target depth of around 3,000 feet. The drilling waste will then be washed out with an acid solution and then a sensor will be sent down to explore for oil and gas.

    “Cuadrilla can confirm that it has commenced test drilling at the Balcome site. We have full planning and regulatory approval for this work from the department for Enregy and Climate Change, West Sussex County Council, the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive,” a spokesman told the Telegraph on Friday.

    If Cuadrilla finds oil and gas then fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, will begin. Locals and campaigners fear that it will pollute the table water and destroy the local environment.

    “We are horrified. The village is gobsmacked. We feel bullied by the oil and gas industry and government at all levels from parish council right up to cabinet office,” said Kathryn McWhirter, a Balcombe resident.

    More than 30 people have been arrested since last Friday, mainly for allegedly stopping the delivery of equipment. A tent camp has been erected at the place as the protest continues.

    But Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, insists that Fracking is safe and that it will not pose a threat to people’s drinking water.

    “[We have] no intention of ruining the countryside and won’t ruin the countryside,” he said earlier this week.

    Egan has said that significant amounts of cheap oil and gas could be made available through fracking, a view endorsed by many Tory members of the government, including the chancellor George Osbourne. Some members of the UK government are hoping to emulate the fracking revolution in the US, which has led to a surge in domestic oil and gas production.

    Earlier this week the former energy advisor, Lord Howell, sparked uproar by saying that fracking could be carried out in the “desolate” north east of England without impacting the surrounding environment. The Tory peer then dug himself further into a hole by trying to clarify his comments and saying that in fact he meant “unloved” areas of the country like Lancashire in the North West.

    Downing Street said on Tuesday that Lord Howell did not speak for the government, but Nick Clegg the deputy Prime Minster urged him to be quiet and said that the conservatives were getting “over excited” about the potential benefits of fracking.
    http://rt.com/news/exploratory-fracking-uk-protests-957/
    2/8/13

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  4. Balcombe fracking protests continue after oil drilling starts...

    A protest against oil exploration in a West Sussex village has entered its 10th day - a day after energy company Cuadrilla began drilling at the site.

    Operations began in Balcombe on Friday, after being held up by more than a week of demonstrations.

    Campaigners fear the test drilling could lead to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

    A number of arrests have been made as protesters have gathered outside, with some blocking entry to the site.

    On Friday, two protesters were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police.

    Sussex Police said an officer was punched and kicked by a woman who claimed she was 14, but turned out to be a 19-year-old from Portsmouth.
    Fire engine

    A 22-year-old man from Bexhill was also arrested after a police officer was hit in the face with a placard, officers claimed.

    Six people were arrested on Thursday after protesters blocked the site entrance with an antique fire engine.

    Cuadrilla said drilling started at 11:15 BST on Friday. Spokesman Matt Lambert said: "We have had a significant amount of disruption from protesters and the police have been dealing with that in the proper way.

    "They have a perfect right to make their point of view known."....http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-23558267
    3/8/13

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  5. Fracking should get public support, says David Cameron...

    he whole of the country must "get behind fracking", which ought to get "real public support" once its benefits are explained, David Cameron has said.

    Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said he wanted all of the UK to benefit from shale gas drilling - "north or south".

    The prime minister moved to allay concerns about the technique, insisting it was safe if properly regulated.

    Environmentalists fear it can cause small earth tremors, water contamination and environmental damage.

    Fracking - short for "hydraulic fracturing" - involves drilling deep underground and releasing a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to crack rocks and release gas stored inside.....http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23662583
    12/8/13

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