Our City Online

Messageboard - General Columbus Discussion

Natural Gas Drilling / Fracking in Ohio

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Natural Gas Drilling / Fracking in Ohio

This topic contains 734 replies, has 69 voices, and was last updated by  Scioto Tower 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 451 through 465 (of 735 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #426423

    pedex
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    rus said:
    Still, though. I can’t blame a consumer for choosing the lowest cost option even considering market distortions.

    Also, there are technical problems with alt. energy when it comes to base load that have nothing to do with markets or subsidy.

    Given that our energy grid from start to finish wastes about 65% of energy inputs and the fact that energy alternatives including many of the unconventional oil sources have such low leverage that they too can’t survive the current system why assume the grid survives when it is unlikely that it will?

    #426424
    rus
    rus
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    pedex said:
    Given that our energy grid from start to finish wastes about 65% of energy inputs and the fact that energy alternatives including many of the unconventional oil sources have such low leverage that they too can’t survive the current system why assume the grid survives when it is unlikely that it will?

    Sure; if you assume broadcast power is out then maybe a battery bank with windmill / solar makes sense.

    Seems like if broadcast power is out, though, you’re either looking at a remote rural location or expecting motorcycle gangs in assless chaps and goalie masks.

    #426425

    TomOver
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    rus said:
    Sure; if you assume broadcast power is out then maybe a battery bank with windmill / solar makes sense.

    Seems like if broadcast power is out, though, you’re either looking at a remote rural location or expecting motorcycle gangs in assless chaps and goalie masks.

    goldenidea said:
    Ideally, though I’m all for renewables, I’d like to see their proponents spend more time presenting the logical and economic argument for why we should embrace them and less time fighting against fossil fuels. In a free market (we basically have that, right?), the most economically viable energy form captures the majority of the market. I don’t see renewables as being as economically viable, so why aren’t those that are pro-renewables spend more time educating and convincing people like me that we’re wrong and less time spreading disinformation about hydraulic fracturing and waisting time demonstrating against what clearly seems to be the most economically viable energy alternative?

    Ohio is lucky to have oil and gas resources and should do everything possible to develop them.

    I suggest that the occupy people ought to occupy some desks, libraries, and labs and do something useful.

    @ Goldenidea : You’re presenting a false dichotomy between protesting and otherwise bringing badly needed political vibrancy to our public spaces, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, doing research about the issues.

    Some of the people involved with Occupy Columbus do both—research and protest— such as Jason Box who is an OSU Climatologist at the Byrd Polar Research Center who’s been featured on Nova, or Bob Fitrakis who’s won awards for investigative journalism and for excellence in teaching as a professor at Columbus State.

    By the way, the protest was for a moratorium on fracking, not a permanent ban on using natural gas or any other fossil fuels. As for Occupy, there are a variety of people involved such as those who are students and/or unemployed or employed as attorneys, computer programmers, or in other types of work.

    Have you been to any of the Occupy events, or are you just relying on stereotyping and other over-generalizations ?

    As for having a free market, perhaps other users of this forum can chime in with the details, but I suspect–though I am not sure—we have crony capitalism where the biggest players in industries use our government to all but rig the game in their favor. But I’m open to info that contradicts my suspicions.

    As for ‘renewables,’ in the manner of Rus, I prefer to use some other term, so as to more accurately account for energy and resource throughput.

    #426426

    pedex
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    low leverage energy sources to work must be used in situ or on the site or damn close to it that way you avoid waste which you cannot afford

    this makes base load or grid issues non existent and irrelevant

    Making windmill farms which are being done today isn’t a solution at all, it is folly. They are too far from their end users, have no way of balancing load with demand, and by the time the waste involved gets done eating up the little energy you do get in return you are lucky to not have a net loss.

    Too many people think we can just plug and play alternatives into our grid and all will be fine, not the case at all. Low leverage energy requires as little complexity and waste as possible to work. A more holistic approach actually works best. Why not use windmills and integrate them into systems that they work well with and we know can work? Water storage and pumping is a good example. Combine this with building our homes and offices in a far smarter fashion wouldn’t hurt either and at some point it will be unavoidable. It is far better to work with nature rather than use brute force and energy to overcome the forces of nature. We’ve had the technology and know how to do this for a long time.

    #426427
    rus
    rus
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    pedex said:
    low leverage energy sources to work must be used in situ or on the site or damn close to it that way you avoid waste which you cannot afford

    this makes base load or grid issues non existent and irrelevant

    Not exactly. You still need to use energy at times when it’s not being produced. That gets into problems with existing battery designs. Can be mitigated ( DC appliances remove the need for inverters, for instance ) but existing battery technology doesn’t come close to petrochemical energy density.

    #426428

    pedex
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    rus said:
    Not exactly. You still need to use energy at times when it’s not being produced. That gets into problems with existing battery designs. Can be mitigated ( DC appliances remove the need for inverters, for instance ) but existing battery technology doesn’t come close to petrochemical energy density.

    batteries are not the only method of storage

    and the energy return from fossil fuels is declining and will continue to do so

    #426429
    rus
    rus
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    pedex said:
    batteries are not the only method of storage

    and the energy return from fossil fuels is declining and will continue to do so

    Nope. Maybe everyone gets tanks of propane, methane or natural gas. Maybe everyone has their own steam turbine with a corresponding pile of molten salt. Ohhh… or a Mr. Fusion. About as likely for any area with even moderate density.

    As to energy return, seems like petrochem will be around for quite some time. Seems like ever time someone worries about energy being too expensive to extract someone else comes up with a new method of extraction.

    Even if energy return numbers do some day make conventional energy too expensive to extract, that only spurs further research into alternatives ( which is already ongoing ).

    Let me ask you: are you in favor of ending all conventional energy use right this moment? Replace it with what, if anything? What’s your ideal world look like?

    #426430

    Rockmastermike
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    The kindle edition of the dispatch had a really interesting article picked up from the Beacon Journal. but the dispatch did not carry the full article on their website.

    It is available here:

    http://www.ohio.com/news/local/three-years-after-drilling-feds-say-natural-gas-in-medina-county-well-water-is-potentially-explosive-1.255525

    In summary, a quite shallow (3700 ft) gas well drilled in 2008 appears to have been drilled. At the time it was noted by the company that they had trouble cementing the well casing. From the comments supplied to ODNR:

    “Problems in cementing the well casings were recorded in the drilling logs provided to ODNR, indicating the loss of a significant amount of cement somewhere in the drilled formation.”

    It appears that they hit a void space and couldn’t seal the thing correctly and now there is (from the description) formation brine, methane, and (possibly bentonite) cement in some water wells. It is unclear from the article if the leak is occurring in the aquifer supplying the water well or if a new fracture has been opened somehow from the drilled formation up to the aquifer or an existing seepage path has been aggravated. Now it is the predictable battle between the landowner and the driller over whether or not the drilling is responsible for the contamination.

    This article rather effectively demonstrates that potential problems can develop from even run-of-the-mill oil and gas drilling operations if they’re not done correctly. Not just the very deep horizontal fracturing operations that have been discussed previously in this thread.

    It also illustrates my point that the shallower operations, because of the lack of geologic isolation between the drilled formation and the local water table have a demonstrated risk to the water supplies, possibly greater risk because of their widespread nature, than the deep drilling (assuming waste-water disposal is handled safely).

    These problems are not that common, but there are a lot of shallow wells. It’s also noted that the company had previous problems with well sealing:

    Ohio Valley Energy drew headlines in 2007, after a house exploded east of Cleveland in Geauga County.

    A casing failure on a well resulted in explosive methane gas migrating through the aquifer and into drinking water wells. One house exploded and 19 others were evacuated. The company said the problem was caused by a construction error.

    Now, a little farther in the article…

    Mangan said he wished he had evidence of the water quality from his 245-foot-deep well before the 2008 drilling, but he had never seen the need for such testing.

    I suggested such pre-drilling testing as a requirement back in the early pages of this thread. This is not a new problem. I still strongly encourage people that, rather than protesting the very existence of ‘fracking’, instead lobby for this very simple and inexpensive protection to be provided or at least offered to nearby well owners within some specified distance prior to a drilling permit to be issued.

    Now because there was no pre-drilling testing there has been a lot of time and energy spent finger pointing that could have been better spent actually addressing the problem.

    So… After some wrangling over finding the source of contamination…

    In October 2009, the state agency [ODNR] reported that a new source of contamination had been discovered: an abandoned well nearby.

    The state had put a video camera down the Mangans’ water well and discovered evidence of a natural gas well on a neighbor’s property leaking into the Mangans’ aquifer, state spokesman Tom Tomastik said in a letter.

    No action has been taken to reseal that well, sealed once in 1966, because the landowner refused to grant permission, officials said.

    Meanwhile, authorities said there may be another source of gas infiltrating the Mangans’ water supply at a depth of 196 feet, but it has not been identified.

    So the situation is actually more more complex. Would pre-drilling testing have shown contamination in the well? That older well (drilled before anyone heard the word “environmental regulation”) has perhaps been leaking since the 1960s.

    At this point because no timely water testing was done it’s a game of catch-up to figure out what the deal is. I would say given the information here, that there’s probably a number of things going on here and it’s not just a simple case. Have fractures propagated from the more recent drilling operation aggravated an already existing problem? Its really hard to say at this point.

    And what is the “other source of gas” infiltrating the aquifer? That’s a really good question.

    These are things that pre-drilling testing can turn up. It provides protection both for well owners and for drillers.

    The article also notes that at this point the Health and fire departments are now involved:

    The healthy[sic] agency intends to work with the Department of Natural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health to address the problem.

    Those steps include:

    • Getting Natural Resources to immediately seal an older, abandoned natural gas well that also appears to be contributing to the problem.

    • Working with the Ohio Department of Health and local health agencies to vent wellheads and enclosed space in the homes where water is used.

    •Encouraging Natural Resources or the drillers to conduct gas tests in the two houses when water is in use, such as shower and laundry times.

    • Conducting additional water testing at the two houses and a house near the older leaking well, and surveying other nearby homes.

    The health agency said it intends to meet with Ohio agency officials soon to discuss the findings that were released to the Mangans and Boggses last week.

    Said U.S. EPA spokesman Jeffrey McDonald in an email: “We think their [Natural Resource’s] continued attention to this issue is still needed.”

    Well, yeah, obviously.

    So what is the real take away from this? Here’s my list:

    Cementing standards and quality control for oil/gas wells need to be addressed by regulators both at the state and federal levels. Cementing is also said to be the cause of the deep water horizon blowout and is likely contributing to the problems cited in this story. Also proper well abandonment and sealing, but that’s another HUGE ongoing problem for another time.

    Shallow, “run-of-the-mill” oil and gas drilling is just as potentially damaging as the hot-button large scale horizontal shale fracturing of the Utica and Marsallis formations. But, IMO, in Ohio the shallow production actually presents a greater overall risk to water supplies because of the greater geological barriers offered by those deeper formations to protect water supplies and simply because of the far greater number of shallower wells. There are thousands of these scattered all over Ohio. I’m not sure if there are any counties that do not have at least a few.

    It also underscores my point about the importance of pre-drilling/mining water testing. Its not expensive (dirt cheap compared to the cost of putting a well into production), so lets just finally start mandating that it at least be offered. It’s not a magic bullet, but it’s a start to providing some legal protections (and health protection) for well owners and also would serve to protect drillers who face possible very expensive liability.

    People who are concerned about their well water quality should go ahead and get it done now if they want, it’s not prohibitively expensive. People should be testing their wells periodically anyway, there’s all kinds of things that can happen to a water well.

    IMO, short of cutting off all domestic production of oil, gas, and coal (not mentioned in the article, but its a HUGE ongoing source of water pollution) these problems have been around for a long long time and will continue in the foreseeable future.

    Also, IMO, cutting off domestic oil/gas/coal production is the worst form of hypocrisy while we’re still using the stuff, as a ban simply shifts the environmental cost of our use to other places with little regulation. That would only lead to even greater environmental damage and greater human suffering in those places that have been allowed by their governments to be devastated to provide export resources at a profit to some in those countries while failing to protect or compensate others for damage in anywhere close to a fair way. At least if it’s here we can keep an eye on it and make sure people are fairly compensated for damages.

    #426431

    TomOver
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    TomOver said:
    CORRECTION : Bill Baker is the person in the photo above, not Howard Markert. Here is the correct photo–below— for Markert.

    Howard Markert, Green Party candidate for Mahoning County Commissioner

    Actually, the original photo was the correct one. It’s not me making these mistakes. It’s the fracked up water I’ve been drinking, not to mention all those pesticides during my gestation.

    #426432

    pilsner
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    @Rockmaster… is it public knowledge in most other countries what the chemical mixture used to frack is? Didn’t Dick Cheney push through the Halliburton Loophole through Congress which allowed frackers to keep the chemical mixture secret?

    I heard journalist Greg Palast say that CO2 could be used to frack out oil and gas. CO2 would be obviously not as effecient but I wonder how much less efficient? Pumping CO2 miles underground might be a good way to store it and get some oil and gas in return.

    #426433
    News
    News
    Keymaster
    Login to Send PM

    Kasich seeks taxes on oil, gas drilling
    By Dan Gearino and Joe Vardon
    Wednesday January 18, 2012 6:34 AM

    Ohio’s oil and gas industry would pay an “impact fee” for deep-shale wells to cover the cost of infrastructure damage caused by oil and gas extraction, part of a package of taxes and fees for the industry that Gov. John Kasich soon will propose. Kasich confirmed his intentions to The Dispatch yesterday and said he has maintained contact with industry leaders regarding his plans.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2012/01/18/kasich-to-propose-fee-tax-on-oil-gas-industry.html

    #426434
    gramarye
    gramarye
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    pedex said:
    batteries are not the only method of storage

    and the energy return from fossil fuels is declining and will continue to do so

    These are both true but are not arguments against fracking or any other form of conventional energy exploration. They are simply statements that we should not rely on them to be around forever. They are not statements that imply that we should not rely on them while they are around.

    #426435
    gramarye
    gramarye
    Participant
    Login to Send PM

    pedex said:
    Given that our energy grid from start to finish wastes about 65% of energy inputs and the fact that energy alternatives including many of the unconventional oil sources have such low leverage that they too can’t survive the current system why assume the grid survives when it is unlikely that it will?

    The grid may not survive in its current form, but it may well survive in modified form rather than being scrapped entirely. For example, in another generation (at the current rate of progress in solar technology), we might well have widespread distributed power generation via rooftop solar (and backyard solar in the suburbs, perhaps) as a matter of course across much of our developed landscape, generating power much closer to the source of its consumption. However, there would still be a need for the grid, adapted to distribute that power locally, because some users will still use more than their existing solar installations could handle.

    #426436
    News
    News
    Keymaster
    Login to Send PM

    Ohioans see jobs potential in fracking, poll finds, but still want moratorium
    Business First by Jeff Bell, Staff reporter
    Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 11:31am EST

    Ohioans want some answers about the safety of hydro-fracking drilling for oil and natural gas before they get on the shale gas bandwagon in the state. A new poll by Quinnipiac University found nearly three out of four Ohio voters want fracking stopped until more studies are done on its impact.

    READ MORE: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2012/01/19/ohioans-see-jobs-potential-in.html

    #426437
    News
    News
    Keymaster
    Login to Send PM

    Injection-brine wells limited in Ohio to 8,000 feet
    Published: Tue, January 17, 2012 @ 10:24 a.m.

    YOUNGSTOWN — Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources havedecided to limit brine-injection wells to a maximum 8,000 feet deep. The decision was made in the wake of 11 Mahoning Valley earthquakes. ODNR is investigation whether a nearby injection well triggered the seismic activity.

    READ MORE: http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/jan/17/injection-brine-wells-limited-ohio-8000-feet/

Viewing 15 posts - 451 through 465 (of 735 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost your password?