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Guest Post: The “Fracking” Revolution Comes to China

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Elliot Brennan of The Diplomat,

As shale gas fever sweeps through Beijing, analysts are looking at the costs and benefits of extracting what is increasingly a controversial source of energy. But for China, with its growing middle class, the immediate and long-term demand for energy has the potential to spark a revolution in shale gas before sufficient and safe technological know-how and regulations are developed.

A very vocal debate continues to rage in the U.S. and Europe as to the environmental consequences of shale gas extraction. Meanwhile, China’s National Oil Companies (NOCs) continue to purchase and buy into North American oil and gas companies with specific expertise in shale gas extraction. For better or worse, China’s shale gas revolution looks set to be thrust into the public spotlight, both at home and abroad.

Extracting shale gas is tricky. Shale, a sedimentary rock that is typically highly porous and has low permeability, traps hydrocarbons as it is formed. To remove the gas, shale formations must be stimulated, most commonly using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The technique involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into the shale formation, cracking the rock and allowing the gas to be released to the surface. The 1 to 3 million gallons of water that are pumped into the shale formation must then either be recycled or pumped into water disposal wells in subsurface rock formations.

In addition to these skill-intensive practices, the extraction process also demands three-dimensional seismic surveying, which evaluates potential subsurface resources, and horizontal drillingtechnology. Both demand expertise and experience, yet the capability of most companies outside of North America, including China’s National Oil Companies (NOCs), to safely and effectively perform such high-tech extraction is limited.

The emergence of shale gas is a game changer. Countries that have traditionally relied on hydrocarbon exports for political clout (the Persian Gulf, Russia, Venezuela) will inevitably lose some of their petro power. Europe could become less energy dependent on Russian supply by importing liquid natural gas (LNG) from North America and by exploiting the potentially significant shale gas deposits in Poland and other countries. Australia, which has significant deposits and much of the pre-existing infrastructure to begin extraction, could see its clout in the energy politics of the region increase– forcing a significant redraft of Canberra’s “Australia in the Asian Century” White Paper.

In effect, the “shale revolution” signals the end of the peak oil debate. New technology means new resources, which in turn could mean a new geopolitical map. However the mere presence of the resources doesn’t mean that their extraction in the short-term is viable, a problem China knows all too well.

China’s oil fields are drying up. The International Energy Agency’s (IAE) World Energy Outlook for 2010predicts China will import 79% of its oil by 2030, a figure that demonstrates the pressing need for China to develop new energy sources. Enter shale gas and the “unconventionals.”

Estimates of China’s shale gas resources differ. China’s Ministry of Land and Resources estimates reserves of 886 trillion cubic feet (tcf), while the U.S. Energy Information Administration puts the country’s resources at 1,275 tcf. The upper estimates would mean China sits atop more shale gas than the U.S. and Canada combined. According to China’s 12th Five-Year Plan, by 2015 China should be extracting 6.5 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year, with a view of producing 100 billion cubic meters by 2020. China’s goal is to meet 10 percent of the country’s energy demands from shale gas the same year. To successfully meet the goal, China’s oil and gas industry needs to bridge its large knowledge deficit. Despite some progress, recent successes in domestic extraction technology have been modest.

Under the Shale Gas Development Plan for 2011-2015, shale gas has been labeled by the Ministry of Land and Resources as a separate mineral from conventional hydrocarbons. This move frees shale resources from the clutches of “the big three;” Chinese state-owned majors – China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) – allowing Beijing to redistribute exploration contracts. Importantly, the move encourages competition among state-owned majors, local enterprises and foreign companies.

China’s NOCs, while not state-run, benefit from state financing. Their capital flows during the global downturn in 2008 gave them the flexibility to expand globally. For China’s NOCs, establishing partnerships with other international oil companies allows them to diversify risks and gain technical know-how through the supply chain.

At home and abroad China is making waves. The opening of a recent tender to foreign companies demonstrates the extent to which the often go-it-alone Chinese Communist Party feels it needs to secure a rapid and successful energy boom. Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum are alljointly surveying the key provinces of Sichuan and Guizhou with local companies. As part of the new tender, other joint ventures are expected to follow.

Flush with state financing, China’s NOCs have in recent years begun buying up stakes in North American energy companies and their subsidiaries. Some of their recent buy-ins have been the purchase of Nexen and a stake in Devon Energy Corp, one of the founders of shale gas extraction. Such purchases allow China’s NOCs to absorb expertise. While this in itself isn’t enough to meet their energy needs, it is a step toward building capacity for China’s NOCs in shale gas exploration and extraction.

China’s NOCs have been known to employ a “market-for-resources strategy,” whereby access to China’s market is granted to a resource holder in exchange for imports of resources from that country. This now looks to be morphing into a “market-for-know-how strategy.” In the early stages of coal bed methane exploration in China, foreign groups contributed 70 percent of the funding. With already significant foreign involvement, the shale gas industry looks set to emulate this model.

However, the all-important extraction process of shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, just as its name suggests, needs water – and large amounts of it. So while shale could provide energy, it will require large volumes of water that will be costly both to consume and to recycle. Water scarcity remains a key concern for the Chinese government, while water pollution is an increasing worry for the Chinese public. One recent report noted that already “up to 40 percent of China’s rivers were seriously polluted” and “20 percent were so polluted their water quality was rated too toxic even to come into contact with.”

Experts warn that China will face growing water shortages in coming years. Water-intensive industries such as mining are competing for increasingly scarce water sources. Low rainfall in the northwest of the country, where much of the shale is believed to be, means these areas will have to rely on limited and finite groundwater. In the face of these shortages, China established a special 25 million USD fund for a cloud seeding program in 2012 to operate in “areas prone to drought and haze.” Water can be transported into China’s northwest via pipeline but that would be costly and require significant new infrastructure, such as desalination plants and pipelines that would likely need to stretch across the country for thousands of kilometers – a similar feat to the 4,200 km Xijiang to Shanghai gas pipeline.

Shale gas has approximately half the carbon content of coal. For China, the replacement of coal for gas in power generation could reduce emissions and pollution.  It would kill two birds with one big stone, as criticism grows over the country’s pollution levels both in air and water. However, some warn that shale gas may also reduce investment in renewable energy sources.

In the U.S., environmental concerns dominate the debate. Public concern over water contamination and the release of harmful gases during shale gas extraction are gaining increasing media attention. This has been exacerbated by claims that research commissioned by industry-friendly lobby groups in the U.S., such as the American Petroleum Institute and the American Natural Gas Alliance, have muddied the water on the environmental impact of shale gas extraction. However, according to an IAE report, Golden Rules for a Golden Age of Gas, the environmental risks inherent in the process can be easily mitigated. The report outlines the “golden rules” required to address the environmental and social impact of developments in unconventional gas. It predicts that major risks can be decreased and safety improved if the cost of drilling and completing of a shale gas well is increased by 7 percent.

A dozen or more chemicals may be added to the water and sand pumped into a shale-gas well, including radioactive tracers that help assess the formation and relevant fractures. While these tracers are strictly monitored under guidelines handed down by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the U.S., in China the regulations may be less stringent. In addition, other radioactive material may be dislodged in the fracking process and may have to be disposed of from flowback water.

If strict regulations are not in place to seal the well from leaching, aquifers and ground water may become contaminated by run-off chemicals, methane or radioactive minerals displaced in the process. A 2011 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report suggests that fracking may have resulted in the contamination of ground water.

Recent and successful protests in China to stop the construction of a chemical plant in Ningbo demonstrate growing public concern about some government-backed developments. The October 2012 protests followed other victories to stop the construction of petrochemical plants in Xiamen and Dalian. In Dalian, some 10,000 protesters took to the streets. With a growing middle-class, increasing internet and social media access, and more public involvement and activism in key local concerns, the government and local authorities will likely have to be accommodating of public displeasure in order to maintain stability as China grows. A Tiananmen-style alternative appears unlikely as it could backfire, both at home and abroad.

If the current hype proves correct and gas prices remain strong, China’s shale gas could be just the energy boom that Beijing seeks. It could allow China to meet its ambitious growth targets. As many commentators have suggested, however, shale gas may prove less of a blessing and more of a “resource curse,” spelling environmental disaster and nationwide instability. Either way, as Sino-American partnerships are forged and shale gas extraction in China ventures into unchartered waters, one thing is certain: The world will be watching.

 


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Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:13 | Link to Comment markmotive
markmotive's picture

Fracking is a low EROEI source of oil. Short boom followed by bust.

Nothing to see here.

http://www.planbeconomics.com/2013/03/peak-oil-new-boom-bust-cycle-and-g...

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:22 | Link to Comment MSimon
MSimon's picture

Depends on where the energy comes from. If it is a fraction of the energy recovered. It doesn't matter. If you have to get the energy from elsewhere it matters. It all depends on prices. EROI is just another Maltusian trick. Net energy and price are all that counts.

 

Unless you believe in CO2 doom - after 17 years of static temps with rising CO2 according to the head of the IPCC.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:11 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

 

 

Actually it is EROEI. Energy returned on energy invested.

And that puppy has been an ongoing diminishing ratio.

Until further notice, the energy used is measured (and done by) barrels of oil. Maybe in some places it can be Natty Gas. But that will be very regional.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 04:22 | Link to Comment dubbleoj
dubbleoj's picture

msimon, if you havent noticed, net energy is going down while price keeps going up. kind of a problem dont you think?

is this author retarded? he calls the peak oil discussion over and links a paper that doubts the long-term viability of the "shale revolution" in the same sentence

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 11:51 | Link to Comment simon.dc3
simon.dc3's picture

EROEI is an inherint equation all organisms must contend with; done by the lowliest amoeba, yeast in a vat, AND civilization-scale organisms.

Read the works by Dr Charles A. S. Hall at New York University Syracuse, the researcher who conceptualized EROI.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:26 | Link to Comment merizobeach
merizobeach's picture

The US Army and the USGS independently concluded that fracking can cause earthquakes.  Or are there fault lines in Oklahoma?

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:49 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Yes - in fact a huge number. The very minor seismic activity caused by fracking is due the lubrication of those fault planes - and the energy release from the faults means there is LESS likely to be major seismic activity at some point in the future.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 07:40 | Link to Comment thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

And so do dams, specially major ones, with huge reservoirs, which can affect nearby fault lines.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 20:57 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Oh, we flick flack Mr. Barack. xie xie ni.

 

Executive Order -- Supporting Safe and Responsible Development of Unconventional Domestic Natural Gas Resources| April 13, 2012

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/13/executive-order-supporting-safe-and-responsible-development-unconvention

 

H.R. 1337 (111th): America’s Energy Security Trust Fund Act of 2009

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr1337/text

 

In summary, there were nearly 70 different types of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, but their volume cannot be aggregated because they use different units of measure. For example, the volumes of the four most valuable of these minerals--oil, gas, natural gas liquids, and coal--are measured in barrels, million cubic feet (mcf), gallons, and tons, respectively. According to ONRR data, the total value of all leasable minerals extracted from federal and Indian land and sold in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $92.3 billion and $98.6 billion, respectively.

 

The resulting revenue to the federal government from mineral leasing activity on federal and Indian land in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $11.3 billion and $11.4 billion, respectively. Of this amount, oil, gas, and natural gas liquids accounted for the majority of the revenue--$10.1 billion in each fiscal year. The bulk of this revenue comes from royalties, which accounted for 92.8 percent of total revenue in 2011.

 

The mechanisms used to calculate the three types of leasable mineral revenue--bonus bids, rents, and royalties--vary widely. For example, for oil and gas leases, bonus bids--up-front payments to obtain a lease--are determined by a competitive bidding process, with leases going to the highest bidder. Prior to the competitive bidding, Interior sets a minimum acceptable bonus bid for each offshore parcel and a minimum per acre bid amount for each onshore parcel offered for lease. Rent is charged annually for a lease until production begins or the lease is terminated or relinquished. Royalty rates depend on the mineral and are generally calculated based on a proportion of sales value, less allowable deductions, such as transportation and processing allowances.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-45R

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 01:40 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

Excuse please, does it say anything in this document about the radioactive chemicals they put into the fracking sludge, or how that eventually ends up in the finished product that is then burned in heating fuels inside peoples homes resulting in radiation released in gaseous form? Or, how does the radioactive fuel usages indoors effect human beings over a long course of time? Hummmmm....

http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/node/2947

Our water has long been fracked for several years. Once was a good water well, now it's a hot pit of smelly stenchy frack!

http://www.fairwarning.org/2011/02/water-supplies-endangered-by-radioact...

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 20:57 | Link to Comment machineh
machineh's picture

In effect, the “shale revolution” signals the end of the peak oil debate. 

If not the end, at least a postponement till mid-century.

Bad news for some of the more vociferous tub-thumpers.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:34 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I don't think you have much knowledge about this matter. 

Cruise on over to the North Dakota Industrial commission section of the .gov website and have a look at Bakken output in 2 of the last 3 months.

 

BTW:

"Shale gas has approximately half the carbon content of coal."

I hope folks here with a physics background understand that sentence to be completely empty.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:58 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

I hope folks here with a physics background understand that sentence to be completely empty

I hope folks here with a chemistry background can disabuse of your ignorance. Shale gas is CH4 - meaning the energy release is purely a function of the oxidation of a single carbon to produce energy plus one molecule of CO2 and 2 molecules of H2O. Coal is a chaotic mix of extremely long chain hydrocarbon molecules and a vast array of contaminants. Burning coal requires MUCH higher activation energy (more energy to create the reaction) and produces a vastly higher amount of CO2 and other contaminants to deliver the same net energy.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:38 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

And the physics folks will then arrive, examine your text, and note that you did not support in the least the claim of the explicit and precise number 1/2. 

The problem with the sentence is quantity, hence empty.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 00:20 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

Hey Crash, what are your views on Japan extracting Methane (Hydrate or Clathrate)?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21752441

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 06:52 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I'll take that one...

Unlikely to ever happen on a commercial scale...

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:09 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

I do not believe "approximately" means "expicit and precise" as you seem to be trying to suggest. I also would not interpret the appeal to physics to deliver a verdict of "completely emtpy" to indicate a minor concern with the accuracy of the calculation.

The crawfishin ain't workin

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:51 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Peak oil was never about "running out of oil". Peak oil is about running out of CHEAP oil.........and unconventional oil is most certainly NOT cheap.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 07:05 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

No, peak oil was always about the maximum rate of extraction...

The price of oil will only influence the shape the of curve, not the asymptotes....

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 06:56 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Are you yet another person that does not grasp the difference between Q and dQ/dt?

It is not about the resource base, it is all about the rate of extraction...

 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 20:59 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

Fracking has been used for decades.  Horizontal drilling is what is new.  And even that is not very new.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 20:59 | Link to Comment zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Shale oil is a scam to make Americans feel Okay with higher gasoline prices because soon the

U.S. will have so much oil it will become a net exporter. Bull.... shale oil is expensive to extract and as

we are rapidly learning, wells dry up very fast and new ones have to be drilled often at great expense.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:22 | Link to Comment earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

http://www.rnp.org/node/wave-tidal-energy-technology

desalination paid for, and pumping station no big problem considering china's geography

win, win

note: 2007 data... so were already half way there [graphine/ polymers, etc., etc.

jmo

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:00 | Link to Comment eaglerock
eaglerock's picture

Elliot- I don't think you ever answered the question of where China gets the necessary water supplies to frack.  Desalinating water from the ocean and piping it across the country doesn't seem to make for a profitable enterprise.  More energy to extract than you get from the gas itself.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:14 | Link to Comment MSimon
MSimon's picture

The water can be recycled. If China wants to go to the expense.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:50 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

They're gonna have to make sure they filter all those dead pigs out of the water first.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 00:22 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

"I don't think you ever answered the question of where China gets the necessary water supplies to frack. "

Alternative methods are in developement and show promise, such as using propane gel instead of water, in much lower quantities. We'll see soon enough if any of these solutions work real-world.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:11 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

"The Oil is a Lie"

May I suggest "The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels"Indeed I thought it would be a bunch of propaganda, while it is actually rather well researched.  The book is hated because of the assertion that oil is a chemical process of the planet rather than dead plants and animals.

Here are a few of the really easy to understand claims:

1) No chemist has managed to squish dead plants and animals into oil.

2) Chemists have been able to duplicate the chemical process asserted in the book in the lab

3) The prime components of oil exist on asteroids, moons, and other planets without the slightest trace of dead animals and plants.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:38 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Every so often I do this here.

It doesn't matter how oil forms.  How's that for specific?  Abiotic.  Biotic.  Extraterrestrial.  Via incantation.  Via excrement.  It doesn't matter.

What matters is 100 years of drilling has taught where to find it.  There are specific gravimeter signatures in 3D seismic imagery that identifies rock folding underground that will have the **containment* (aka caprock) required to keep oil from migrating away when it has 80 million years to do so.

Over the past 100 years, 10s of thousands of dry holes have been drilled in places where such imagery (had it existed then) could have told the drillers they were wasting their time. 

So, repeat after me, it doesn't matter what its source is.  It only matters where you can find it, and those rock formations are getting damned scarce.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:01 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

3D seismic doesn't have a damn thing to do with gravimeters. The exploration you describe is what is known as "conventional" exploration and is as you say getting scarce. The hydrocarbon sources being discussed here are what are known as "unconventional" because the hydrocarbons have not in fact migrated anywhere. They are still trapped within the rock in which they formed. It is quite clear where to find them. They are expensive to extract.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:05 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Oops - I should have also noted that sniblitz is an idiot.

"The Oil is a Lie" is a freaking joke and those who are taken in thereby don't have a clue how to think analytically. Lot's of those here on ZeroHedge tho so I suspect he's quite the hero. The biggest proof that it is a joke is the unconventional production that we're discussing. It only works if the traditional view of petroleum sourcing is accurate, no way can deep mantle hydrocarbons MIGRATE into rocks as dense as these.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:46 | Link to Comment Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

And petrochemicals have been detected floating throughout space without even a planet to hold onto.

If one were to think about it too much, one might conclude that it's been sitting here with all the rest of the earth resources since the planet formed, moving under and over the land along with plate tectonics. Kind of like it apparently was, and still is, on Saturn's moon Titan.

But thinking about something too much always causes trouble. Especially if it challenges the universal truths we learned when we were 10 years old.

 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:24 | Link to Comment Joe moneybags
Joe moneybags's picture

Dr. Sandi, what's the density of those petrochemicals floating through space?  One part per Brazilian?  I think they call that "idiotic oil".

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:12 | Link to Comment YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

It's not just China. I read a similar article a few months ago on shale gas potential in the UK. Apparently we're sitting on huge deposits, at least 150 billion cubic m according to a 2010 BGS survey with recent unconfirmed surveys claiming as much as 400 times larger.

I am not an expert on this subject, but the opinions of some seem to suggest that there have been deliberate scaremongering by parties unlikely to profit from a shale gas boom. 

Anyway,  China & the US are certainly not alone in developing technology to extract gas by fracking. The whole world will soon be pumping water and chemicals into the ground pretty soon, for better or for worse. George Osborne even made provisions in his 2013 budget for giving generous tax breaks to fracking companies. 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:27 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

like you said "pumping water and chemicals into the earth" that should end well. Big oil is so environmentally conscious what could possibly go wrong. They have everybodies interest at heart, right? The studies all say it has no adverse affect yet there is no truly independent body of thought not bought and paid for by some financial interest (except maybe the beatniks). When you nuke the general ground water supply its game over.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:52 | Link to Comment YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

I expressed no opinions of my own about whether it is good or bad. I don't know enough about the technical process to render an opinion.  Just the fact that the usual assholes will be making profits in shale gas all over the world, especially the UK, not just in China and the US regardless of anyone's concerns.

 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:00 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

the issue as I see is;

to make money people buy PhD's to stand in the way of common sense;

1. oil and water don't mix

2.once oil and water are mixed the water is finished for 1000 years

3. we don't live without water past 3 weeks

4. 1000 minutes - 3 weeks = Rumsfeld prediction for the Iraq War

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:30 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

i love fucktards who junk a perfectly valid comment

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 08:20 | Link to Comment thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Maybe because you can't do basic maths: 1000 min are exactly 16h40min, not even close to the 30240 min in 21 days.

Also because water can be depurated, if not, we would be dead since long.

Don't even know where the 1000 years comes from - guess it just sounded good?

Btw, I didn't junk you.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 21:28 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

this and thwat

 

i have a degree in calculus but thanks for going 2 dimensional

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 08:30 | Link to Comment thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Gee, I'm... how do you say it... impressed - yep, that must be it.. now off to take advantage of it by throwing it out the window - just watch out for little girls getting their panties in a bunch for being called out on their 1 dimensional lines of thought.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:11 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Bullshit. There is not one rational argument in your entire comment.

Fracking has been going on for 60 years. There is not ONE study that has shown groundwater contamination from the hydraulic fracturing process. At some point your ignorant appeal to emotion needs to find one tiny freaking piece of evidence that a danger actually exists. It does not. What you need to understand is that the fracturing occurs miles below the fresh water and there is much research to develop the ability, with no success yet, to be able to produce fractures that extend more than 200 - 300 feet MAXIMUM in vertical extent.

You can tell it's bullshit when the media stops quoting the liars and starts in with "concerns have been expressed"

 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:34 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

and you know so much about subterrain pressure and the direction water travels under heat and pressure that you're positive that only gravity works in such an environment.

squeeze some water between your upper and lower gunt to test your hypothesis

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 00:32 | Link to Comment ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

Upvoted purely for "gunt".

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:16 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

I know a great deal about subsurface pressures because it is my expertise. God forbid I get caught up trying to explain science to Zerohedgers again but I will point out your statement here makes no sense. A great deal of research has been done on the physics of fracturing, it's very well understood and you have no clue.

 

Here's a simpler question for you - there IS in fact environmental risk associated with shale exploration, do you have any IDEA what that might be?

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 21:24 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

yes 

 

the same reason the american army stopped fracking in the 1960's

 

do you know what that is?

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 21:33 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

also gasminger

 

look at the comment below containing the word "Alberta" put a 33 old year PhD in glacial geomorphology together with the practical experience of watching fracking in actual (NOT theoretical practice) and you know IT DOES NOT WORK

 

stop trolling for big oil 

Sun, 03/24/2013 - 09:50 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

stop trolling for big oil 

Congratulations - that's a new record for playing the cowardly ad hominem "shill" card as an excuse for avoiding rational argument. I'm not surprised though since your posts don't make any sense from a rational standpoint.

The comment re: Army makes no sense so I'll be generous and assume a /sarc tag

This one is also nonsense - a Phd in glacial geomorphology has exactly zero connection to fraking. Alberta's oil sands are MINED you moron. Making the connection to the environmental concerns there and fraking shows once again you don't have any idea what you're talking about as is also true of the comment you reference. I can also assure you that my experience with fraking is practical NOT theorectical.

 

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 01:12 | Link to Comment Mark Urbo
Mark Urbo's picture

"pumping water and chemicals into the earth"

Jez, where do you think the water and chemical (elements) come from ?
..another planet ! You econ nuts are really something....

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:13 | Link to Comment lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

They are doing this in Alberta and it's polluting as hell. Build liquid thorium reactors instead of destroying your land, air and water with fracking...

Forbid it here... let China destroy their own land...

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:17 | Link to Comment MSimon
MSimon's picture

The pollution is a choice not a requirement:

 

http://www.ecnmag.com/blogs/2013/03/array-fracking-extracts-oil-safely-a...

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:44 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

lolmao500, would you mind supplying further information? Thank you. I like to learn about your thorium reactors a bit more.

 

 

This is my 2 cents on typical Kanuck queebs. Let’s examine Environment Minister Peter Kent. All the links to support anti-fracking contained within this link.

http://www.albertasurfacerights.com/articles/?id=899 

 

Do you see the money shot in the middle of page? Allow me.. 

‘We need the facts about fracks’. No fucking clue about it, they just rant.. 

This is how the parasites destroy economies.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:19 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

 

If [they] don't have the FACTS [they] should NOT being doing it (fracking) until [they] do have the facts.

I do disagree with his statement in its whole context however. It is not just the ground water and 'local water'. It is also the aquifers. Like the Ogallala aquifer. How many states does that supply water to? And aren't they fracking in some of those states?

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 01:03 | Link to Comment Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Canadian are the world's worst polluters

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:15 | Link to Comment snblitz
snblitz's picture

"The Depletion is a Lie"

"I hope you won't mind a few actual facts (as opposed to vast generalizations) in response. EOG is the leading shale-oil production company in Texas' Eagle Ford. In only three years, its cash from operations has nearly doubled, rising from $2.7 billion to $5.2 billion. After accounting for the depletion that you mention and other forms of depreciation, its annual profits have increased from $160 million to more than $570 million (256%). The value of its wells continues to increase, too. Total assets are up about $6 billion for the period (28%). This success has its stock trading at close to new highs ($130 a share), up from less than $20 a share 10 years ago."

Reserves keep going up.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:42 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

Reserves keep going up.

Because growth is infinite didn't you know? And Fannie Mae and Enron and Lehman and.......

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:14 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

Reserves keep going up.....as does the price of gas.

Like noted elsewhere, it is the end of cheap gas.

And the question is 'how much can an economy pay for a gallon of gas before it adversely affects the spending within that economy for other goods?'

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 00:32 | Link to Comment Matt
Matt's picture

Apparently, the answer is that an EROEI under 6:1 means society has to focus primarily on energy, and under 3:1 civilization falls apart, society loses complexity and everyone has to spend most of their lives simply trying to get energy. At least according to some military guy, maybe head of US Air Force?

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 01:06 | Link to Comment Mark Urbo
Mark Urbo's picture

Yes, that damn Peak Oil target keeps moving as well.  Technology solves problems intentionally or unintentionally as long as there are incentives to do so…          ..this constant "this is the end of this or that" crying wolf BS gets old.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:22 | Link to Comment lolmao500
lolmao500's picture
Japan's PM Abe says not bound by JPY 44trl cap on new bond issuance

Print mofo! Print!

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:29 | Link to Comment SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

"... before sufficient and safe technological know-how and regulations are developed."

 

China syndrome.

 

The corporatological paradigm.  Commys my scatological posterioradigm.

 

Can't tell'm apar't

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:39 | Link to Comment Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

In a couple of years, they will be able to frack the air in Beijing.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 21:56 | Link to Comment Monedas
Monedas's picture

Too bad they can't "frack" their coal .... save thousands of miners lives .... but, in a people paradise .... coal miners are just more pigs drowned in a Shanghai river .... a sante' motherfucking communists !   "I break your waist and crack your windpipe !" ....  nice talk ! 

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:01 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

 

China can't frack safely?

Hell...we can't frack safely here in the U.S.

We pump this stuff into the aquifer.

We drink from the aquifer.

Ergo we drink the fracking fluids.

What is so fucking hard to understand about this???

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:18 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Can you link to any study that has found aquifer contanimnation due to fracking in the US in the 60 years that it has been occurring?

The answer is no because none exist. The freaking EPA tried to manufacture one until 4 university geology departments pointed out that the EPA had polluted the aquifer with its crappy monitor well drilling procedures and that no evidence existed for frac fluids having entered the aquifer - and that study was intentionally sited in a formation where it was MOST likely to have occurred.

Based on the tenor of your comment above I'm sure you'll respond with some asinine emotional non sequitor so I'll save us both some time and ask again: Can you show ANY peer reviewed or government study that shows pollution of an aquifer due to hydraulic fracturing in the entire 60 years it's been done in the US?

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:30 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ipg9BMdU0xgRPEd9M89_pMr8wl8g?docId=CNG.403fb2999dd734ceb003534b4997f05e.3d1

A cut n' paste part of the above link. It is not proof that it does pollute. But it raises very big questions that are still not answered. And of course government study releases have been 'postponed'.

WASHINGTON — Naturally occurring underground pathways may increase the risk of well water pollution from fracking, a process used to release natural gas from the ground, US scientists said on Monday.

While the latest study by Duke University researchers does not find evidence that methane found in some samples of drinking water was directly caused by fracking, it raises concern about the ease with which deep ground elements can infiltrate shallow wells.

Amid concern by environmentalists about the potential dangers of fracking -- hydraulic fracturing -- a key argument by oil and gas interests has been that it is not risky to drinking water wells because the activity occurs deep beneath the Earth, far from the wells which are closer to the surface.

"This is a good news-bad news kind of finding," said co-author Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

Researchers found it was unlikely that shale gas drilling had caused higher levels of salinity in some of the water wells sampled, since the briny wells were either not near drilling operations or showed higher salinity prior to drilling.

However, the examination also suggested that there must be natural pathways through which gases and salty brine liquid from deep in the Earth can travel in order to infiltrate and change the quality of shallow water wells.

"This could mean that some drinking water supplies in northeastern Pennsylvania are at increased risk for contamination, particularly from fugitive gases that leak from shale gas well casings," Vengosh said.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 03:41 | Link to Comment Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

While the latest study by Duke University researchers does not find evidence that methane found in some samples of drinking water was directly caused by fracking, it raises concern about the ease with which deep ground elements can infiltrate shallow wells.

 

lol.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:22 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Researchers found it was unlikely that shale gas drilling had caused higher levels of salinity in some of the water wells sampled, since the briny wells were either not near drilling operations or showed higher salinity prior to drilling.

However, the examination also suggested that there must be natural pathways through which gases and salty brine liquid from deep in the Earth can travel in order to infiltrate and change the quality of shallow water wells

Translation - one more study which shows fracking has NOT damaged aquifer. Bullshit qualifier inserted to suggest there "are concerns".

60 years and no evidence of damage. Ever. There are environmental dangers that need careful regulation but the bullshit fear of "cracking the earth" is not one of them.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:34 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

And as a btw....try telling that to some people in Penn state.

One family I know of had their well go bad. Just a couple of months after a nearby nat gas well was started.

So far the water just tastes bad and smells bad. The farm has been in the family for a couple of generations now. No problem before the well.

But this is just simple physical science. You crack the earth, it causes seeps that were closed off before.

Get an ant farm and try it.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 03:42 | Link to Comment Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

i live in the middle of a gigantic shale play, my anecdotal evidence >>>>>> your anecdotal evidence

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:33 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Then they should file a claim with the state water board and have it validated. Until then I throw the bullshit flag because every clueless moron with an opinion on this subject "has a friend with a well that went bad" but it's never once been validated. Not once. FYI groundwater in Appalachia has had high methane forever (clue - "Burning Springs" WVA, KY etc).

"Simple physical science" actually says that you crack the earth under 2 miles of rock and the weight of all that rock closes the crack right back up. Simple physical science says overcoming that weight even a small amount for a short time requires enormous energy.

This entire fear-mongering campaign is utterly ignorant of science and requires fools to keep it going.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:40 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

And then there is this....it is not aquifer pollution btw.

And it is not all about the aquifer though that is the scariest.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-03/hazardous-air-pollutants-detected-near-fracking-sites.html

 

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:34 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Seriously? "Non-methane hydrocarbons"

Try running that test in any major city.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:48 | Link to Comment Poofter Priest
Poofter Priest's picture

And then there is the case of not being able to test for pollutants if you don't know what to test for.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-30/frack-secrets-by-thousands-keep-u-s-clueless-on-wells.html

 

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:42 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

You can test for chlorine which is the highest concentration ion in the fluid and if you find that then worry about other trace elements in the fluid. Should you actually have the intellectual wherewithal to want to KNOW rather than emote you can check out this article http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/03/06/1213871110.full.pdf+html just published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The "executive summary" -  they tested surface waters downstream of drilling operations using chlorine as the most sensitive indicator of contamination and found nothing.....but they did find quite a bit higher concentrations downstream of local municipal water treatment plants.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:10 | Link to Comment The Invisible Foot
The Invisible Foot's picture

This planet will kill us if we don't end up killing ourselfs.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 22:21 | Link to Comment illyia
illyia's picture

Good. They have even worse earthquakes than US do. They can demonstrate.

Maybe someone will learn something.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:08 | Link to Comment Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

The air is so foul may as well polute the ground water too!

"Dude!? Where's my hog??"

 

Edit: Where the Fuk is Kito?

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:19 | Link to Comment Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

A plague of locusts, cutting a swath across the earth, drawing out every good thing and putting nothing back.

Future generations will curse this one, as millions die off in the coming decades.

Ancient, 'primitive' cultures were reverent towards the future, knowing the connection never dies.  They wanted their grandchildren to remember them.

This one is a swarm of mealworms.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:40 | Link to Comment sangell
sangell's picture

The 'mega fauna' of North America probably didn't appreciate the 'reverence' of primitive man and its a fair bet the Plains Indians would have hunted the buffalo into extinction once they acquired horses and rifles had not the US Calvary 'domesticated' them first.

Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:47 | Link to Comment Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Those who know better must do better; or Karma will come a'callin.  This generation will get dusted, except the few communities aware of the situation.

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 00:58 | Link to Comment Mark Urbo
Mark Urbo's picture

Back to Bedrock and Dino I suppose ?

Gimmie a break with the eco freak end babble....

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 02:13 | Link to Comment Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

You posit a hypothetical 'history' which never happened.

The buffalo were driven to near-extinction by essentially European settlers pushing Westwards and slaughtering everything in sight, including Plains Indians.

You have cherry-picked the acquisition of horses and rifles, by Indians, to obfuscate and implicitly deny the fact that it was not Indians who piled buffalo bones in mini-mountains alongside rail tracks.

"had not the US Calvary 'domesticated' them first"?

What the hell is that supposed mean?

Presumably you mean taming and killing Plains Indians, so as to leave settlers free to graze European cattle on pastures once grazed by buffalo.

If you, and your early forebears in expanding the Washington Empire, had any sense; then the best course of action would have been to domesticate the buffalo ... not to drive them towards extinction in favour of an introduced species.

A similar story has been enacted in Australia, with kangaroos being slaughtered in favour of cattle and sheep.

Sat, 03/23/2013 - 00:56 | Link to Comment Mark Urbo
Mark Urbo's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nsU_DaIZE

Please watch this...    Locust still ?

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 03:44 | Link to Comment Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

don't worry guys, fusion is only 20 years away.  solar panels will replace fossil fuels any day now, too.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 04:39 | Link to Comment orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

If this materializes, a lot of oil companies are totally fucked.  Oil will be back to $10 per barrel.

 

China runs on its own natgas.  Kiss the mideast goodbye.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 06:59 | Link to Comment CEOoftheSOFA
CEOoftheSOFA's picture

I've fracked about 100 wells between 1975 and 1986.  When I fracked my first well in 1975 it was already old technology.  I don't see how you can say there is a fracking revolution.  It's been going on since WWII.  There has also been a considerable amount of shale production from the Devonian in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky since before WWI.  The only thing that is new is the application of directional horizontal drilling.  These shale plays all have one thing in common; they splash a lot of headlines for a while and then they peter out because of thin economics.  You just can't wave a shale magic wand and say this is going to rival the Persian Gulf.  It won't.  And don't tell me the shale gas is getting into the aquifers because of fracking.  The last time I checked, it was shallow gas getting into the aquifers due to cheap well completions.  

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 07:15 | Link to Comment Lumberjack
Lumberjack's picture

"The last time I checked, it was shallow gas getting into the aquifers due to cheap well completions."

Agreed, but there are many instances where it (gas) has seeped in au natural...due to local geological features.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 10:21 | Link to Comment Abrick
Abrick's picture

China will green wash fracking by using soylent green fracking fluid.

Fri, 03/22/2013 - 11:30 | Link to Comment Metalhead
Metalhead's picture

Everytime i see Fracking i fell like im in Battlestar Galactica universe and Bernake is just an evil Cylon

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