Streamline - Summer 2013 - (Page 39)

Ergs, Joules & Other for the Stuff Notes on Energy and Other Issues Rural Water Community and Maybe Others BY JOHN E. REGNIER, NRWA 2915 South 13th St., Duncan, OK 73533 Tel. 580.252.0629 Fax. 580.255.4476 America’s Largest Utility Membership Serving Over 26,696 Water and Wastewater Utilities There is much controversy surrounding the potential for contamination of water and the environment and the amounts of water required are enormous – reportedly 3-5 million gallons per frack. from the NRWA Rally and there was considerable informal discussion about “fracking” as it applies to the water business. Although this is a significant issue in only a few oil and gas producing states, any of us could get questions and I thought it might be well to do a little primer on the subject. Obviously, in the space available we can only scratch the surface, but perhaps I can steer you to additional references if you need more info. i jUST RETURnED First of all, fracking is the common term applied to the process of hydraulically fracturing oil and gas bearing geologic formations to release these hydrocarbons for recovery. Some basic facts: • racking is receiving a lot of current attention, F but hydraulic fracturing was first used in 1947. • he basic modern process involves drilling a T vertical well down to the formation of interest and then drilling horizontally through the formation (vertical depths several thousand feet and horizontal runs even longer) • xplosive charges are then set off at lengths E along the horizontal run to break up the shale or other formation. • racking fluid is then pumped under high presF sure into the fractured formation. This fluid, which is normally water under high pressure, contains various chemicals and sand or ceramics and accomplishes several things such as corrosion control and increasing pumping efficiency, but primarily improves the fracturing and keeps the fractures open with the sand/ ceramics that are termed propants. • 0 to 70 percent of the 3 fracking fluid returns or is pumped to the surface and must be treated and/ or recovered. • imilarly, the released S gas or oil flows or is pumped to the surface. Sources: Hydraulic_fracturing and Obviously, this process has attractive energy aspects as it allows recovery of previously unavailable oil and gas reserves. However, there is much controversy surrounding the potential for contamination of water and the environment and the amounts of water required are enormous – reportedly 3-5 million gallons per frack. Some additional facts related to this contamination potential: • nasmuch as the fracking takes place many I thousands of feet below the areas where water aquifers normally are found, it seems most of the potential for contamination is related to malfunction of well casing and the drilling process and/or handling of the fracking fluid. • racking fluids can contain a variety of chemiF cals and substances, but one source reports that most if not all these chemicals are found in commonly used products – e.g. candy, hair spray, etc. • he EPA is doing a big study to be released in T 2014 that hopefully will give “the rest of the story.” Stay tuned. This article ran in Energy Plus Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 3, March 2013. Contact John E. Regnier, NRWA, at or (334) 462-1541. 39

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Summer 2013

From the President
From the Executive Director
Generators – Learning from the Past
Does the End Justify the Means?
Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet!
How is Serving on a Board of an Organization like Owning a Car?
Monitoring Master Meters
2013 Conference Highlights
OilClean from EcoSolutions Naturally Separates Oil from Water
Choosing a Rate Analyst
Ergs, Joules and Other Stuff
Snug and Smug with Solar Power
Fresh Faces: Joey Fagan
Wastewater Math
Throwing My Loop
eLearning Benefits
Membership Application
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
VRWA Mailbag
Welcome New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Summer 2013