Streamline - Summer 2013 - (Page 39)
Ergs, Joules & Other for the
Notes on Energy and Other Issues
Rural Water Community and Maybe Others
BY JOHN E.
2915 South 13th St.,
Duncan, OK 73533
26,696 Water and
There is much
of water and
are enormous –
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
• racking is receiving a lot of current attention,
but hydraulic fracturing was first used in 1947.
• he basic modern process involves drilling a
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
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
fracking fluid returns or
is pumped to the surface
and must be treated and/
• imilarly, the released
gas or oil flows or is
pumped to the surface.
Hydraulic_fracturing and http://exploreshale.org
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
• nasmuch as the fracking takes place many
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
• 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
• he EPA is doing a big study to be released in
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or (334) 462-1541.
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
Throwing My Loop
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Welcome New Members
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/Ad.com
Streamline - Summer 2013