Friday, September 14, 2012

Wyoming Says "Back Off Jack" To The Feds

Why get the Feds involved when state and local entities know what is best for their areas? 
Centralized control never works for a national economy. Ask those from the former Soviet Union.

Wyo. gov. to Interior: Back off on fracking rules

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has asked the Interior Department to scale back — or abandon altogether — proposed rules that would require petroleum companies to disclose the chemicals they inject down well bores during hydraulic fracturing.
The proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule resembles one already in place in Wyoming. For two years now, Wyoming has required companies to disclose the ingredients in their "fracking" chemicals.
Having similar rules on both the federal and state level is duplicative and unnecessary, Mead wrote Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday.
"The effect is fewer jobs, less economic development and a dangerous precedent for future regulatory actions," the governor wrote.
Read the rest of the article here:

Drilling On A Large Scale....The Future Is Here

Innovation, efficiency, economy, safety, progress....the American way.  Hats off to all the hard-working people in this industry who make such things possible.

Three-dimensional representation of oil or natural gas development of a large underground area, from four drilling pads on the surface, as described in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, reproduced with permission from Statoil.
Note: Three-dimensional representation of oil or natural gas development of a large underground area, from four drilling pads on the surface (depicted within the red ovals).

Developments in drilling methods and technology are leading to efficiency gains for oil and natural gas producers. For example, "pad" drilling techniques allow rig operators to drill groups of wells more efficiently, because improved rig mobility reduces the time it takes to move from one well location to the next, while reducing the overall surface footprint. A drilling pad is a location which houses the wellheads for a number of horizontally drilled wells. The benefit of a drilling pad is that operators can drill multiple wells in a shorter time than they might with just one well per site.
Moving a drilling rig between two well sites previously involved disassembling the rig and reassembling it at the new location ("rigging down" and "rigging up") even if the new location was only a few yards away. Today, a drilling pad may have five to ten wells, which are horizontally drilled in different directions, spaced fairly close together at the surface. Once one well is drilled, the fully constructed rig can be lifted and moved a few yards over to the next well location using hydraulic walking or skidding systems, as demonstrated by Range Resources.

In the picture above, each of the four drilling pads hosts six horizontal wells. Pad drilling allows producers to target a significant area of underground resources while minimizing impact on the surface. Concentrating the wellheads also helps the producer reduce costs associated with managing the resources above-ground and moving the production to market.

Bentek Energy, LLC analysis shows that drilling operators are achieving efficiency gains in the well-drilling process. In June 2012, operators in the Eagle Ford shale formation averaged about 19 days to drill a horizontal well, down from an average of 23 days in 2011. Reducing the time it takes to drill wells can save oil and gas producers a significant amount of money. In the North Dakota section of the Bakken formation, the increase in drilling rigs in the area has begun to slow, but production levels continue to reach record highs each month.

Recent studies by the University of Pittsburgh and Rigzone, as well as analysis of financial reports from E&P companies Abraxas, EQT, and El Paso, show that drilling costs alone are only a portion of the total drilling and completion expenses that producers face. EIA analysis of average Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Marcellus well-related expenses finds that total costs per horizontal well can vary between approximately $6.5 million and $9 million. The cost of completing and hydraulic fracturing typically exceeds the cost of drilling the well.

One of the industry's more recent innovations, pad-to-pad moves, underscores the efficiency gains from rig mobility and pad drilling. During the drilling operation pictured below, rig operator Nabors Industries transported a fully-assembled drilling rig about one mile between drill sites. The cost of rigging down and rigging back up can be high enough that producers may find it more efficient to build a road between two pads, transport the rig intact, and have it arrive ready to drill the next well.
image of a fully constructed rig being moved between two drilling pads, as described in the article text
Source: Reproduced with permission from Nabors Industries Ltd.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Get The Facts About Methane In Groundwater In New York

Before flying off the fracking handle, opponents of natural gas development need to learn the facts about the natural occurrence of gas in the environment compared to the effects of drilling and such things as hydraulic fracturing.  The USGS is about as "unbiased" a source of information as there is, but bear in mind, even the USGS must be politically correct.  Consider who funds them.
2012, Kappel, William M.; Nystrom, Elizabeth A.
USGS Open-File Report: 2012-1162


New York State is underlain by numerous bedrock formations of Cambrian to Devonian age that produce natural gas and to a lesser extent oil. The first commercial gas well in the United States was dug in the early 1820s in Fredonia, south of Buffalo, New York, and produced methane from Devonian-age black shale. Methane naturally discharges to the land surface at some locations in New York..

At Chestnut Ridge County Park in Erie County, just south of Buffalo, N.Y., several surface seeps of natural gas occur from Devonian black shale, including one behind a waterfall. Methane occurs locally in the groundwater of New York; as a result, it may be present in drinking-water wells, in the water produced from those wells, and in the associated water-supply systems (Eltschlager and others, 2001).

The natural gas in low-permeability bedrock formations has not been accessible by traditional extraction techniques, which have been used to tap more permeable sandstone and carbonate bedrock reservoirs. However, newly developed techniques involving horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing have made it possible to extract previously inaccessible natural gas from low-permeability bedrock such as the Marcellus and Utica Shales.

The use of hydraulic fracturing to release natural gas from these shale formations has raised concerns with water-well owners and water-resource managers across the Marcellus and Utica Shale region (West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and parts of several other adjoining States). Molofsky and others (2011) documented the widespread natural occurrence of methane in drinking-water wells in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. In the same county, Osborn and others (2011) identified elevated methane concentrations in selected drinking-water wells in the vicinity of Marcellus gas-development activities, although pre-development samples were not available for comparison.

In order to manage water resources in areas of gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing in New York, the natural occurrence of methane in the State's aquifers needs to be documented. This brief report presents a compilation of data on dissolved methane concentrations in the groundwater of New York available from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System (NWIS) (
Additional Publication Details
Publication TypeUSGS Numbered Series
TitleDissolved methane in New York groundwater, 1999-2011
AuthorKappel, William M.; Nystrom, Elizabeth A.
SeriesOpen-File Report
Series Number2012-1162
PublisherU.S. Geological Survey
Publisher LocationReston, VA
Contributing OfficeNew York Water Science Center
Description6 p.
Lat Bound N0450042
Lat Bound S0402940
Lon Bound E-0715725
Lon Bound W-0794554
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CommentsPrepared in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation