Ehoh6614 group6 hydraulic fracturing presentation


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Ehoh6614 group6 hydraulic fracturing presentation

  1. 1. Fracking & Water Contamination: Know the Facts EHOH 6614 March 31, 2014 Brian Bandle Vicka Chaplin Jennifer Nash June Samadi Shannon Sandrock
  2. 2. History of Fracking
  3. 3. Pre-Hydraulic Fracturing The 1800s: In 1859, Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial U.S. oil well. The 1860s: Human-induced fracturing was performed using liquid nitroglycerin to create fractures within a well to stimulate oil production. The 1930s: Drillers had the idea of using an acid (HCl or HF) instead of nitroglycerin as a non-explosive substitute. ● The fracture channels became more resistance to re- closing, thus enhanced productivity. Drake Well, 1859
  4. 4. Early Hydraulic Fracturing The 1940s: Floyd Farris of Stanolind Oil and Gas Corporation (Amoco) began to establish a relationship between a well’s performance and the treatment pressures put on it. The Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company conducted two successful commercial hydraulic fracturing treatments on March 17, 1947, marking the birth of hydraulic fracturing. Hugoton Gas Field, 1947
  5. 5. Early Hydraulic Fracturing The 1960s: In 1968, Pan American Petroleum introduced “massive hydraulic fracturing.” ● The process of injecting high volumes of fluids and proppants into a well. ● The Atomic Energy Commission began testing the feasibility of using nuclear explosions for fracturing. ● Project Gasbuggy (1967) ● Project Rulison (1969) ● Project Rio Blanco (1973) ● Project Bronco (1975)
  6. 6. Modern Hydraulic Fracturing The 1990s: George P. Mitchell became the “Father of Modern Fracking.” ● pioneered the technique of horizontal drilling and combined it with hydraulic fracturing. ● The first horizontal well was drilled in 1991. ● This kick started the modern fracking age.
  7. 7. Fracking Production Processes
  8. 8. Hydraulic Fracturing: Production Process ● Hydraulic Fracturing is commonly used for unconventional reservoirs, such as shale formations. ○ “Unconventional” refers to the low permeability of the reservoir that in order to gain access to oil and gas, the reservoir needs to be mechanically “stimulated” to create more permeability. ● It is important to make note that hydraulic fracturing or fracking is technically the process of using water and material (usually sand and chemical additives) to create small fractures in a formation, not including the process of drilling a well. ● New and old wells are used to extract oil and gas with hydraulic fracturing so it is important to understand the ways in which a well is drilled and the components of a well.
  9. 9. Site Setup ● Construction of site conducted generally with Best Management Practices ○ Including construction of roads, transport of equipment, placement of well and support structures, water usage, etc. ● Once site has been constructed and drilled the drill rig is removed and site prepared for hydraulic fracturing. ● Surface facilities and layout usually have mobile equipment: ○ Fracture fluid storage tanks ○ Sand storage ○ Chemical trucks ○ Blending equipment ○ Pumping equipment ○ Data monitoring van (monitors all activities)
  10. 10. Drilling, Casing and Cementing ● Once initial hole is drilled casing is used to line the inside of the drilled hole or wellbore. ○ Casing is a steel pipe used to line wellbore. ● There are specifications used by oil and gas companies for casing strength, thickness, and length for a given situation. ● Each full length casing is called a casing string. ● Wells are constructed of many casing strings. ○ Strings are set in well and cemented under specific state requirements. ○ There are also standards for cement types by the American Petroleum Institute. ● Cementing is the process of putting cement around casing strings. ○ Class A/Portland cement is the most common type used by the oil and gas industry. ○ The type used can be tailored to individual well depending on what state will allow. ● Casing and cementing of wells is accomplished in multiple steps from largest diameter casing to the smallest.
  11. 11. Fracturing ● Once all drilling, casing and cementing are completed the fracturing fluid is pumped through small perforations in the horizontal portions of the wellbore at high pressures. ● The fracturing process occurs in a few stages: ○ clearing the well from cement and debris ○ prepping the wellbore and opening the formation for the flow of proppant material ○ the proppant solution is pushed into the wellbore which helps to hold the fractures open ○ a flush of the wellbore to remove excess proppant solution ● The additives in fracturing fluid and the sand components hold open these small fractures allowing for gas or oil to flow into the well once the water has been pumped out of the well.
  12. 12. How Can Fracking Contaminate Groundwater?
  13. 13. Possible Contaminants: ● Fracking one well uses 3-5 million gallons of water of which about 1% is chemicals ○ Hundreds of chemicals may be added to fracking fluid ○ What happens to this water? ■ 10-30% returns to the surface and is called "flowback" or wastewater. ■ Wastewater may contain chemicals and is captured and stored for treatment or disposal. ● Methane gas is the main component of natural gas and is released during fracking ○ Methane can rise from deep underground into upper levels of rock close to the surface. Explore Shale, (2011)
  14. 14. Leaking or overflowing of wastewater ponds and storage and tanks ● Wastewater produced must be stored at the surface for treatment or disposal ● Chemical-laden fluids can spill or leak out of the containment receptacles. ● Contamination of groundwater, land, or nearby fields and streams. Mooney, C. (2011)
  15. 15. Cracks or breaks in the concrete casing that surrounds the gas pipe can allow methane and chemicals to seep out ● The cement is designed to isolate the pipes from groundwater and prevent natural gas leaks ● Intense pressure is forced through the pipes during the fracking process, which can cause cracks. ● Wastewater is pulled back up through the same pipes to the surface for removal Mooney, C. (2011)
  16. 16. Connections between new and old fissures can create new pathways for the chemicals and methane to travel through to groundwater sources and the surface. ● New fissures opened via fracking can connect to natural fissures or old gas wells, providing a pathway for methane or chemicals to flow up to groundwater or the surface. Mooney, C. (2011)
  17. 17. Current Regulations and Policy Implications ● Many regulations currently exist, but companies do not carefully adhere to them ● Faulty cementing is the primary suspect in possible sources of groundwater contamination ● The number of wells far exceeds the number of available inspectors ● Policy Implications: ○ Tightened regulations casing thickness and durability ○ Limitations to what can be added to fracking fluid ○ Increase in personnel to help monitor drilling sites
  18. 18. Health Effects of Contaminated H2O
  19. 19. Health Effects of Contaminated H2O ● More than 700 chemicals are used in the fracking process: ○ 100 identified known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) ○ 29 chemicals that are either known or possible carcinogens ○ 11 chemicals that have been known to disrupt the body’s hormones ● Examined the potential health effects of 353 chemicals that are used during fracking process, Colborn et al. 2011 ○ 75% of these chemicals potentially affect the skin, eyes, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. ○ Nearly 50% could affect brain/nervous system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system ○ 37% could affect the endocrine system ○ 25% are potential carcinogens that have the potential to cause mutations
  20. 20. Health Effects of Contaminated H2O ● Examined association between birth defects and proximity to fracking sites in PA, Hill. 2012 ○ Increased prevalence of low birth weight for those living within 2.5 KM to a well ● Examined association between birth defects and proximity to fracking sites in CO, McKenzie et al. 2014 ○ Increased risk of congenital heart defects (OR=1.3) and neural tube defects (OR=2.0) “The currently available evidence indicates that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions that are associated with shale gas extraction process are low if the operations are properly run and regulated.” - Dr John Harrison, Public Health Watchdog, director of Public Health England Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
  21. 21. Health Effects of Contaminated H2O ● Although fracking is not a new process there is not enough research to determine the impact on human health ● Steps for the future: ○ Air and water monitoring for communities around fracking locations ○ Increase in studies (both health and environmental) / Health impact assessments ○ Strict regulations and full disclosure of all chemicals used/FracAct ○ Temporary moratoriums?
  22. 22. Current Issues & Conclusions
  23. 23. Global Energy - Changing the Map ● International Energy Agency (IEA): ○ "The global energy map is changing [...] is being redrawn by the resurgence in oil and gas production in the United States." ● Projections - by 2020, the U.S. will: ○ Produce more oil than Saudi Arabia ○ Produce more natural gas than Russia ● U.S. energy use trends: ○ Consuming less, producing more - Tomain (2013)
  24. 24. Colorado Policy Issues: ● Industry & environmental orgs DO have some things in common - chemical disclosure policy (adopted 2011): ○ Disagreed re: support for oil and gas development using fracking ○ Disagreed re: public health and the environmental impacts of fracking ○ Agreed: a disclosure rule should be enacted to regulate fracking ● Barrier to change: definitive evidence difficult to obtain ○ Are damages due to fracturing or development process accidents? ○ Chemical blends are proprietary ○ Occurs deep underground - verifying damage is costly (or impossible) ○ Explicit causal pathway is typically needed for most policy change - Heikkila, Pierce, Gallaher, Kagan, Crow, & Weible. (2014); Fitzgerald, T. (2013).
  25. 25. Areas of Research 2013-2014 Research about fracking is active in diverse subjects including: ● Mathematical modeling of potential hazards ● Economic studies of the impacts of domestic energy production, as well as global security, trade, etc. (e.g. European energy businesses relocating to the USA) ● Site tests for contamination of water (and air, soil, etc.) ● Geological surveys to determine where the gas and water is, what the underground “landscape” is like ● Geochemical mapping, field tests ● Exploring potential impacts of fracking on climate change ● New methods of testing for contamination
  26. 26. Researchers Conclude: Need More Research “The few reliable data which have become available, as well as hydrogeological considerations, point in the direction of considerable salt concentrations and toxic constituents, e.g., Hg, As, Pb, Zn, Cd, BTX, PAHs, or even radioactive elements. The identification and assessment of reaction products and metabolites, which are produced as a result of the fracking operation and the metabolic activity of microorganisms, are important topics for further research. [...] need for a better understanding of the environmental impact of fracking operations.” - Gordalla, Ewers, & Frimmel. (2013). “A lack of sound scientific hydrogeological field observations and a scarcity of published peer-reviewed articles on the effects of both conventional and unconventional oil and gas activities on shallow groundwater make it difficult to address these issues. [...] we identify two areas where field-focused research is urgently needed to fill current science gaps related to unconventional gas extraction.” - Jackson, Gorody, Mayer, Roy, Ryan, & Van Stempvoort. (2013)
  27. 27. EPA: “EPA is working with states and other key stakeholders to help ensure that natural gas extraction does not come at the expense of public health and the environment. The Agency's focus and obligations under the law are to provide oversight, guidance and, where appropriate, rulemaking that achieve the best possible protections for the air, water and land where Americans live, work and play. The Agency is investing in improving our scientific understanding of hydraulic fracturing, providing regulatory clarity with respect to existing laws, and using existing authorities where appropriate to enhance health and environmental safeguards.” “EPA is conducting a study to better understand any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water and groundwater. The scope of the research includes the full lifespan of water in hydraulic fracturing.” from “investing in improving our scientific understanding”
  28. 28. Conclusions 1. Ongoing research is needed, with open access to accurate data. 2. Public health must remain actively involved in the conversation. “It is clear that hydraulic fracturing IS a public health issue, just as fuel poverty and carbon reduction are public health issues. It is also clear that it is a complex issue: there will never be all the necessary information to make risk free choices, so governments will, as usual, have to seek to balance the known – and suspected – risks to health on the basis of what evidence there is, until such time as the evidence is stronger. To do that, it is imperative to ensure a public health approach is included when planning and decision making on this issue takes place: that cannot be too soon.” - Mackie, Johnman, & Sim. (2013).
  29. 29. References ● American Gas and Oil Historical Society. “Gasbuggy” tests for Nuclear Fracturing. American Gas and Oil Historical Society. Retrieved March 19, 2014. http://aoghs. org/oilfield-technologies/project-gasbuggy/ ● Explore Shale. (2011). Retrieved March 15, 2014, from ● (2014) The History of Fracking. Retrieved March 19, 2014. fracturing-overview/the-history-of-fracking/ ● First Oil Well, First Oil Well Fire. American Gas and Oil Historial Society. Retrieved March 20, 2014. ● Fitzgerald, T. (2013). Frackonomics: Some Economics of Hydraulic Fracturing. ● Gordalla, Ewers, & Frimmel. (2013). Hydraulic fracturing: a toxicological threat for groundwater and drinking-water? Environ. Earth Sciences, 70 (8), pp 3875–3893. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2672-9 ● Heikkila, T., Pierce, J. J., Gallaher, S., Kagan, J., Crow, D. A. and Weible, C. M. (2014), Understanding a Period of Policy Change: The Case of Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Policy in Colorado. Review of Policy Research, 31: 65–87. doi: 10.1111/ropr.12058 ● Hydraulic Fracturing. website. Copyright 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. ● Kershner, Kate. "How Hydraulic Fracking Works" 13 November 2012. htm Retrieved March 11, 2014. ● Jackson, Gorody, Mayer, Roy, Ryan, & Van Stempvoort. (2013), Groundwater Protection and Unconventional Gas Extraction: The Critical Need for Field-Based Hydrogeological Research. Ground Water, 51: 488–510. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12074 ● Mackie, Johnman, & Sim. (2013). Hydraulic fracturing: A new public health problem 138 years in the making? Public Health, 127 (10), pp 887–888. ● Mooney, C. (2011). The Truth about Fracking. Scientific American, 305(5), 80-85. Retrieved March 6, 2014, from ● Penn State Public Broadcasting. (2014). ● Shale Gas 101. U.S. Department of Energy website. Retrieved March 14, 2014. ● Tomain, J. P. (2013). Shale Gas and Clean Energy Policy. ● McKenzie LM, Guo R, Witter RZ, Savitz DA, Newman LS, Adgate JL. Birth outcomes and maternal residential proximity to natural gas development in rural Colorado. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2014. ● Hill, E. Unconventional natural gas development and infant health: evidence from Pennsylvania. Cornell University: Working Paper, Charles Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, 2012. ● Kassotis C, et al. Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region. Endocrinology. 2014. 155;897-907.