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View Diary: Drill Baby Drill! The Fracking Bubble is Bursting! (135 comments)

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  •  Deeper is less likely to affect water supplies (8+ / 0-)

    I'm pretty sure water at the depth of the Utica shale in Ohio is saline. Because fracking operations have often been dirty and sloppy at the surface, all fracking operations are a threat to water supplies. However, the shallow fracking operations have more potential to force contaminants into aquifers and drinking water because of proximity.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 05:41:59 AM PDT

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    •  I was told that the drilling will go through (4+ / 0-)

      water supplies to get to the Utica. Because well casings often fail, the water could be contaminated that way.

      Maybe I was told incorrect information. Not that it would make me feel better about the whole thing!

      •  Good point. (4+ / 0-)

        There are a lot of questions about well casings, and the fracking fluids following natural and new fractures in the rock into other aquifers.  They are drilling so many wells so fast, we unfortunately may find many new ways that they're polluting the good aquifers.

      •  Deeper Is Less Likely to Contaminate (1+ / 0-)
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        OhioNatureMom

        Yes, the drilling will need to go through water supplies to get at deep shale formations.  However, well casings are not intended to fail, the wells are designed to be sealed and the whole purpose of a well-designed well is to keep it as tightly bound as possible to maximize production.  Leaks mean less production and higher production costs, if not outright loss of the well.

        The prospect for real contamination develops when the fracking is being done in a shallow formation in proximity of water sources.  The fracking is an open process.  It needs to expand out into a rock formation which is not fully understood under the best of circumstances.  Therefore, it isn't designed to be leak-proof or sealed, just the opposite.  By fracking a formation located somewhere near a water source, porosity can be introduced by design which facilitates the flow of the fracking fluids and other liquids trapped in the rock formation into the rock formation channeling the water.  Just imagine the difference you will see in the effect of leaks between a drill pipe about 6 inches in diameter and a hole punched in the ground about 600 yards in diameter.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:47:54 AM PDT

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      •  I think it's (3+ / 0-)

        the same drilling/concrete technology they used in Deepwater Horizon.  So clearly nothing could possibly go wrong there.

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