With Fracking It’s All About Science

Hydraulic Fracturing - Dave JacobusDave Jacobus
Independent Land Consultant
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Fracking, wherever it’s taking place in the Americas, from Canada to the Marcellus Shale region of the US is all about the science, which has to be adapted to each.

Some of you may know that I have blogged in this space before, writing in support of Natural Gas Now’s efforts to lift the moratoriums fractivists have succeeded in imposing on New York State and the Delaware River Basin landowners. Let me offer a few more thoughts and the name of Canadian website that offers some good material on exactly what this whole debate should be about – science.

I am a 35 year oil patch veteran, based in Calgary, Alberta. My work is mostly in the
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin), we have engaged in fracking wells since the technology was conceived. That is, practically since the discovery of oil at Leduc in 1947 by Imperial (an Exxon subsidiary).

fracking Fracking is an American technology, first employed in Texas, I believe, and has been used extensively in several western U.S. States., as or more extensively than it has been used in Canada. Western U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions have permitted the practice. Recent independant studies are generally support continued use and refute the majority of the claims made by Fractivists of all  the evils that will result from its continued use.

My real purpose here is to remind everyone that western North American (NA) geology and eastern NA  geology are different. Shale basin geology is different from sedimentary geology. Shale basin geology is different for each and every shale basin.

The Marcellus Shale basin in Pennsylvania. Maryland, New York and West Virginia happens to have a percentage of clay in the in the shales. So, it would be foolhardy to simply adopt the western technology for use in the Marcellus Basin. Western technology uses water extensively in the fracking process. Clays swell when water is introduced, so…..

So, does that mean that fracking should be banned in the Marcellus Shale basin? Of course not! It simply means that the State regulators and legislators need to collaborate with industry to develop the approach that works best for the Marcellus Basin.

fracking marcellusShaleMapThe claims of the fractivists are bogus. They play on fear, emotion, faulty logic and refusal to consider facts and science to achieve their purpose. Governments are being pressured into kowtowing to these lobby groups.

We have an organization here called Friends of Science that tries to counter these bogus claims. Check it out online.

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4 thoughts on “With Fracking It’s All About Science

  1. As long as the science is in favor of HVHF .Science and History too also shows us O and G industries have screwed up much more than once !! …Why change the pattern ,Right !

  2. also clains from fracktivists aren’t that bogus any more ….EPA study …..Conclusions :…..Read the whole report not just the part you want to hear ….and widespread doesn’t mean locals are not affected !……..Conclusions
    Through this national-level assessment, we have identified potential mechanisms by which
    hydraulic fracturing could affect drinking water resources. Above ground mechanisms can affect
    surface and ground water resources and include water withdrawals at times or in locations of low
    water availability, spills of hydraulic fracturing fluid and chemicals or produced water, and
    inadequate treatment and discharge of hydraulic fracturing wastewater. Below ground mechanisms
    include movement of liquids and gases via the production well into underground drinking water
    resources and movement of liquids and gases from the fracture zone to these resources via
    pathways in subsurface rock formations.
    We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on
    drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report,
    we found specific instances where one or more of these mechanisms led to impacts on drinking
    water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The cases occurred during both
    routine activities and accidents and have resulted in impacts to surface or ground water. Spills of
    hydraulic fracturing fluid and produced water in certain cases have reached drinking water
    resources, both surface and ground water. Discharge of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater has
    increased contaminant concentrations in receiving surface waters. Below ground movement of
    fluids, including gas, most likely via the production well, have contaminated drinking water
    resources. In some cases, hydraulic fracturing fluids have also been directly injected into drinking
    water resources, as defined in this assessment, to produce oil or gas that co-exists in those

  3. Bill, good to see you digging again! The part of all this that seems odd to me is the words could and may? How many cases of real problems are there?
    All New York or None–Well Permits ,then pipes!

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