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View Diary: Fracking in California must not be regulated. (113 comments)

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  •  Nothing about that graphic from Josh Fox (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    O112358, 6412093

    that intimates that natural gas from the deep fractured area enters shallow potable water aquifers in the manner shown has anything at all to do with reality and the sciences of hydrology, geology and geological engineering.....that graphic isn't a scientific defensible depiction of what transpires during the operation of hydraulic fracturing.

    •  You seem to dislike the Gasland movies generally. (10+ / 0-)

      And you describe yourself in your DK profile as an "environmental consultant and expert witness."

      Do you have any clients paying for consulting or expert witness services re: California fracking?

      Just asking.

      •  I don't have any industry or oil and gas clients. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        O112358, 6412093

        Your observation of my criticisms of the Gasland movies is a correct one.   I consider what Gasland does to be an anti-science campaign, like the creation museum in TN, the forced birth Taliban, the former Kansas board of education creationism promoters, etc. etc. etc.

        It is science denial that Gasland practices, just like ExxonMobil denies client science.  

        I don't have any personal animus towards Josh Fox.   I think he's got a great future as film-maker, story teller, political advertising maker....maybe even as an elected official.  

        However, I have no respect at all for his conflation and fabrication all the time approach, the fear mongering and the false claims of scientific defensibility for things he says.

        The uncontrolled-methane-emissions claim married to the natural-gas-to-electricity-is-worse-than-coal-to-electricity claim is a particularly eggregious conflation cooked up by Gasland.

        Gasland isn't legitimate environmental protection and natural resources conservation stewardship and leadership.  

        •  whatever one thinks of Gasland (13+ / 0-)

          it doesn't have much to do with fracking for oil in California.  My concerns are with the carbon intensity of the oil, not local land/water use issues. But the picture was in the DKos image library when I searched "fracking."

          But hey, thanks for your contribution.

          •  Can you state concisely the claim numerically (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for the carbon intensity of California shale oil recovery methods compared to convention oil hydrocarbon recovery?

            Does the California oil shale deposit require underground steam injection or other high energy consumption technique to gain the hydrocarbon recovery?  

            •  carbon intensity is the same (11+ / 0-)

              whether extracted conventionally or otherwise. However, all the easy oil in Cal is gone. The state's production has been declining. We think that oil companies have been gearing up for unconventional techniques and/or that the techniques are now in widespread use throughout the state, but we don't know, because no permits are required. So the answer to your second question is "probably yes, and it would be nice to know for sure."

              In my county, there are 600 existing wells. 17 of them have been fracked per FracFocus. Rumor has it that all 600 of them have, but we don't know.. There's a local issue with 9 existing, dormant wells and a company that wants to grandfather existing permits to start fracking.

              •  Just to be clear.... (1+ / 0-)
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                Is there zero steam injection and no superheatedwater injection employed typically in that liquid hydrocarbon shale development play going on in California?  [in other words, is this the same kind of oil development from a process technology approach and shale layer material target approach as the Baaken Field in North Dakota, for example]

                •  again, we do not know (4+ / 0-)

                  because the oil companies are not currently required to tell us, and they are not currently required to get any permits.

                  •  I think* the point of Lakesuperior (0+ / 0-)

                    is making is that you are making claims and advocating for major policy initiatives with next to zero understanding of the true  pros and cons of fracking technologies.  

                    You've gladly accepted as fact some "bullshit" some random person posted on the internet.

                    That gullibility is what the republican party thrives on. To be a better party and an informed voter. You cant simply "do the opposite" of what republicans want.

                    You need to be an informed, critical thinking, citizen.

                    Believing every piece of bullshit you read on the internet that meets your predispositions does not help you become informed.....

                  •  Your statement about no permits being required (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Senor Unoball, 6412093

                    in California for oil and gas wells is contradicted by information available here:


                    California oil and drilling information below from
                    permit issuing authority FAQ:

                    Permitting Questions

                    19. What permits are needed to drill a well in California?

                    Usually, two permits are needed to drill a well in California. You need a use permit from the local agency such as the city or county, and you need a drilling permit from the Division. In many counties, most wells drilled in existing oil or gas fields do not need a local-agency permit, so only a Division permit is required. In other counties, use permits are required and can be obtained from the planning department.

                    20. What other agencies issue permits for drilling wells in California?

                    Depending on where a well is drilled, besides permits from the local agency (city or county) and/or the Division, permits may be needed from the Bureau of Land Management (for wells located on federal land), the State Lands Commission (for wells located on state-owned land), or other agencies such as the Reclamation Board.

                    21. How long does it take to get a drilling permit?

                    The Division issues most drilling permits within a week. By law, the Division must respond within 10 working days or the permit is automatically approved. Use permits from local agencies can take longer, depending on the local agency, and the level of environmental review required. For Kern County, the Division acts as CEQA lead agency, and wells drilled outside administrative field boundaries may require 30-60 days to permit.

                    The problem is not that no permit is required.   The problem is that the permit process does not incorporate any public participation procedures or notices to the public or adjacent landowners before a permit is issued.   No public notice, comment and participation are indeed very bad.

                    Here's more....

                    23. What kind of well work requires a permit?

                    Following is a list of the Notices of Intention required by the Division and the kind of well work to which each applies.

                        A. Notice of Intention to Drill New Well (Form OG105)

                            1. Drill a new well.

                        B. Notice of Intention to Rework Well (Form OG107)

                            1. Redrill or deepen an existing well.

                            2. Convert from one well type to another (i.e., oil and gas to steamflood).

                            3. Any change in the mechanical condition of the well such as:

                                a. Mill out or remove casing or liner.

                                b. Run and land liner or inner liner.

                                c. Run and cement liner or inner liner.

                                d. Cement off existing perforations.

                                e. Reperforate existing perforations.

                                f. Perforate casing in a previously unperforated interval.

                                g. Install sand control devices such as screens.

                                h. Run and cement casing or tubing.

                                i. Set any type of permanent plug.

                                j. Set any type of bridge plug.

                                k. Drill out any type of permanent plug or bridge plug.

                                l. Repair damaged casing by means of cementing, placing casing patch, swaging, etc.

                                m. Relocating the packer of an injection well.

                        C. Notice of Intention to Abandon Well (Form OG108)

                            1. Plug and abandon a well.

                        D. Supplementary Notice (Form OG123)

                            1. Significant changes occur to operations proposed in the original notice.

                            2. Reabandon any well.

                            3. Request an extension of time for performing the above operations.

                    I do note here that no element of that addresses hydraulic fracturing or its authorization.  I don't know without doing a detailed review whether the rules require that the permit cover an authorization for hydraulic fracturing or not.
              •  RLM - here in CA we have easy oil offshore (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Senor Unoball

                but no public or political consensus to drill for it.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 06:51:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Beg to differ, we have a huge public consensus to (0+ / 0-)

                  not drill in the ocean.  Ever since the Santa Barbara spills decades ago there is strong opposition to drilling.  CA beaches are a huge source of revenue and also something everyone enjoys.

                  Congressional elections have consequences!

                  by Cordyc on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 07:03:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The issue in CA isn't so much carbon intensity (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RLMiller, 3rock, LillithMc, BentLiberal, marina

              or anything extractive per se, but the fact that the state is positively riddled with geologic faults.  Big ones, ones that are overdue for snapping beneath some of the most densely populated areas in North America.

              Until proof emerges that fracking does not cause earthquakes (and the science is heading in the opposite direction), it should be prohibited.  Especially here.

              "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

              by Mogolori on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:13:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Europeans have tried to do this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              (for shale oil in general, AFAIK not for CA in particular)

              as summarize here

              The default value for petrol made from conventional crude oil in the proposal is 87.5 g CO2/MJ. Petrol made from natural bitumen (i.e. tar sands) = 107 g CO2/MJ; shale oil = 131.3 g CO2/MJ; coal-to-liquid = 172 g CO2/MJ; gas-to-liquid = 97 g CO2/MJ.
              The bottom line is that shale oil (in general) is worse than the tar sands even.

              I doubt if extracting in CA is going to be any better . . ..

            •  The current oil extraction (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              near Bakersfield requires 100s of megawatts of multiple natural gas fired power plants which heat water into steam for injection into the subsurface.

              “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

              by 6412093 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 09:59:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Given the new findings on earthquakes from (4+ / 0-)

            afar causing earthquakes nearby in fracking fields, CA, in particular, should be thinking long and hard about ALL fracking.

            I'm with you. Ban it.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 12:08:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Sure (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3rock, marina, RLMiller, caul

      All those fresh water wells with gas and fracking fluid popping up around fracking sites are just a coincidence.

      You're so scientific.

      •  There is absolutely no evidence (with the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        exception of Pavillian, WY) that hydraulic fracturing and
        transport of gas from deep strata have caused the problems you identify.   Those kinds of problems are caused by failures of well cementing and blowouts at the casing cement shoes which are well construction problems occurring when such construction is not properly done.

        •  Kind of disingenuous (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, RLMiller

          to imply that fracking isn't the cause, just parts of the process of fracking are at fault. Well, duh, the problems wouldn't occur if it weren't for fracking.

          Plus, there's plenty of evidence of harm, but it's not being weighed as it should be, with oil and gas lobbyists hard at work to remove as much oversight and liability as possible.

          •  The totality of all oil and gas operations are (0+ / 0-)

            not called "fracking."

            Hydraulic fracturing fluid is pressured to rock strata 7000+ ft below.   There is no way for gas to escape the strata being hydraulically fractured, particularly in a new well, in the absence of a breach of the well cement job of the surface and intermediate casings.   New casings don't have these breaches, and there is no evidence that it is impossible to conduct a casing cementing operation in an oil and gas well without a cement failure.   This means that, absent such a failure there is no physical path for gas migration from hydraulically fracktured strata for the gas migration to take place.

            A gas well that has cause methane intrusion is presumed to have had an underground blowout at the shoe of the cemented casing.   That the physical phenomenon of gas migration has occurred with gas introduced to a shallow potable water aquifer has nothing at all for a geology/hydrology/engineering based demonstration that the operation of hydraulic fracturing has caused such shallow aquifer methane migration.

        •  The federal EPA (0+ / 0-)

          is even backing off their Pavillion groundwater findings.

          “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

          by 6412093 on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:12:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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