Superb primer on fracking – Down Deep

WPX Energy produced a 25 minute video giving background on fracking and what the industry is doing to drill safely while providing us the energy we need to live a comfortable, modern life.

The video is  Down Deep: Unearthing the Truth About Hydraulic Fracturing.

The website is Down Deep.

The discussion is educational. The video is excellent. The production quality is really high. They did a good job.

A few key ideas from the video and some thoughts after watching it:

The drilling for the first thousand feet or so is very careful and a large protective casing is installed to protect the ground water.  Before drilling gets started, a sample of groundwater is drawn so everyone can tell what the quality of the water is before drilling started.

The video says there are no confirmed migrations of natural gas from the drilling layer to the underground aquifer. There are lots of accusations, but nothing has been confirmed.

In one situation, a neighbor near a well called the driller to report methane in the person’s well water. He could light his water on fire. A test of the water confirmed it was in fact contaminated.

The only problem?

Drilling hadn’t started.

The well was contaminated before the oil company even arrived. That story starts at about the 13 minute point.

At about the 14:30 point, the video shows gas escaping from the bottom of a stream. The next view shows a lighter held at the surface of the stream with the small flame flaring occasionally from the methane in the stream which was released from the stream bed.

Point of those two stories? There is naturally occurring methane extremely close to the surface of the ground that is naturally released. That didn’t come from drilling.

As for the amount of water used to frack, the video says yes, there is a lot of water used. The amount to drill one well is about the same needed to keep a golf course green for 2 weeks.

I’ve discussed that idea before here and here.

Earlier in the video, the company president talks about the self-policing going on in the industry. When WPX sees a problem, either in their operation or from another driller, they report it and get it fixed.

The exciting point near the end of the video is that here in the U.S. the opportunity for energy independence within our grasp. Will we reach for it or not?

It’s a great video. If you are honestly seeking information on fracking, check it out.

You can find WPX Energy here.

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