Posted on February 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A spike in Oklahoma earthquake activity has been linked with the injection of wastewater from oil and gas development.
Better seismic monitoring needed to reduce risks in vulnerable communities
FRISCO — Government and university scientists say better data and more transparency could help reduce the hazard of earthquakes caused by the deep injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling and fracking operations.
Careful monitoring around injection wells and full access to information on the injection volumes and rates could help project seismic activity, the scientists reported. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: earthquakes, energy, fracking, fracking earthquakes, fracking wastewater injection, oil and gas | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
In some gas fields, leak rates appear close to official estimates
Researchers try to quantify methane leakage in natural gas fields.
FRISCO — Boulder-based researchers have used thousands of detailed measurements taken during overflights to take a nuanced look at methane leaks from natural gas fields.
The findings show methane leaking at the rate of tens of thousands of pounds per hour in three major natural gas basins that span Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. But the overall leak rate from those basins is only about one percent of gas production there — lower than leak rates measured in other gas fields, and in line with federal estimates. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: energy, Environment, fracking, global warming, greenhouse gases, methane, Natural gas, oil and gas | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas development is ‘not all puppies and flowers’
Is fracking coming to your Arapahoe County neighborhood?
FRISCO — If the next wave of fracking in Colorado sweeps toward Arapahoe County, residents will be able to better inform themselves about potential drilling sites and impacts to schools and neighborhoods thanks to a new mapping project. The maps identify areas that are leased for fossil fuel exploitation, showing where they overlap with residential areas, and where there’s potential for impacts. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling | Tagged: Arapahoe County, Colorado, Environment, fracking, oil and gas, public health | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 11, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Drillers say restrictions will hinder exploitation of new shale plays to the detriment of local communities
Most oil and gas development on the White River National Forest is limited to the far western zones in areas where drilling is already common.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Even though the vast majority of public lands in the West are already open for fossil fuel exploitation, oil and gas companies want more.
In their latest push for more drilling, three fracking industry lobbying groups are challenging the White River National Forest’s oil and gas drilling plan, claiming that the agency’s analysis was marred by politics, as elected officials pushed to have the Thompson Divide area excluded from energy development.
In their formal objection to the plan, the groups ( Western Energy Alliance, West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association and Public Lands Advocacy) the groups said that, as written, the document could prevent the development of speculative new plays in Mancos and Niobrara shale formations in western Colorado. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, US Forest Service | Tagged: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, public lands, U.S. Forest Service, White River National Forest | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 30, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A NASA satellite image shows oil spreading across the Gulf of Mexico.
‘It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web …’
FRISCO — Five years after BP’s failed Deepwater Horizon drill rig spewed 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, a significant amount of that oil remains buried in seafloor sediments.
A new study by a Florida State University researcher estimates that about 6 to 10 million gallons of oil are still there, perhaps decomposing slowly, but probably affecting Gulf ecosystems.
“This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come,” said researcher Jeff Chanton. “Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, and fish eat the worms. It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web,” he said. Continue reading
Filed under: BP Gulf oil spill, energy, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: Deepwater horizon oil spill, Environment, Gulf of Mexico, oil spills | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A patchwork of drill pads connected by a spiderweb of roads in northeastern Utah.
‘Wildlife habitat goals cannot be realized by merely establishing grasses …’
FRISCO — Restoring areas after drilling and fracking requires more than just spreading out some dirt and sprinkling a few grass seeds around, according to two Colorado scientists who took a close look at 10 drilling sites in Rio Blanco County.
After sampling two undisturbed reference sites and eight reclaimed or abandoned natural gas well pads, they found that none of the oil and gas well pads included in the study had returned to a pre-drilling, condition — even those that had had 20 to 50 years to recover. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, public lands, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado, Environment, fracking, public lands, sagebrush ecosystem restoration | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 25, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
This map shows the geographical distribution of natural gas consumption during the year from September 2012 to August 2013 for the four states included in the study region. The research team used this data, along with air monitoring and analysis, to assess the fraction of delivered natural gas that was emitted to the atmosphere. Image courtesy of Kathryn McKain, Harvard SEAS.
Researchers say energy companies have little incentive to prevent leaks
FRISCO — A team of engineers and scientists say that up to 15 billion cubic feet of natural gas, worth some $90 million, may be escaping from leaky pipes in the Boston area.
The researchers, led by atmospheric scientists at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences calculated the figure by analyzing a year’s worth of continuous methane measurements, using a high-resolution regional atmospheric transport model to calculate the amount of emissions.
Tackling the problem will require innovative policy because low prices and the way in which natural gas suppliers are regulated mean that gas companies have little economic incentive to make the necessary investments to reduce incidental losses from leakage, according to the Harvard researchers. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, energy, fracking, gas drilling, global warming | Tagged: climate change, global warming, Harvard, methane leaks, Natural gas | Leave a comment »