What isn't there to love about the 4th of July?
We've all come to hold some nostalgic view of this summertime holiday. The atmosphere is perfect for backyard barbecues, the all-too-often flame-ups and plumes of smoke billowing from a grill that isn't much safer than it looks.
It brings to mind quick dips in the pool to wash away a 106 degree heat wave. Back home in Pennsylvania, however, I can't help but think how some swimming holes aren't too inviting...
Now, I like to hope that my readers have enough sense to not stick so much as a toe in that water, but the bitter pill to swallow here is that these wastewater ponds are becoming a regular sight in the Keystone State.
Ever since the Drake well struck paydirt outside of Titusville, more than 350,000 natural gas wells have been drilled in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These wastewater ponds are also at the heart of the hydraulic fracturing debate.
What Can Slow this Gas Boom
We've raised the question of a slowdown taking place in the U.S. shale boom over the recent weeks.
And believe me, dear reader, it won't be from low natural gas prices or the crude price correction we've seen over the last few months. Truth is, there are simply too many benefits to developing our own resources.
The water crisis developing within the shale industry is the real threat. After all, we've learned that one single formation - the Barnett shale play - has used roughly half of a trillion barrels of water for drilling activities in only the last six years!
So, you can understand why some companies are looking for an alternative plan for their wastewater management... and that search is happening right now.
One of the major Marcellus players, Consol Energy, recently announced it was spending $500,000 in search of a solar solution to the water issue. The plan is to use solar energy to purify the water.
For Consol specifically, we're not talking about a few buckets here or there. The company has to deal with about 36 billion barrels of wastewater per year.
Frack this Problem Entirely
Whenever the hydraulic fracturing debate crosses my path, the amount of misinformation I'm told is absolutely staggering. I know the concerns well, and chief among them are the millions of gallons of water that are blasted into the rock formation. As for the large amount of wastewater that comes back up through the well... how many more ponds like the ones above will be needed over the next ten, even twenty years?
Yet every single time, my reply to them is the same: "Why don't you just take the water problem completely out of the equation? Wouldn't that solve your issues?"
The reproachful looks I receive are etched into my mind forever. Such a simple solution to a complicated process.
And yet, it happens to be one of the two key parts to unlocking the 542 trillion cubic feet of natural gas locked in these tight formations. Remember that these shale formations will account for nearly half of all natural gas production by 2035:
The fractivists tend to forget this part when formulating their next scathing attack in the mainstream media.
You want to see an end to the publicity war raging over the hydraulic fracturing process?
Enjoy your weekend,
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